Steel Yourself for the Road Ahead
Whether you’re packing up belongings for placement in a storage unit, a vehicle for on-the-go availability or to move to a new home, there’s an expansive gamut of container types and materials to choose from. It’s important to know what you’re packing, what you’ll be insulating the container with, how it’s all going to be transported and where it’s going to be stored. Conditions to account for when choosing a container include:
• Type of vehicle the items are being carried in
• Weather conditions and route of travel that can affect the safety of transported items
• Type of packing cushion such as peanuts, paper, bubbles or airbags
• Nature of the items inside, including volatility, potential for mold and mildew, and possibility of spoilage or rot
• Where the items will be stored
• Climate of storage conditions if not in a house environment
The good news is, no matter what you’re doing with the belongings in question, the best type of storage container is a steel one. There are different grades of steel that you could account for, but most steel containers will come with varying means of outer protection that render this metric less relevant. Steel storage boxes often come with rugged bumpers or panels that improve the already excellent weatherproofing, durability and shock resistance. However, heavier containers (such as safes) may implement higher-grade metal to ensure absolute protection of the contents.
The Many Benefits of Steel Containers
1. Impact, Slash and Puncture Durability
This one shouldn’t shock anyone: Metal is known best for its resistance to basic strikes, drops and dings that would dent, cut or pierce the material. Although metal does tend to crumple or bend under heavy impacts and high pressure, the amount of force that’s required to accomplish this is beyond expectation and far from normal in any situation that you would use a steel container to store your possessions.
2. Shock and Vibration Resistance
As an extension to the first point, metal will resist sudden and rapid impacts that result from, say, hitting a pothole with one of these in the back. The problem is, the items inside aren’t terribly protected from said shocks, and that’s the magic of metal’s durability: It often disperses the energy rather than absorb it. Packing peanuts are a plus.
3. Weatherproofing, Heat Resistance and Blast Protection
The elements won’t affect a metal container. They won’t be penetrated by rain, hail, flamethrowers, bears, bears with flamethrowers, light explosives, curious cats or troublesome toddlers. Basically, you could say that steel containers are everything-proof when they’re made correctly.
4. Versatility of Augmentation
If flamethrower-wielding bears are the least of your concerns, you might think about a rugged alternative that utilizes angular ridges made of rubber or some other material to provide ablative armor, shock dispersion or general resistance to the elements. Only steel containers can really claim this benefit because the metal is actually strong enough to hold the additions in place.
5. Longevity and Corrosion Resistance
They don’t melt, crack, crumble or wither away with time — well, they usually don’t. Anything less than stainless steel runs the risk of oxidation (rust), which might be fine if your tetanus shots are up to date. Jokes aside, stainless steel will outlast other material types by a landslide.
6. Animal- and Pest-Proof
Remember the bears and flamethrowers? Okay, so it turns out that dogs, cats, mice, roaches, termites and the whole shebang also have difficulty getting inside one of these. It’s actually possible for the likes of cardboard and wooden crates to be used as food for pests while steel is immune to this treatment.
7. Non-Porous and Waterproof
While it was touched on earlier in the waterproofing detail, it’s worth noting that steel is, by nature, non-porous. This means that assuming the manufacturer has sealed all openings to secure IP68 certification or higher, the steel itself won’t leak, leach or drip the way wood, cardboard and even plastic does.