Spreader plate and crane mat specialist

Outriggerpads creates new spreader plate calculator for IPAF

Published:  23 February, 2018

Spreader plate and crane mat specialist Outriggerpads has created a new calculator to help users accurately choose the right pads for each job.

The spreader plate calculator was developed for the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and takes into account all the variable factors, such as the maximum allowable ground pressure and the machine load per outrigger or wheel. It also helps operators identify where to find the relevant data on the access equipment itself.

Charles Grizzle, business development manager for Outriggerpads, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with IPAF to promote the safe use of spreader plates.

‘Our goal was to develop a calculator that is intuitive and straightforward, making it as easy as possible to identify the best size and type of spreader plate for each job.’

Replacing the IPAF Ready Reckoner, the new calculator aims to provide more accurate results and be more user-friendly. It will be available as an app from the IPAF website as part of its Spread the load! safety campaign.

Tim Whiteman, CEO of IPAF, said: ‘Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) with outriggers are designed to be very safe and stable.

‘However, an inadequate ground assessment or poor choice of spreader plates can cause instability and even lead to a machine overturning. This new calculator will help operators to choose the optimum outrigger pads, further improving MEWP safety.’

Spread the load! calls for the proper assessment of ground conditions and the correct use of stabilisers, outriggers and spreader plates.

Outriggerpads is the UK’s leading supplier of high-performance polyethylene spreader plates, outrigger pads and mats, with vertical load bearing capacities from 5 to 350 tonnes. These products are widely used by operators of cranes, powered access platforms and other mobile plant such as concrete pumps, as well as exhibition trailers. They spread the ground pressure of a machine’s stabilisers or outriggers on any terrain where load bearing capacity is an issue.

The company has witnessed a marked increase in export orders during recent months – particularly to the oil and gas sector.

‘There has been a clear surge in enquiries and orders from offshore and on-shore energy companies,’ added Charles.

‘This has been across the board; we have recently shipped spreader plates to companies in the USA, Africa and Azerbaijan.

‘In the UK, we are also experiencing growing demand from major construction contractors, who increasingly appear to be pushing for the use of our type of spreader plates over metal or wooden pads.’

The company’s heavy-duty UHMW polyethylene spreader plates and ground mats hold their shape under extreme vertical pressure and can adapt to the contours of the terrain. They are also a lighter weight than many equivalent pads made of metal or wood and are much less susceptible to water damage, corrosion and splintering.

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