Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
My complete 701 kit will be ready for pickup Jan 19th. I've been researching how to get it from Zenith to North Texas (Wylie). I now have access to a covered, 7x14 trailer. I know the crate ($490) will fit, but I was wondering if any of the builders out there have any experience with moving an uncrated kit? I have 30+ furniture blankets/pads and a couple of rolls of corrugated cardboard. I'll be alone for the pickup, but I'm told the staff will be able to lend some assistance with the load. any thoughts/comments would be appreciated.
I have a call into the Zenith folks. They deal with this often. I expect they prefer the crate as well, but the enclosed trailer or van with 30+ packing blankets/pads and corrugated cardboard may be a viable option. I'll keep everyone informed. Thanks
I flew out, rented a good sized Penske truck and drove it all back to Maine (uncrated, complete kit) no issues - though, I did have the Q/B fuselage. The wing skins and fuselage skins will be your most fragile (read most potential for damage) and biggest items. If your build location/storage area is ready when you arrive home, you can very easily do an inventory and sort and store your pieces as you unload. It does save some unpacking/uncrating time, though you don't get the crate for other uses! Zenith staff did all the packing - they have all the material and have it down to a well choreographed drill. They put down corrugated cardboard on the floor and between skins which were already wrapped and taped in brown packing paper and marked with part number. Save all your paper and cardboard - it does come in handy. I would recommend you have a friend available during the offload and that you roll, wrap with packing paper/tape edges and even box your wing and fuselage skins until you are ready to work with them. Make sure you mark which piece is which! I can't imagine moving a wing skin by myself unless I was rolling/unrolling it in place. It is possible to do; e.g; on top of a long strip of heavy corrugated cardboard (like a pizza on a pizza plate, but there is significant potential for creasing and damage. Much safer and easier with two people working together. Zenith wouldn't roll them for me at the factory, but all the sheet metal airplane guys I talked to since - wouldn't move them unless they were rolled! - go figure?? Big heavy metal items may be able to go into the car or truck you are hauling the trailer with. Worse case scenario, if you don't like the way it's packed without a crate you help them put it in a crate before driving home.
Good luck, it's a great adventure!
I brought home a 801 kit un-crated without a problem. Pickup and open trailer.
With the closed trailer you shouldn't have any problems..
The folks at Zenith were very helpful in the loading.
I Made dividers in my trailer with my own wood. Zenith loaded everything one part at a time an put the paper and packing between. With dividers in place they just go to the correct divider/crate. It just keeps everything from flopping all around. If you can, make your dividers about the same size or a bit larger than the crate size they are telling you. Being enclosed you won't even have to cover. Safe air, Pat
I was informed today of a local outfit that will rent me a 3/4 ton cargo van at a very reasonable price. I'm going to call Zenith in the morning to see if their guys believe the 701 kit will fit (split bucket seats):
Stick with the trailer for sure, The Zenith people are the greatest loaders, when they have something correct to load. Its more than you want to ask them to stuff in a van. Other wise for the 490$ is well worth them sending it. I didn't save much going to get it. I don't think to many do, its more the connection of it to your bird, etc... Pat
Thanks to all for the good information ... Monday I'll see what the Zenith guys say AND check the van folks about a 15' truck ... Two fall-back plans: (1) covered 14' trailer and (2) take the crate (820 lbs !). Where/how did you guys store the long skins while building? I'll probably go for a shelf under my 4' x 16' workbench.
I bought a partially completed project that still had the fuselage and finishing kits packed and untouched in the "big crate." I was lucky to borrow (for free!) a 16' enclosed trailer. (A trailer is much better with the crate since it is lower to the ground ... unless you have a loading dock for the truck!) Tip if you go with a crate and a trailer with a drop down door/ramp - build two dollies with boards of 2x6 or bigger lumber with a caster on each end and a cleat on each end to attach to the crate. Pry up one end of the crate at a time, slip the dolly under, and secure to the crate with screws through the cleats.
Two strong people can roll the crate up and into the trailer - it will likely "high center" in the middle, but a slight lift and it'll go on in. I actually unloaded mine by myself with my small tractor and front end loader - just put the bucket under the end of the crate and pulled it out! The casters were really nice as I could easily move the crate during the early portion of the build to re-position it occasionally to best advantage and out of my way. I will admit, however, it was a "red letter" day when that crate was empty and moved out of my garage! I moved it over to a barn, turned it on its side, and installed shelves for storage.
Thanks. I've been thinking the dolly/caster idea for awhile. The driveway into my garage is somewhat inclined (one problem), but if I just had a solid anchor inside the garage most problems would be alleviated. I have an engine hoist/crane, but it's usable lift height is insufficient to swing a 13' crate up and over the sides/wheels of a flatbed utility trailer (18").
Checking on possible upsized cargo van possibilities today. If I can get a usable 12'8" bed, I think I'm home free.
Thanks for the info/input guys ...
Not to bug you...but, I would highly suggest you roll them skins until you are ready to use them.
Just don't roll them too tight and tape the narrow edges on both ends to keep from damaging the skins. Wrap in all the packing paper you have and store in a safe location, preferably in a large heavy duty box - ( got mine from U-Haul) I was able to put both the O/B skin roll nested into the I/B skin roll in one box (for both wings) and nested the bottom skins (for both wings) in a separate box. In the case of the CH-750 you will have six separate rolled skins you can easily handle by yourself when necessary to move around or lay on the wing skeleton when the time comes.
Great minds think alike ... I just got back from the local box company checking on just this idea. I went by there after visiting with the local Cargo Van Rental shop (Capp's Van Rental). The manager at the local office (US-75 North, my route to Mexico, MO), was fascinated with the idea of actually building airplanes. He's reserved their one Chevy Express 2500 Extended Wheelbase van for me. It is normally a 15-passenger van. He removes the seats for cargo giving a 12' 2" real, flat, usable cargo bed length! I checked with the guys at Zenith and it's a go ...
All great ideas guys ... but now I gotta go build a worktable rather than use the crate.
Thanks .... more to come I'm sure.