Mike Larson at Crane Hotline put together an excellent article in regards to outrigger pads receiving increasing support from crane industry organizations. We’re honored to have been a contributor along with Bill Steiner of Bigfoot Construction Equipment Inc., Bob Lifton of Lifton’s Inc. and Scott Reeve of Composite Advantage. Look for it in the March issue of Crane Hotline or see the following link.
Some of the highlights we noted are:
- Using outrigger pads to spread the load under a mobile crane can help make equipment more stable, thereby reducing the possibility of tip over. (p.16)
- If there are no regulations, standards, or guidelines for using outrigger pads, how do you know when you need them? (p.16)
- The need for outrigger pads to spread the load is based on the firmness of the surface where the machine is sitting. (p. 16)
- Steiner says that, in general, wood pads cost less to buy, but thermoplastic pads tend to be lighter and last longer. He notes that no matter what type of material an outrigger pad is made of, it cannot make up for really poor ground conditions. “The pad may hold, but if the ground doesn’t, there will likely be a problem,” Steiner says. “Knowing the ground conditions is vital.” (p.16)
- Selecting the proper outrigger pad can present a challenge. Neither OSHA or ANSI specifies that outrigger pads need to be used, let alone provides guidelines for how to size them. Perhaps that’s because in the decision so many variables must be considered, including ground conditions, size of the outrigger foot, maximum load imposed by the machine, and even strength and stiffness of the outrigger pad itself. (p. 18)
- DICA is able to calculate pad performance in different ground conditions, based on the size of a customer’s outrigger foot and the amount of load being exerted on the pad. According to DICA, this approach is extremely helpful in determining the right size outrigger pads for each customer, and represents a “significant step beyond relying primarily on traditional load capacity ratings or a three-times-the-area rule.” (p.18)
- Experts agree that one thing a crane operator should never do is grab materials found at a job site to use as makeshift pads. “Using stuff found at a jobsite is no longer acceptable”, says Bigfoot’s Steiner. Reeves from Composite Advantage, agrees. “If you use wood or other material you find at a job site, you don’t know whether it’s old, damaged, waterlogged or rotten,” he says. “It’s not something you want to trust.”(p.18)
- The NCCCO test addresses the advantages of using outrigger pads, how to make sure supporting surfaces are level, how to deal with uneven ground, and things to consider when using outrigger pads. (p.19)
Read the full article in the March 2013 edition of Crane & Rigging Hotline –>
DICA, Guthrie Center, Iowa, has been specializing in building a better outrigger pad since 1988. By creating engineered solutions for improving equipment stability and ergonomic safety, DICA has led the way in product innovation that outperforms wood and steel alternatives.
DICA outrigger pads, crane pads, and crane mats are used in a wide number of markets around the world, including construction, electrical utility, oil and gas and tree care as well as local, state and federal government agencies.