Lubricating Shipping Container Hinges For Shipping Container Maintenance

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lubricating shipping container hinges

Shipping containers are so useful, aren’t they? Only if the doors open and close properly! If your shipping container doors aren’t opening or closing like they should, there could be many reasons. Here’s what you need to know why lubricating your shipping container hinges is a must, and the right way to do it. 

What Causes Shipping Container Door Hinges to Stick?

There are many potential reasons that your container door might stick. Knowing the causes can help you open and close your door without trouble.

Door Misalignment of Shipping Container Door Hinges

Sometimes, container doors become difficult to open and close because the doors themselves have become misaligned. This often happens when the empty shipping container is loaded with cargo and one side of the container shifts downward while the other side of the container shifts upward. This causes the container opening to change shape slightly, with one side higher than other. When this happens, the door may not close all the way, and you’ll be unable to use the locking mechanism.

You’ll be able to tell if this is the case by looking at the point in the middle of the door frame where the doors meet. If one door appears slightly higher than the other, this is an indication that the door is misaligned.

Corrossion, Rust or Lack of Use

In some cases, the door might stick because of lack of use. You’ll be able to tell if this is the problem by inspecting the door for corrosion around the hinges, or just considering how long it’s been since the door was opened.

If the container has been sitting outside in the elements for a long time without being opened, lubricating the hinges and other parts of the door could help make the door easier to open and close. The procedure for lubricating your shipping container doors is described below.

How to Correct a Misaligned Shipping Container Door

Correcting the problems that could potentially make your shipping container doors difficult to open and close is an important part of your shipping container maintenance. Here’s what you need to know.

Lubricate Storage Container Parts

How do you grease a shipping container door? Start with some good all-weather lubrication and a handy spray tube that allows you to aim the grease at the hinge.

  1. Spray the grease at each hinge and each locking mechanism.
  2. Open the door that’s sticking.
  3. Lubricate again.
  4. Close the door and lock it.
  5. Continue lubricating until the door opens and closes properly.

Correct the Alignment of Your Shipping Container Hinges

If misalignment is preventing your storage container doors from properly opening and closing, you’ll need to make both sides even with one another.

  1. Shift the contents of the container, moving the heaviest objects from one side of the shipping container to the opposite side. Ensure the distribution of the contents of the container is even.
  2. Put a wedge under the side of the container that is lower toward the ground. Do this until both bottom corners of the container are even with one another.
  3. Try opening the shipping container door. If your efforts were successful, you’ll be able to open the door easily. If it didn’t work, the door will either not open easily, or won’t close all the way. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the doors open easily.

Maintain Your Storage Containers

Shipping containers are incredibly useful, but only if they’re properly maintained. Keep your shipping container in good condition by lubricating the hinges periodically. Place your container on even ground, too. Uneven ground can lead to misalignment of the front doors. By performing this type of maintenance periodically, you should have no trouble opening and closing your shipping container doors.