DEFINITION OF VERTICAL CHASSIS PARKING
"High density chassis parking" is a system using a lifting device and a supporting structure to temporarily store empty container chassis in an upright or vertical position. Using the system, nine chassis are vertically stored in an area normally occupied by one parked chassis. The system benefits marine container terminals, Intermodal railroad yards, and other container chassis operations areas experiencing land shortage or high land cost.
The Chassis Systems, Inc. patented high density parking system is presently in use in Japan, Singapore and throughout the United States.
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS:
The are two elements to the system. The element that raises the chassis to the vertical position is the Chassis Stacker. The supporting structure that retains the chassis in high density parking is the 'rack'.
The Chassis “Stacker™” is attached to a fork lift truck and is operated in conjunction with the truck. The non-moving carriage of the “Stacker™” is attached to the side shift of the lift truck. The moving portion of the Chassis “Stacker™” pivots at the base of the carriage assembly and is known as the boom.
To lift and park an empty chassis, the boom is lowered to horizontal and the chassis is approached from the rear. Contact is made between the “Stacker™” support legs and the rear of the chassis. A clamping assembly closes on the sides of the chassis ahead of the front axle. After clamping the chassis frame from the side, the Chassis “Stacker™” then grips the chassis frame from both the top and the bottom. Finally, the chassis is hydraulically rotated to the vertical position and safely held on the top, bottom and side by the clamps and supporting legs. Once vertical, the chassis is transported to the parking rack area by the lift truck.
The parking "rack" consists of a horizontal support arm assembly, approximately 45 feet long, mounted on top of two vertical steel columns. The columns are bolted to below ground concrete footings. Each assembly occupies two parking spaces and will vertically accommodate 18 chassis; nine per side of the center columns. With additional space savings in yard layout, the actual ratio of space saving can approach 10:1.
To place the chassis in vertical parking, the Chassis “Stacker™” lift truck with the chassis in the vertical position is driven into the parking "rack" area. The operator stops the truck on a position marker designating each parking space. At this position, the chassis makes contact with the overhead supporting arm. The chassis is lowered vertically to the ground and comes to rest on the dock bumpers or the ICC bumper, held at a 75 degree angle by the support arm. The weight of the chassis on the support arm pulls the next support arm into position for receiving the next chassis. As a chassis is removed, it swings the support arm of the previous chassis out of the way. The rack operation is completely automatic.
Normal cycle time for parking or removal is less than two minutes.
Users report no damage to chassis, bumpers, flaps or lights.
Only one man is required for the operation.
BENEFITS OF VERTICAL PARKING
1. LAND AREA SAVINGS
The basic purpose of high density chassis parking is to free areas currently used to store chassis for more productive use. The effective ratio of space saving approaches 10:1. "Finding" new land area in an existing terminal can be of tremendous value. As the need for container throughput increases, older, land locked terminals can have their useful life extended. The difficulty and expense of finding additional land for chassis parking can be avoided. The excessive cost of outside parking of empty chassis, including drayage and gate fees, can be eliminated.
Stacking nine chassis in the area of one parking space is equivalent to stacking containers nine high. This efficient land utilization is the reason why this system has been included in the most state of the art terminals being designed and opened today. It is also a faster solution than acquisition or creation of parking facilities.
Stacking chassis in tight terminals can provide enough room for "wheeled" operation to continue, instead of "grounding" loads.
2. REDUCED TRACTOR OPERATIONS
Since the land area needed for chassis parking is reduced, and the parking system can operate at speeds compatible with container loading speeds, the parking area can be nearer to or adjacent the container operations area.
This can result in substantial reduction of tractor operation time through:
· Shorter travel distance from work area to parking area. High density chassis parking is the most efficient use of space available. The reduction in space is so great that chassis can be stored where optimum terminal functional layout dictates, on land once considered too valuable for chassis.
· As an example: hostling runs associated with chassis are typically done by terminal employees, as compared to parking loads which may be done by outside drivers. Therefore, high cost chassis hostling runs should be kept to a minimum.
· Reduced search time due to parking segregation by owner and size. Compare hostlers roaming 10 or more acres looking for chassis or looking for spots to park chassis, with high density parking where hostlers simply go to parking racks near the operating area.
Reduced tractor operations means less terminal traffic and congestion, which contributes to overall safety and efficiency.
3. IMPROVED INVENTORY CONTROL
A glance at the enclosed photos demonstrates how simple it is to take a "yard check". Chassis inventory can be done in one location, and chassis in high density parking stand out whether they are 20's, 40's 45's etc. Utilization of the system by using specific racks for customer and chassis size makes inventory controls even more accurate and less time consuming. Using the analogy of a desktop crowded with papers, this system is a vertical file drawer. Organization is the key.
4. REDUCED CHASSIS DAMAGE
Chassis damage is reduced due to decreased handling. Most chassis damage is done while the chassis is empty, parked improperly or hit while parking another chassis. Horizontal stacking results in damage to landing gear and brake actuators and unsafe conditions. In high density parking, each chassis is independently supported in the parking rack and is stored compactly and safely. No damage can occur while the chassis are in the rack.
5. IMPROVED SECURITY, REDUCED RISK
Outside drivers have access only to chassis that have been "grounded" by a terminal employee. "Bad order" chassis will not be available until released. Chassis operations are restricted to a defined area of a terminal. Unsafe and unstable horizontal stacks of chassis are eliminated. Computerizedcontrol is possible.
6. CUSTOMER RELATIONS IMPROVED
A factor in contract negotiations is the number of chassis that a terminal will store and the associated fees and costs of storage. The capacity increase and cost reductions associated with high density parking can provide competitive advantage to the terminal.
Improved inventory control, reduced damage, and faster turn around time reduces customer costs and improves relations with drivers as well as reducing terminal congestion.
7. POSITIVE WORKER ACCEPTANCE
Terminal workers accept and work with the system to keep chassis parking operations within the confines of the terminal instead of outside parking.
SUMMARY OF ECONOMIC BENEFIT
1. LESS LAND NEEDED FOR CHASSIS PARKING.
2. REDUCED TRACTOR OPERATIONS. REDUCED TERMINAL CONGESTION.
3. IMPROVED INVENTORY CONTROL.
4. REDUCED CHASSIS DAMAGE.
5. IMPROVED SECURITY, REDUCED RISK.
6. CUSTOMER RELATIONS IMPROVED.
7. POSITIVE WORKER ACCEPTANCE.