The term crate is used to describe a large box, usually constructed using lumber and plywood that are used to protect large and bulky items during transportation. Even though most crates are made from light wood, there are some that are also made from plastic and metal. Wood is the preferred medium for making crates these days because they are lighter than metal and easier to manipulate than plastics, and they are also easier and faster to make, and can also be easily opened when it reaches its destination.
Wooden Crate vs Wooden Box
In terms of appearance and construction, a crate is quite similar to a wooden box; the main difference is that the sheathing in a crate can be removed to expose the lumber framework, while a box has the sheathing firmly fixed onto the frame. Crates are also usually constructed around the object that is to be transported, sometimes the item can also be loaded at the front and the side will just be nailed onto the frame. Boxes on the other hand are already constructed and the item is usually loaded on top.
But usually, the terms wooden crates and boxes can be used either way to describe a huge wooden container.
Different Types of Crates
Closed Crates – This is the type of crate that is completely enclosed in either plywood or planks of wood. The framework used for this kind of crate is similar to that used in wooden partition walls in houses, and the sheathing is placed in the outer side of the framework. When wooden planks are used as sheathing for closed crates, they are placed close to each other, only allowing a small space for expansion; usually just slits that are less than an inch wide.
Open Crate – There are not much difference in the construction of a closed crate and an open crate. The only difference is that open crates do not use plywood sheathing, only wooden planks; and the spaces in between the planks are usually wider. This type of crate is usually used in transporting produce because it provides enough ventilation to prevent them from spoiling.
Frame Crates – These are the types of crates that usually have no sheathing at all, and when it does, it is usually just to keep the contents hidden. Frame crates are just like what the name suggests, they are made from long pieces of lumber, usually 12 pieces, fixed together to form a cube, and a diagonal member is placed on all sides to add rigidity to the structure. These types of crates are usually used to transport heavy machinery and large, bulky items that really do not need any surface protection.
All crates are usually too heavy to be carried by hand so they all need to have thick wooden bottom runners, commonly called “skids”, that raise the crate a couple of inches above the ground so that it can be easily picked up by a forklift or moved around using a pallet truck.
If you are planning on shipping a large and heavy item, cardboard boxes and other light forms of packaging will not do. For heavy duty work, you will need something that is more up to the task, and those are wooden, metal, or plastic crates.
Ronald Perez a guest blogger has written many articles Safe Pack i.e. Timber Crates Melbourne.
Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The best moving crate for me is the one which can be easily and efficiently be stored or disposed after use. They should also best protect fragile and sensitive materials.