How Large are Mobile Offices, and How Much Do They Weigh?

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Despite their light appearance and mobility, mobile offices are neither as frail as a shantytown shack nor as prone to the huff-and-puff of the Big Bad Wolf as you might think. In fact, the tare (unladen) weight of many common models is almost as heavy as, or heavier than, a classic Rolls-Royce (5,600 lbs.).


For example, the tare weights of the high-security portable offices and office-storage combos from Mobile Modular of Livermore, Calif., are 4,982 lbs. for the 8-by-20-foot model and 8,554 lbs. for the 8-by-40-foot trailer, and they can accommodate, respectively, maximum payloads of 47,928 lbs. and 58,642 lbs. — for total allowable weights of 52,910 lbs. and 67,196 lbs.


In Williams-Scotsman’s line, which includes models ranging from 8 to 12 feet in width and 20 to 64 feet in length, “our 32-by-8 would be 7,500 pounds, all the way up to the larger units, 64-by-12, which weighs in at16,000 pounds,” said Devin Alexander, an inside sales rep for the Baltimore-based mobile office distributor.


The Steelclad line from Elliott of Peterborough, England, tends to be on the lighter side, due in part to their constructional emphasis on plastics: Plastisol exteriors, polyester interior walls, and vinyl floors. Their 20-by-8-foot office has an approximate tare weight of 3,307 lbs., while the average tare weight of their 32-by-10-foot model is 5,622 lbs. Tare weights in the Steelclad line range from 2,425 lbs. for a 12-by-8-foot office to 7,500 lbs. for a 40-by-12-foot one.


But a mobile office’s sound heft does not make it impervious to all weather conditions. Manufactured-housing anchors can give your office that extra resistance to high winds. Tie-Down Engineering of Atlanta, Ga., recommends a 30-foot or 48-foot cross-drive rock anchor for a hard rock terrain, and rod-and-helix anchor combos with stabilizer plates for sand, gravel, silt, clay and/or alluvial fill grounds; the soil density and classification determines the length and size of the rods and stabilizers. Anchors should be inserted to their full length at a 10-degree back-angle tilt away from the office structure and attached to it with fully tensioned galvanized steel straps. The anchor head should be pounded all the way down to ground level or right above its stabilizer plate.


For more information on anchor installation, see