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If your business is conducted at loud temporary job sites like construction sites, you need a quiet place for employees to step inside and manage paperwork or emails.  


As you search for mobile solutions, you may come across two options: office trailers and modified shipping container ground-level offices also known as GLOs. But which of these mobile office solutions is best for your business? Keep reading to find out!  

What is the Difference?  


When you look at GLOs and office trailers, their differences become apparent.  


  • The exterior of office trailers is often paneled with vinyl, and they sit upon a chassis. OSHA-approved stairs are also a requirement.  
  • A ground-level office sits directly on the ground, sometimes without a foundation, and the framing and exterior are made from CORTEN steel.  



Learn More > What Durable Materials are Used in Shipping Containers?  



Are Office Trailers Considered “Ground-Level?” 


Despite being close to the ground, office trailers are not considered to be “ground level.” Instead, they sit on a frame with wheels and a towing hitch, which stands a few feet off the ground.  


Modified shipping container GLOs sit directly on the ground, and sometimes on a foundation depending on the site where they are placed.  

Differences in Construction  


Both ground-level offices and office trailers are constructed off-site and then brought to a job site as office spaces.  


Office trailers are usually framed with steel and aluminum, along with fiberglass, vinyl, plywood, aluminum, or other materials for the cladding. There is a fair amount of variability depending on manufacturers.   


Ground-level offices come in a variety of shapes, but modified shipping containers have become the gold standard for many job sites. This is due in part to their mobility and durability.  


The best part of using shipping containers for ground-level offices is that they are not only durable due to their steel construction, but they can be modified to include: 



Learn More > Tips for Setting Up Your Shipping Container Office  


Differences in Delivery  


Office trailers are permanently mounted to their chassis, so they are towable by a truck. Ground-level offices need to be placed on-site by a forklift, crane, or tilt bread truck.  


It is possible to place a ground-level office on a chassis, though once it is on wheels, it is no longer a ground-level office, but a container-based office trailer. Most businesses choose to keep their shipping container offices at ground level because the maintenance associated with the frame and tires adds to the cost and inconvenience.  


What Site Prep Is Needed?  


Office trailers and GLOs both require dry and level surfaces. Since an office trailer sits on a chassis, you will need to spend time blocking and leveling the frame. Some businesses choose to cover the wheels and the blocking to make the office look less like a trailer.  


Office trailers also have to have OSHA-compliant stairs from the doorway to the ground.  


True to their name, ground-level offices sit directly on the ground and do not need stairs. Depending on site conditions, businesses often place their mobile container offices without preparing a foundation.  

Benefits of Ground-Level-Offices  


Since ground-level offices are comparable in price and offer the same convenience as office trailers, any businesses that use office trailers should consider modified shipping container mobile offices due to their longevity and durability.   


Ground-level offices can be particularly beneficial for businesses such as: 


Businesses That are Mobile  


The lifespan of an office trailer is directly correlated to how often it is relocated and the quality of the road it travels. For example, if a construction company frequently tows an office trailer over unpaved and bumpy roads, costly issues could occur over time.  


Not so with a modified shipping container office! Due to their CORTEN steel construction, they are mobile-friendly even in the harshest conditions.  


Businesses that Need Enhanced Security  


A shipping container’s steel construction and barred windows make breaking in extremely difficult. Plus, when you install our DRP Locking System, the security of your container will be enhanced even more.  


Construction companies were among the first industries to use shipping container mobile offices because the added security prevented theft at their job sites.  


Learn More > Green Alternatives: Shipping Container Job Site Offices  

Go with a GLO  


We know shipping containers all look pretty similar on the outside—rectangular and made of corrugated steel—but at A American Container, we can modify shipping containers in several unique ways to make the ultimate ground-level office for your business!  


If you’re ready to design the perfect GLO, call A American Container today or fill out our no-hassle quote form online!  

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