Does anyone know the best way to safely package up a driveshaft for shipping it? Same with a steering column? I sell alot on ebay, and sold a driveshaft and steering column. I have packaged up odd things in the past with no problems, but this is a headscratcher for me because of the heavy weight and length involved. I can get long boxes, but I have to put two of them together to get the correct length.
Any suggestions? Thy are going UPS as well.
Are they going together? Does the sterring column have the control levers and/or steering wheel with it?
For driveshaft if it is going alone, I'd just get a small box with newspaper or whatever packing you have around the length of it, even if you have to use two boxes together. However, at the ends cut a 2x4 and shape it to match the end of the box, then drill a hole in the center about an inch deep for the shaft to fit in. This will keep it from punching it out either end of the box (which is what happened to mine when I ordered a shortened one from Texas T parts). All that weight focused on such a small area made it just punch right through the box. The pieces of wood will also center it in the box and protect the threads on one end and the input square on the other.
cardboard tubes, they come in all different diameters and I have seen them over 12'.
They are going separate.
The steering column has the levers and everything else on the end sans the steering wheel.
The driveshaft has the Ujoint, pinion, tube and everything else as well. Good idea onthe 2x4. I will use that or a bit larger. I was trying to think on how to keep it from punching out the ends, and I knew styrofoam wouldnt work.
As for cardboard tubes, Bill, you gave me an idea. I am going to check out the carpet stores. I think they have heavy duty cardboard tubes in the carpet rolls.
Or a building supply store
they have concrete forming tubes in all sizes
I would get a piece of cardboard a little longer than the parts and wide enough to fold over a couple times. . Lay the part on the cardboard and lightly score the cardboard lengthwise beside the parts. Allow a little room for folding. Then fold over the cardboard at the scored line. Now you have a cardboard parts sandwich. Score the cardboard again and fold over once more. You are not trying to make a box, just a big "parts burrito" Wrap in several places with strapping tape, or duct tape, for strength. Tape the ends and seams shut or staple them shut, if you have a heavy stapler. You can add a little padding in places before folding if you think it needs it. You can also leave a tongue on each end of the cardboard to fold back into the cardboard sandwich to keep the items from sliding out the end. I ship like that all the time on items like you are talking about. Saves weight and size, and it sometimes makes a big difference on shipping price. I have also just wrapped the parts in padding and then totally wrapped them in saran wrap. Four or five layers of saran wrap is very strong. With e-bay shipping of our type of parts you sometimes have to get creative. Body shops and appliance stores are good places to get big pieces of cardboard.
Donnie has a great point--the packaging doesn't have to be a rectangular shape! This would be especially useful for the steering column.
I once had a pair of '16 Dodge Brothers front fenders mailed to me, and all the guy did was duct tape padding to all the sharp edges, and put the mailing label on them. Arrived safely, although I did have to go to the post office to pick up my "oversized packages". The PO folks had a bet going if I'd purchased car parts or an art object. The gal that helped me load them into my P/U was surprised that they WERE car parts--guess she lost the bet.
I had thought about the 'parts burrito' as Donnie put it. I have shipped some items that way in the past, but never heavy T parts before. I am glad to hear that that form of packing works as it defiantly does cut down on shipping costs. I will probably do that on the steering column and pad the ujoint end since it has all the ball pieces with it. Do you think the parts burrito (I really like that term!!) would work on the steering column? I am shipping UPS and they handle a bit rough. I was worried about them bending it.
I have bought drive shaft tubes and steering columns and they were shipped in cardboard wrapped in 2-3 layers. Nothing fancy. Just securely wrapped and the ends folded over and stapled. Using a box from a refrigerator or something similar would work OK.
I received both OK and they were shipped by UPS.
I once bought a really bad gas tank for a Fordson Tractor. It had hundreds of pin holes in the bottom of it. The guy just wrapped the end of it to have a place to put the label. The rest of the rusty piece was exposed. The problem was the fine powder type rust inside. The pin holes acted as a giant "powder duster" By the time the poor UPS guy got it to me the entire back of his truck was covered in "red dust" He was very glad to finally unload it ...
Drive shaft; paper board tube with wood plugs stapled in the ends or even the metal tube plugs that look like soda bottle caps only inverted. Inserted in the ends of the tube far enough to fold over end of the tube and taped with strapping tape.
make a box.
How about PVC pipe with end caps glued on?
Glue one end on then use self tapping screws and strapping tape on the other with a little extra packing at that end.
I thought about PVC but that can easily get cracked in shipping. Plus this driveshaft has the ball end on it with all the parts, (I'll be taking off the grease cups though) so I would have to find an 8" piece of PVC.
I looked for cardboard tubes that may work. Found the concrete ones that were mentioned before, but had hesitation on it for some reason. I would have to piece two together.
I really appreciate all the suggestions, and I am glad to hear a steering column can be shipped 'burrito' style.
What I have done in the past, is to find a long box or two and line them with 1" or larger styrofoam sheet cut to size. It is pretty rigid and light enough not to kill you on postage.