Crane & Rigging Hotline highlights FiberMax® Crane Mats in the product focus section of their July 2014 issue. See the full article here or read below. You can also see our web page for more information on how FiberMax crane pads deliver maximum strength, maximum rigidity and revolutionary transportation cost savings.
Lightweight Crane Mats Designed Specifically for High-Capacity Cranes or Low Soil-Bearing Environments
For the last 15 years, DICA has built its company on its SafetyTech® line of outrigger pads, which are made from engineered thermoplastic materials. In 2014, DICA introduced the FiberMax line of crane mats, which is a more rigid pad that distributes heavier loads over larger areas with less ground displacement in lower soil bearing conditions.
Made from continuous sheets of fiber-reinforced polymer materials and a unique interior construction, the FiberMax Mega Duty products are virtually indestructible. In addition, they are lighter weight than other similar size pads made of steel. “The weight of our 8 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 in. pad is 1,600 lbs,” said Kris Koberg, CEO of DICA Outrigger Pads. “To develop something of that size using steel I-beam construction, the matwould weigh 4,000 to5,000 lbs. When you multiply that by four pads, you are talking about a considerable amount of weight.” The lightweight FiberMax products provide a weight savings, which allows the user to put a lot more rigging equipment or counterweight on their trailers or to be able to reduce the number of trucks needed to transport equipment, which also cuts manpower, equipment, and fuel costs.
“The second consideration is corrosion,” Koberg said. Crane mats made of steel often have tubular steel or I-beams that are welded on the inside, and corrosion at the weld can be invisible to the naked eye. The interior welds can become weakened or break internally. Additionally, steel can yield under heavy loads, and when it is bent, the damage is irreparable. “Our material is chemical and water resistant, and it doesn’t corrode,” he added. It was originally developed to provide a lightweight, long-lasting alternative to heavy steel or wooden bridges, which can corrode or rot. Although there is steel on the outside of the FiberMax crane mat, Koberg said it does not provide support.
Product line defined
The driving force behind the FiberMax development was the need to support and fit larger equipment. “It’s primarily for customers who need a footprint larger than 25 square feet, or are working in an area that has a low soil-bearing capacity,” Koberg said. “In order to keep the equipment upright, they need to create a larger area to spread the load.”
The FiberMax line is made up of three different varieties. The Heavy Duty FiberMax outrigger pads have a crush strength in excess of 400,000 psi and an average flexural yield strength of 60,000 psi. Measuring 3/4-in. thick, Heavy Duty FiberMax pads are appropriate for a variety of outrigger-supported equipment requiring up to 16 sq. ft. of support.
The Super Duty crane pads also have a crush strength of more than 400,000 psi and an average yield strength of 60,000 psi. This line of pads provides support to mobile cranes on softer soil or poorly compacted ground. It also provides a rigid base for equipment needing 9 to 16 sq. ft. of area.
Both Heavy and Super Duty pads feature a non-slip wear surface and ergonomic TuffGrip handles. They are available in octagon or square shapes with rounded corners
The Mega Duty crane mat line, available in standard thicknesses from 4 to 10 in., can be fitted to every crane currently manufactured. The mats are designed for cranes and equipment that require large load distributing footprints due to high outrigger reaction forces or lower soil-bearing capacities.
Mega Duty mats feature a laminate surface, internal redundant I-Beam construction, floatplacement target and standard J-hooks lifting hardware; D-ring and stack and pin options are also available.
The majority of the FiberMax crane mats are custom built, depending on the size of the crane or needs of the job. Lead time is two to three weeks.