- Poor ground conditions are a leading cause of crane and aerial equipment tip-overs. Source
- 50% of crane and aerial equipment incidents occur because the vehicle or outriggers were improperly set up. Source
- Back injuries due to heavy and improper lifting are a leading cause in workman’s compensation claims. Source
Outrigger and Crane Pad Safe Use and Handling Guidelines
Think Safety. Slow Down and Use Common Sense.
- No set of safety guidelines can cover all possible scenarios. When in doubt, slow down and stop the process. Think it through.
- Look for impediments, depressions, voids, trenches, excavations, slopes or signs of poor ground conditions that can lead to an unsafe situation. If found, correct the situation to a compacted and level surface or do not set up.
- Be aware of potential vehicle traffic that may conflict with your area of operation. Redirect traffic or adjust your outrigger pad set up as needed.
- By itself, no outrigger pad can provide a complete guarantee of safety. Common sense always needs to be used.
Always Follow the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s Guidelines
- Operators must use all of the original equipment manufacturer’s guidelines for their outrigger-enabled equipment when using outrigger pads.
- Failure to comply with all manufactures fitting and training guidelines can result in serious injuries or fatalities in addition to significant property and equipment damage.
Every time the outriggers are deployed, your outrigger pads or crane mats must be under them.
Assess Your Ground Conditions
Ultimately the ground is supporting everything. It must be taken into consideration in every application.
- Outrigger pads should always be set-up on sufficiently compacted, drained and level surfaces.
- All uneven ground should be leveled prior to the placement of any outrigger pad or crane pad.
If excessive deflection is occurring due to ground displacement, the ground is not suitable to provide the load bearing capacity that is needed to support the load. Excessive deflection limits proper load distribution, and can cause damage to outrigger pads or crane mats over time. The below methods can be used to improve both the set-up and ground conditions to reduce deflection.
- Add additional supporting materials that are more rigid and create a larger area.
- Add additional supporting materials that are stiffer to ensure rigidity, stability and safety. If additional supporting materials are needed, see “Stacked Outrigger Pad Setups” for how to properly place them.
- Compact the soil using appropriate soil compaction equipment such as a roller, plate soil compactor, rammer or similar equipment.
- Add rock, gravel or cement like materials to the soil to increase the ground bearing capacity.
- Blade the soil to remove insufficiently compacted surface layers and expose sufficiently compacted ground.
- Allow wet soils time to dry, drain needed areas and/or add rock, gravel or cement like materials as noted above.
- Verify the outrigger pads you are using have enough surface area to spread the outrigger load over the area required to be equal to or lesser than the ground bearing capacity.
How to inspect your outrigger pads and crane mats.
- Outrigger pad/floats must be smooth and free from debris in order to evenly spread the load and achieve solid contact with the outrigger pad or crane mat.
- Always inspect your outrigger pads and crane mats for material integrity prior to use. If they are compromised for any reason or you are unsure, do not use and call 800.610.3422.
- If using additional cribbing, dunnage or other supporting materials in conjunction with DICA outrigger pads or crane pads, always inspect them for cracking, warping, rotting or other signs of possible failure. If the additional materials show signs of compromised integrity, do not use.
Proper Placement of Outrigger Pad/Float
Proper pad/float placement is critical to effective load support and distribution.
- The crane outrigger float should be placed squarely in the center of an outrigger pad or crane mat. FiberMax crane pads have standard “foot placement targets” to assist with proper pad/float placement.
- Outrigger pads/floats placed outside target area (center of the pad/mat) will result in non-uniform ground bearing pressures.
Stacked Outrigger Pad Setups
Failure to comply with the below guidance may result in “point loading”. Point loading concentrates the load and increases pressure, rather than spreads the load and decreases pressure. Point loading increases the possibility of a tip-over and with it, serious injuries or fatalities in addition to significant property and equipment damage.
- When stacking outrigger pads, always stack a smaller outrigger pad on top of a larger underlying pad.
- Never stack a larger outrigger pad on top of smaller outrigger pads, cribbing, dunnage or other supporting materials.
- Always use materials of a known strength that are designed as support for heavy equipment.
Do Not Span Voids or Depressions
Do not under any circumstances use DICA outrigger pads or crane pads to set up over depressions or voids of any type. Supporting materials of any kind should always be set-up on compacted, drained and level surfaces. Monitor your outrigger pad setup, ground conditions, personnel and surroundings at all times for potential safety problems.
Safety Tech outrigger pads and FiberMax crane pads are an insulator that prevents the transmission of electrical current from the equipment to the ground. If electrical grounding is needed, see your original equipment manufacturer’s guidelines for proper grounding procedures and follow the listed instructions.
- Due to atmospheric conditions, static electricity can build up on equipment. However, static electricity is not created, nor does it build up within Safety Tech outrigger pads when they are in use.
- Electrical material properties of the engineered thermoplastic material used in Safety Tech outrigger pads includes the following: Surface resistivity of 10 to the 15th ohms/square (ASTM EOS/ESD S11.11) Dielectric strength short term of 2,300 volts/mil (ASTM D149).
The following are acceptable operating temperature ranges.
- Safety Tech Outrigger Pads: -40 to 180 Fahrenheit / -40 to 82.22 Celsius
- FiberMax Outrigger Pads: -60°F to 180°F / -51 to 82.22 Celsius
- FiberMax Mega Duty: -40°F to 160°F / -40 to 71 Celsius
Proper Maintenance and Stowing
Maintain DICA outrigger pads and crane mats using the below methods.
- Use low to medium pressure water to remove soil, mud, road chemicals, hydraulic fluid or other debris.
- Alternate the use of SafetyTech outrigger pad sides to distribute any potential surface wear and maximize shape recovery. Side alternation does not apply to FiberMax products.
- Secure all outrigger pads and crane pads prior to vehicle transit in a way that prevents their motion or loss.
- It is recommended Rough Terrain crane operators use the ZeroLift Pad Rack for safe pad transport and storage.
Safe Lifting and Handling
Use the following guidelines when handling DICA outrigger pads
- When lifting DICA outrigger pads users should use their legs as the primary source of lifting power.
- To safely roll round Safety Tech outrigger pads, begin by standing the pad on edge. Position yourself to the back or side of the pad. Carefully roll the pad to the intended location and follow the outrigger pad lowering instructions below.
- To safely place pads that are standing on edge into position, two methods may be used.
- Dropping: Verify all personnel not involved in lowering the outrigger pad are a safe distance away from where the pad will be placed. Have the personnel involved in the lowering stand on the side away from where it will be located. Once the area where the pad will be positioned is clear, allow the pad to fall away and drop into place.
- Lowering: Verify all personnel not involved in lowering the outrigger pad are a safe distance away from where the pad will be placed. In unison, slowly lower the pad by bending at the knees while maintaining a flat back until the pad lies flat.
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DICA is a family-owned and operated company that specializes in building high performance engineered outrigger pads, crane pads, cribbing blocks and magnetic sling protectors that are lightweight, easy to use, and long-lasting.
DICA products are proudly Made in the USA, ASME B30.5 compliant and used by operators on all seven continents and 50+ countries around the world.