How are Mobile Offices Delivered? How Long Does Delivery Take?

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A mobile home or office on an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer emblazoned with an “OVERSIZE LOAD” sign may be a familiar sight on the highway, but few are familiar with the actual process of delivering a mobile office to its site, or the time it takes to do so.


It isn’t a simple matter of trucking it over there, lifting or sliding it off the trailer, and you’re done. For one, the site’s distance from the factory often determines the means of transport and offloading, due in part to the different transportation regulations, fees and permitting processes in different states for oversize loads.


“We can deliver the containers just about anywhere in the Southeast on a tilt-bed trailer,” said Troy Hudson, sales specialist at Container Technology Inc. of Morrow, Ga. “For deliveries to other parts of the country, we usually deliver on a flat-bed, and the customer would need to offload via crane or forklift.”


In addition, extensive site preparation, inspection and utility connection prearrangement will be necessary to prepare for your mobile office’s arrival. Sufficient land must be set aside, and all boundaries, easements and means of egress must be kept clear, not only for the siting of the mobile office and the entry and exit of a 100-foot-long semi-trailer truck, but also for ample elbow-room for the driver to maneuver the vehicle around, back it up to the targeted site, tilt up the trailer (if applicable), offload the mobile office and place it on its foundation. Also, allow enough leeway for the tractor-trailer to adjust its position to avoid unit placement errors or accidents, which could result in higher travel-time bills and liability issues.


Once the mobile office is offloaded and positioned, the delivery personnel will block and level the unit, anchor it to the ground, and install any ordered accessories, such as decks, ADA-compliant ramps, and skirting. It’s the user’s responsibility to connect the utilities, so arrange ahead of time for plumbers, electricians and phone/Internet service technicians to come in and make the connections shortly after the unit is installed. Make sure you inspect your office carefully for any damage that may have occurred during transportation, offloading or set-up before sending away the delivery team.


Of course, delivery time frames vary – from same-day delivery to a few days to two weeks – depending on the distance between your site and the mobile office factory as well as the supplier’s delivery schedule and the availability of your desired office model. “If the size is in stock, we can have it on site within two weeks of the order, or shorter if we have the trailers here and serviced for rental,” said Joe Alexander, branch manager of Satellite Shelters Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio.


Some suppliers, like Mobile Modular of Livermore, Calif., regularly deliver offices from their ready-made, in-stock inventory the next business day after the order is placed. However, if you want your unit customized, the delivery time may vary, depending on the type and extent of the customization.


Delivery time is another important facet of mobile office delivery preparation, so be sure to find out the supplier’s delivery fees and the number of miles from the factory to your planned mobile office location. Ask the supplier for a delivery fee quote based on the ratio of dollars-per-mile to distance in miles, factoring in your state’s transportation fees and other oversize load regulations (if your vendor is out of state), to determine your budget for the delivery of your mobile office, as well as which vendor offers the best deal in terms of unit cost and delivery charges.