CabinZ offers flexible, portable storage

Just to store his tools on site, a Florida contractor faced dismantling a 40-foot steel container and erecting it on the other side of an existing building. Instead, he opted to use one of the first CabinZ storage units rented in the United States. “They were able to walk it right through the building’s doorways to the other side and set it up without much effort,” says Carlo Cavecchi, chief executive officer of rental chain HSS RentX.

Another contractor, this time in Michigan, used a CabinZ unit to temporarily store and lock down materials on site until he needed them. He found the unit so convenient on the space-restricted project that instead of sending it back after he’d unloaded his materials he kept it throughout the duration of the job.

CabinZ is the brainchild of Lister Fielding, managing director of HSS Plc in the United Kingdom – HSS RentX’s parent company. “We wanted something that would stack, could be delivered on Ford F-450-size pickup trucks and wouldn’t need a crane to place on site,” Fielding says. And so Fielding sat down with Mike Ashley of manufacturing firm Wolfe Designs and went over his concept: Waterproof polyethylene storage units that can be erected by two men without tools in 10 minutes. Wolfe Designs has since been producing the units in England under HSS patents.

Each unit has 12 components: two interchangeable base/roof sections, four corner posts, two sidewalls, one end wall, one floor panel and a flip door and ramp door for the entrance end. The units are assembled with lockable clamps.

The assembly sequence of one CabinZ, which typically takes two people about 10 minutes to erect.

The product is the definition of flexibility. Each 908-pound unit can be used alone or connected lengthways and/or sideways into a series of units as the jobsite requires. CabinZ can serve as straightforward storage space or a simple jobsite trailer (with the addition of a desk or work top, window panel, walk-through end door and lighting options). “Every time we demonstrate CabinZ, someone comes up with a new use for it,” Cavecchi says.

The product’s portability makes it even more handy. “CabinZ can go where a traditional storage unit cannot,” Fielding says, “including down elevators, through doorways and up staircases.” This feature is especially versatile on a multiple-story building site since you can place a unit on each floor under construction, thus eliminating the need for workers to go to the ground floor for tools and supplies. “Considering all the workers on a site, that could literally save hours a day,” says Fielding.

Cavecchi asserts CabinZ can also save on storage delivery rates. “Most places will charge you a minimum of $150 to deliver a traditional storage unit,” he says, “then you have the costs associated with erecting it on site.” Cavecchi estimates contractors can save up to
75 percent of delivery costs by using CabinZ, and 100 percent of erection costs since no crane or special tools are needed. “Our customers also have the option of transporting these lightweight, stackable units themselves,” he says.

HSS RentX’s published CabinZ rental rate is $160 a month for one standard unit, with window and bench options costing an additional $12 each per month, although rates may vary by region. Weekly rentals are also available.

Although the units are now exported from the United Kingdom, the company can envision a time when product demand will make it advantageous to manufacture them in the United States. HSS RentX, the exclusive source of CabinZ in North America, is also looking at the possibility of distribution partners and may eventually sell CabinZ to end users. (One CabinZ retails for around $3,900). “First, though, we want to get a gauge for what America sees as its possibilities,” Cavecchi says. “This has the potential to redefine a mature storage market.”

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