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Encyclopedia > Crate
Look up crate in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
For other uses, see crate (disambiguation).

A crate is a large container, often made of wood, often used for the transportation of large, heavy or awkward items. A crate is a container that has a self supporting structure. For a container to be a crate it requires that all six panels be put in place to result in the rated strength of the container. Boxes and Crates are often confused with one-another; mostly when they are made of wood. Contrary to a crate, the strength of a wooden box is rated based on the weight it can carry before the cap (top, ends and sides) is installed. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Look up crate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Trunks A tree trunk as found at the Veluwe, The Netherlands Wood is a solid material derived from woody plants, notably trees but also shrubs. ...

The first documented writings in the US about shipping crates is in a 1930 handbook (Technical Bulletin No. 171) written by C. A. Plaskett for the US Department of Agriculture although his writing imply that crates were defined before that time. C. A. Plaskett was known for his extensive testing and defining of various components of transport packaging.

Although the definition of a wooden crate as compared to a wooden box is clear, construction of the two often result in a container that is not clearly a crate or a box. Both wooden crates and wooden boxes are constructed to contain unique items, the design of either a crate or box may result in the use of principles from both. In this case, the container typically will be defined by how the edges and corners of the container is constructed. If the sheathing (either plywood or lumber) can be removed, and a framed structure will remain standing, the container would likely be termed a crate. If removal of the sheathing resulted no way of fastening the lumber around the edges of the container, the container would likely be termed a wooden box.

Crates can be made of wood, plastic, metal or other materials. The term 'crate' often implies a large and/or strong container. Most plastic crates are smaller and are more commonly called a case or container. Metal is rarely used because of its weight. When metal is used, a crate is often constructed as an 'open crate' and may be termed a 'cage'. Although a crate may be made of any material, for these reasons, the term 'crate' used alone often implies one constructed of wood.

There are many variations of wooden crate designs. By far the most common are 'closed', 'open' and 'framed'. A Closed Crate is one that is completely or nearly completely enclosed with material such as plywood or lumber boards. When lumber is used, gaps are often left between the boards to allow for expansion. An Open Crate is one that (typically) uses lumber for sheathing. The sheathing is typically gapped by at various distances. There is no strict definition of an open crate as compared to a closed crate. Typically when the gap between boards is greater than the distance required for expansion, the crate would be considered an open crate. The gap between boards would typically not be greater than the width of the sheathing boards. When the gap is larger, the boards are often considered 'cleats' rather than sheathing thus rendering the crate unsheathed. An unsheathed crate is a frame crate. A Frame Crate is one that only contains a skeletal structure and no material is added for surface or pilferage protection. Typically an open crate will be constructed of 12 pieces of lumber, each along an outer edge of the content and more lumber placed diagonally to avoid distortion from torque.

When any type crate reaches a certain size, more boards may be added. These boards are often called Cleats. A cleat is used to provide support to a panel when that panel has reached a size that is may require added support based on the method of transportation. Cleats may be placed anywhere between the edges of a given panel. On crates, cleat placement is often determined by the width of the plywood used on plywood sheathed crates. On other crates, cleats are often evenly spaced as required to strengthen the panel. It's not uncommon that two cleats be added across the top panel of a crate and positioned as needed to provide the top of the crate added strength at the point that lifting chains or straps may place pressure on the container while lifting.

Cleats may have more specific names based on added benefit they provide. Some published standards only use those more descriptive terms and may never refer to these various lumber components as cleats. For example, lumber that is placed under the top of a wood container to add support for a large top are called Joists. Lumber that is built into the mid-section of the top of a wood container to strengthen the top are called Cleats. When the cleats are enlarged and constructed to support a large top, they may generically be termed Cleats or more specifically be termed Joists.

Transportation methods and storage conditions must always be considered when designing a crate. Every step of the transportation chain will result in different stresses from shock and vibration. Differences in pressure, temperature and humidity may not only adversely affect the content of the crate, but also will have an effect on the holding strength of the fasteners (mostly the nails and staples) in the crate.

Although the above definition most always stands true, there are many slightly altered or 'sub-definitions' used by and in various organizations, agencies and documents. This is the result of the small size of the industry and the fact that a single, finite definition of an item that is different every time it is made can be difficult to define.

IATA, the International Air Transport Association, for example, doesn't allow crates on airplanes because it defines a crate as an open transport container. Although a crate can be of the Open or Framed variety, having no sheathing, a Closed crate is not open and is equally as safe to ship in as a wooden box, which is allowed by IATA.

In general conversation, the term crate is often used to denote wooden boxes and crates simply to shorten the term however in commercial use; the misuse of the term could result in a container that is not suitable for its intended use.

Other uses of the word

  • A crate (pet) is a wire, plastic, or fabric enclosure for pets
  • The word "crate" is sometimes used as (somewhat derogatory) slang for an old or badly-performing vehicle.

  Results from FactBites:
What is Crate Training ? (2409 words)
A dog "crate" is the general term referring to a rectangular enclosure consisting of a top, a floor, 3 sides, and a door.
The crate should be long enough to allow the dog to lay down stretched out flat on his side, and tall enough to allow the dog to sit up without hitting his head.
A "crate routine" should be established immediately, closing the puppy in the crate at regular intervals for 1 to 2 hours during the day.
Crate Training (901 words)
"Crate training” is a phrase that is frequently mentioned by shelters, veterinarians, trainers and many dog training books, as a way to help raise a puppy or acclimate an older dog to a new home.
Crates are not to be used for punishment.
Crating is cruel if used incorrectly, used as punishment, or used excessively and the dog is neglected and ignored.
  More results at FactBites »



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