No matter what type of crane outrigger you are operating, having a set of stability pads is something that you cannot overlook and you should always have them with you. Not only do outrigger pads for your crane allow you to operate within safety guidelines, it can be the difference in doing damage to property or to your crane.
While there are usually footpads on the end of any outrigger that are designed by the manufacturer, in the majority of circumstances this is not enough to provide you with the stability and surface area you need to operate effectively on loose soil and unideal surface conditions. Here are a few reasons you need to have crane outrigger pads:
Operating On Soil Can Lead To Equipment Damage
If you are operating your crane it’s always important to look for what is considered to be "good" ground conditions, but what might seem like ground conditions suitable for using your standard footpads may turn out to be very risky. If you are operating your crane and the footpads punch into the ground, not only is your machinery no longer level, the ground below you will no longer be able to support the load of the crane. This can cause extensive damage and result in total crane failure.
Cranes Are Not Always Distributing Load Evenly
It’s also important to note that when your crane is in operation, it is not always stationary. As the arm moves from position to position, the load is distributed differently at all times. Even if you are able to set up your standard footpads initially without pressing into the ground, things can quickly change if all of your crane’s weight is shifted to one footpad.
With stability pads, there is a lot more surface area that the weight is distributed to. That means when load is distributed, even if it is all placed on one area, it is not concentrated on a very small section of soil. Instead, the load is distributed evenly to the crane outrigger pads so you do not sink into the ground at all.
It Is Not Only Soil That You Have To Worry About
One big mistake that new operators make is assuming that just because something looks stable means it actually is. While loose soil or wet conditions are clear signs that you will need outrigger pads to operate your crane, you should also be aware that outrigger pads are also recommended on hard surfaces.
If your outrigger crane is on a hard surface such as pavement or asphalt it may appear you will have no issues, but if that pavement is poured over a hollow surface (common when driveways are poured over a drainpipe), your outrigger can shatter the asphalt. Our synthetic outrigger pads keep the load distributed over a large surface area so this doesn’t happen.
The Type Of Crane Outrigger Pads You Use Matters
Remember, it is not just the act of using a crane pad that matters—the type of floats you use is important. While some operators attempt to use pressure treated wood as an outrigger pad, this can prove to be problematic. Even though it is pressure treated, wood will not stand up to extremely heavy loads. As a result, the wood will shatter which can be dangerous and even result in punching through to the ground.
Our synthetic pads are created to withstand even the highest loads. Not only does this make sure you are operating safely, it prevents unnecessary damage from being done to your crane when you are operating on any type of surface.