If you operate a crane, chances are you know the risks involved. Between 1997 and 2006, there were around 80 deaths related to crane labor, and that doesn’t even include the injuries. A good majority of these deaths can be attributed to cutting corners when dealing with this powerful piece of machinery that should be respected. For instance, when operating a crane, you need crane pads or a crane mat of some kind. Crane outrigger pads ensure that the crane remains stable and gets the most momentum.
1. What you should consider when looking for crane outrigger pads.
In general, three crucial things must be weighed when choosing between crane outrigger pads. First, you must consider the conditions of the ground the crane will be operating on. If the ground is especially unstable, like clay or sand, then good crane outrigger pads are more important than ever to keep the crane stable. The second thing one must consider is the size of the outrigger foot, as long feet can contribute to desatabilization. Finally, the weight of the load your crane is set to bare is important to know down to the pound to prevent mishap or injury.
2. The best materials for crane outrigger pads.
This largely depends on what the crane will be used for. One popular choice has been wood, but we don’t like wood at all. For one, it’s not as strong as your other options, and for another, wood has a tendency to break or warp when exposed to heavy weight and/or the elements. For something as serious as crane work, you’ll want something stronger. Another popular and definitely strong choice is steel. Although it’s unlikely that steel will break on you, it’s prohibitively heavy and very expensive. Recently, some manufacturers have been exploring plastic options for crane outrigger pads, and their efforts have been met with a lot of success. They’ve managed to engineer a kind of plastic that is seven times lighter than steel, but just as strong.
3. How much you should pay for the pads.
Outrigger pads will run you anywhere from $70 to $300 dollars. The price you’ll pay will have a lot to do with the maxiumum load baring potential and the material you choose. Just remember, sometimes it’s worth paying the extra few dollars for the peace of mind good crane pads will bring.