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Things You Need to Know About Prepping Your Mobile Office Site

Mobile office trailers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There's a mobile office trailer for just about everything and every industry—energy and power plants, the education sector, religious groups, construction companies, financial companies, and more. There are even mobile kitchens, medical trailers/mobile clinics, mobile showrooms, and mobile command centers. With so many options available, you'll absolutely need to do some research. Plus, you'll need to figure out whether to rent or buy. The next logical step is to choose the best size and type of office trailer once you've decided to lease or purchase. Of course, the fun doesn't stop there. You also need to prep your site for the big day. Office trailers can typically be set up just about anywhere, with the right prep and accommodations. Overall, site prep is crucial if you actually want to utilize your office trailer rather than admire its fantastic craftsmanship. Assuming you do want to use your mobile office, let’s go over what needs to be done on-site before the delivery truck shows up.

To rent or buy

Choosing to rent rather than buy a mobile office trailer can streamline the entire process. For instance, if you're looking to add a mobile office to a construction site, then a permanent structure is probably not what you need. Furthermore, if you only need the said office until construction is completed, buying an office trailer doesn't make much sense. If you decide to rent a pre-existing office, keep in mind that there are add-on fees, including installation, removal, and delivery. In contrast, purchasing a mobile office can be advantageous if you have a continuing use for it. Take a command center trailer. There are several long-term uses for such an office. Plus, buying a mobile office means you can customize it or design one from scratch. If, by chance, you're in the market for a mobile command center, but you're not sure where to begin, go to for more information.

Shipping containers vs. trailers

You should also keep in mind the difference between a mobile office shipping container and an office trailer. Though the names are often used interchangeably, your site prep will vary slightly depending on what you purchased or agree to lease. An officer trailer is set on wheels and sits off the ground. A converted shipping container is situated directly on the ground. Despite this subtle difference, either mobile office can be outfitted with conference rooms, multiple offices, restrooms, windows, and extra storage. Also, both configurations do require a cleared space that's level and dry for placement.

Clear a space

After you've figured out all the trailer particulars, it's time to focus your attention to on-site prep. The very first step here is to clear a space. Of course, this means removing any debris or vegetation from the area. But then, you should also be mindful of any overhead branches, wires, or structures that could interfere with your trailer placement. Once your site is cleared, it's highly recommended that you double-check the amount of space you have or will need for your specific type and size of trailer to have a trouble-free delivery. For example, most 40-foot office trailers or command centers are delivered via a 20-foot tall, 12-foot wide, 100-120-foot-long tractor-trailer. Moreover, there needs to be at least an extra 5-foot width-wise for maneuvering. Thus, your site needs to be able to accommodate a tractor-trailer of this size or larger. What's more, sites generally require an additional 120 feet of ground clearance and a place that can potentially support a 30,000-pound vehicle.

Level ground

With that being said, before your mobile office is delivered, you should also make sure your ground is level. The best way to accomplish this is by hiring a professional, i.e., an inspector. Note that most suppliers often have their own inspectors who will come out to survey the area and make sure the site is up to code. A site inspector will also determine the best course of action for delivery and will note what kind of foundation may be needed. Therefore, a site inspection is a must-have. Nevertheless, you should ask your supplier upfront about their policies and procedures regarding inspection, as well as if you need to hire an independent professional.

Best conditions

In addition to having a level area for your trailer or office container, you need to make sure your site can support delivery, setup, and the overall weight of your mobile office. Now that you know the delivery tractor could weigh up to 30,000 pounds, you should definitely have the right ground conditions. In general, gravel, cement, stone-pavers, and asphalt are great for supporting heavy tractor-trailers and your mobile command center or office. If your site surface is something other than the above, you'll likely have to make additional arrangements to ensure that the site area is suitable for your mobile office.

Soft terrain

Along those same lines, if your site is on soft terrains like loose soil or grass, you need to prevent sinkage. A common way to ensure your trailer or container doesn't sink into the ground is to put something underneath it to distribute your structure's weight evenly. Often, piles of hardwood, railroad ties, and gravel beds will help keep your office trailer stable. If you prefer to use concrete or asphalt paving, that's perfectly fine, too. If you choose to build, dig, or pour hard surfaces, you need to go through the proper channels first. Most cities require permits and have strict building codes you must follow. Make sure you find out what the requirements are. It's helpful to check both state and county zoning constraints and build codes in your area.

Concrete foundation

A prime example of when you'll need to double-check regulations is when you decide to have a concrete foundation. Not only do you have to get the go-ahead, but you also need to make sure that everything is up to code with your foundation. Therefore, we suggest that you go above and beyond code, if possible. Most areas have minimal expectations, and therefore, an unfortunate number of people assume that "good enough" will suffice. However, the best way to avoid any issues with your concrete foundation down the road is to make sure the job is done right. Thus, you must do some research and speak with multiple contractors or companies. Remember, your mobile office will be of no use to anyone if it has sunk into the ground or the weight distribution is off. A concrete foundation is necessary for shipping containers, but can also be used if your office trailer is going to be placed on soft terrain.


Mobile office manufacturers complete the necessary groundwork when it comes to utilities. This is extremely beneficial as it saves you from having to get extra work done. Nonetheless, despite the electrical framework in place, you still need to prep the site for utilities (if you want your trailer to be connected to more than just the Wi-Fi). Therefore, to ensure utility connections, make sure you choose an area with nearby access to power/utility sources for gas, electrical, water, and sewage. In addition to having access to the necessary power sources, remember that everything needs to be up to code. Have all your hookups in compliance with local regulations before delivery, all underground utility lines clearly marked, and the site fully staked for mobile office container or trailer setup. Doing so will ensure that delivery and installation run as smoothly as possible.

Other considerations

Lastly, there are a few other things to consider once you've taken care of the site prep basics. One of the most commonly overlooked considerations is accessibility. You must make it easy for visitors, employees, and customers to access the premises. This means having adequate parking and a driveway. Moreover, if you have a mobile clinic or food truck, you need to consider additional health and safety regulations (beyond those that apply to your employees). You also need a clear drop-off and pick-up area for vendors. Even if you have all these things planned out already, you should still make sure you have handicapped-accessible ramps and parking that meet the ADA requirements. There's a government website for these particular accommodations, so don't forget to check.

Final Note

Ultimately, there's a lot of work behind the scenes. But then, a mobile office is still a great solution to your everyday business needs. Thus, if you're interested in a trailer or shipping container for business purposes, contact a supplier/manufacturer in your area. They can assist you with a quote, discuss design schemes, and go over any setup or delivery questions you may have.

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