It took nine forty-foot shipping containers and five days to pack up the components of the 10,000-square-foot lodge and real estate center to be built on the shores of a man-made lake in Chengdu, People’s Republic of China. (See the story here.)The project posed some interesting challenges from the start. “We had hoped to use top-loading shipping containers so that we could use the pulp loader to lower the logs into the containers,” said David Gordon, Katahdin president. “But our Chinese clients specified end-loading containers for this project.” So Gordon and several employees had to develop a new set of loading arrangements to adjust for the change in process.

The mechanical crew, led by Steve Tarr, constructed a large metal table that could be positioned at the rear opening of the container by a forklift. The table could be loaded with log stock, purlins or dimensional lumber to be either hand-loaded or pushed into the container. The “push” came via a steel armature that was attached to the front end of a forklift. The armature was fitted with a steel plate that allowed the forklift to push the load deep into the container. Bundles of purlins, insulation, dimensional lumber were all loaded in this manner.

Gordon also had to develop a loading plan that utilized the space within the containers most efficiently, while maintaining some logic as to the actual assembly of the lodge on site in China. As with any other Katahdin package, each piece of log stock was marked with a barcode and inventoried according to the building plans for the best on-site construction efficiency. Several customer representatives from the Chinese development company were on hand to see first-hand how the loading process was conducted and planned out.

With a combination of 5-6 people, three forklifts, and the newly fabricated table and pusher devices, the entire project was loaded and trucked away for the long ocean journey to China. We’re looking forward to the upcoming orders for single-family houses to be constructed adjacent to the lodge around the manmade lake development in Chengdu, China.