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Stuck Storage Container Door: How to Open It

Stuck storage container doors can be difficult to open for numerous reasons. If your storage container doors require more effort than they should — or they won’t open at all — follow these steps to open your container doors easily.

Think about it: you bought or rented your storage container to make your job easier — not to arm wrestle with it. Whether you go in and out of your container every day, every week, or every month, you need easy access to it.

At TP Trailers, we’re your resource for renting or buying high-quality shipping containers — and we can teach you our method for opening stuck doors.

5 Things to Know about Storage Container Doors

As the containers age, their doors can become more difficult to open and operate. Here’s what we recommend to open stuck doors and to keep them easy to use.

  1. Lubricate the Latches — If either your top or bottom latch connection is tight, it can make the door difficult to open. Since this is a steel-on-steel connection, it can become tight without proper lubrication. You can use any type of bearing grease to lubricate the connection and keep the latches opening easily.
  2. Deal with Door Gaskets — The door gaskets are crucial to keeping your container watertight, however as they age they can be a primary reason the door sticks. To assist with lubrication, it helps to spray the gaskets and the door frame with an aerosol lubricant like WD40.

    If the steel plate between the gasket and door rusts, that can also make it difficult to use. If rust is an issue, you can remove the steel plate and scrape the rust off by hand. Finally, you can use a utility knife to trim the pushed-out section of the gasket that is causing it to become stuck.
  3. Handle the Hinges — The hinges that allow the door to swing open can become tight over time and cause your container door to get stuck. The bushings that make up the individual hinges can become tight, causing the door to become tight as a result. Spray the hinges with your aerosol lubricant and work the door back and forth to free it up. Doing this routine every once in a while will keep your container easy to use.
  4. Make Sure Your Container is Level — If all 4 corners of the storage container are not level, the steel frame will begin to rack. This can exert extra pressure on the door, making it nearly impossible to open. If the container is full of heavy cargo, it exacerbates this problem.

    That is why the TP Trailers delivery team locates proper levelness during our storage container delivery.
  5. Buy a Quality Container with Doors that Work — One of the best ways to ensure you don’t need to deal with stuck container doors is to only rent or buy high-quality storage units from reputable dealers. Beaten-up, poorly-maintained containers often come with tough or outright broken doors.

    Learn how to inspect used containers.

High-Quality Storage Units for Sale or Rent

In order to maximize your convenience with a storage unit, always start with good quality. Your storage container is meant to make your job easier, not harder. While these strategies can help you open a stuck container, starting with a great piece of equipment is always your best bet.

At TP Trailers & Truck Equipment, we exclusively rent and sell high-quality storage containers. In addition, we offer mobile office units to make your construction site more comfortable and usable. Plus, we can always customize a storage container for your needs.

Whether you need to rent or buy, contact us today for all of your storage needs.

storage container with easy open doors

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