Specifying Outrigger Pads

When customers consider a switch to plastic outrigger pads they sometimes don’t know where to start in how to get their quotation. Often we’ll be told that the customer has a certain piece of equipment and to spec a pad size and thickness for them but this over-complicates things a little. Regarding the size of the pad the simplest way is to just get the plastic pads with the same dimensions as the stock pads that came with your rig. If you don’t have your stock pads we can help you out but we do need to know the area of your outrigger feet (length x width and are the feet square or round?).

Thickness is a little trickier to specify. UHMW plastic, commonly used for outrigger pads, is virtually unbreakable but having a pad that is too small and thin may lead it to bend around the outrigger foot as it is more flexible than wood and this may destabilize the rig. A general rule of thumb for most vehicles in the 20-50 ton range is to go with 1.5″ thick pads. 2″ thick is usually good for 50-70 ton but using 2″ pads for lighter equipment will result in less flex with the pad and a more stable lift. Above 70 ton 3″ thick pads are strongly recommended. To reiterate: the plastic will most likely not break on a thinner pad; however, the amount of flex may be undesirable. This is partially dependent on where the pads are being used – we have certain customers who only ever lift on concrete surfaces and thus can use a thinner pad because it has more support. Customers who lift on soggy soils may need thicker pads. As always, we refer to OSHA in that lifts should only ever be done on stable, level, ground.

For questions about our Redco Outrigger pads or to get some pricing please contact us for a quote.

Solution Spotlight: “Schwing Outrigger Kit”

One of our customers who is a major player in the American concrete pumping industry came to us for a custom solution. They had previously purchased our Redco outrigger pads for use with their pumping trucks but had a new application for us. What they needed was a Redco version of a “Schwing Outrigger Kit” which was three 13″ x 38″ x 2″ metal rectangles that fit into a frame. In addition, any handles on the pads could not conflict with the other pieces or the frame. A version of this kit with our plastic was desired due to the low-weight, high strength, no water absorption, and long lifespan of our Redco outrigger pads.

Our representative came up with a quick sketch which was approved by the customer and a purchase order was concluded. This highlights our capability to produce outrigger pads of virtually any size or configuration: from 12″ x 12″ to 60″ x 120″ in thicknesses of 1″, 1.5″, 2″ and 3″. These pads are superior to metal and wood in virtually every way. If you’re interested in a quote on this outrigger kit or if you would like a quote on another size please contact us today.

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Redco Outrigger Pads: Accept No Substitutes

As spring continues we move into the busiest time of the construction season. Along with other equipment purchases for concrete pumping trucks, mobile cranes, bucket lifts, or even RVs, Redco Outrigger pads need to be considered as an essential piece of safety equipment. The engineered polyethylene material we use is extremely strong and holds up much better to the ASTM D256 impact test than metal, wood, or any other solid plastic. All plastics are not created equal! Outrigger pads are sometimes sold using HDPE which is a lower grade of polyethylene. Our plastic is much stronger than HDPE, can take more load, more PSI, and will last longer in the field.

But how do the other main substitute materials for Redco outrigger pads stand up?:

Wood:

Wood is one of the most common outrigger pad materials. It is cheap and you can jury-rig wooden cribbing out of almost anything. Wood; however, is a very poor outrigger pad material. Wood is organic: it will rot, get moldy, soak up water, and decay. In fact, wood is considered so dangerous as an outrigger pad material that it’s outlawed in some European countries for use as outrigger pads. Redco outrigger pads will not have any of those drawbacks. In fact, the only “advantage” wood has over Redco outrigger pads is price, but what price do you put on preserving your equipment and safeguarding your crews?

Metal:

Metal is not user friendly, it’s very heavy and good luck getting it out once stuck in the mud! Metal will also rust and corrode. A Redco outrigger pad is 1/7th the weight of equivalent steel and doesn’t stick in soft soils. It will last longer, and perform better, than a metal outrigger pad.

For questions, or a quotation, on our Redco Outrigger Pads send us an RFQ today.

Economical Anti-Slip Outrigger Pads

Redco™ outrigger pads are a premium plastic product which has proven their value over many years of service in tough environments. But over time products become refined and improved, often due to further meet our customer’s requirements. In the past we had offered our LUNS premium anti-slip surface outrigger pads. LUNS is a military-grade, anti-slip surface that has a clean coal-slag surface cast alongside the plastic. This creates an anti-slip option where the surface is integral to the UHMW polyethylene and cannot be separated.

While the LUNS product is popular with medium and large customers, there are minimum orders on material that do not suit some of our customers. Therefore, all of our branches now have access to an in-house anti-slip option that is economical and effective as an alternative for LUNS for smaller orders. The way this anti-slip is done will vary by branch – some offer a machined grooved surface, others use a type of sanding technique. Both techniques are not affected by minimum order requirements.

For more information on our outrigger pads or to request a quote contact us today.

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Block of LUNS anti-slip material

 

 

Industrial Plastic: Keeping You Safe

Plastics have an increasingly popular reputation as being a quality material for solving a variety of maintenance issues, while helping companies become more profitable. But industrial plastics do more than decreasing downtime and improving efficiency: they help keep you and your employees safe and in a variety of industries. Here are some specific examples of plastic helping to keep crews safe:

Anti-Slip Materials:

Many high-quality plastic solutions exist to reduce or eliminate slip hazards. BRAXX UHMW polyethylene is a sheet material that comes “studded” with a raised surface of sand or clean coal slag material and is available in blue or safety yellow. Sheets completely surfaced with LUNS clean coal slag are also available. The sheets can be cut to fit a variety of applications such as stair or ramp treads, boat launches, decking, or station surfacing in transit applications. Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) stair treads are also an easy and economical way of providing an anti-slip surface to slippery stair surfaces, particularly wood or concrete.

FRP grating is also an excellent anti-slip solution in that it comes “standard” with a meniscus anti-slip surface. However, the panels are also commonly available with grit surfacing and can even be ordered specially with integrated grit.

Industries served: Sawmills, Construction, Large-Scale Manufacturing, Military, Transport, Food Processing, Amusement/Recreation

Safety Glass:

What is commonly called “safety glass” is often impact-resistant polycarbonate plastic. Polycarbonate takes an incredible amount of impact and can be procured in bullet-resistant grades. The plastic is available in scratch-resistant and UV-stable options for outdoor applications and also can be procured tinted in various colors, if required.

Industries served: Sawmills, mining, corrections, military, fabrication

Flame-Resistant Materials:

“Flame-retardant, anti-static” (FRAS) materials are critically important in underground mining applications. However, there are many flame-retardant plastic solutions available. These include phenolic grating and various industrial laminates.

Industries served: Mining, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Power Generation

Non-Conductive Materials:

Many plastics, especially the virgin grades, are excellent electrical insulators. Industrial laminates (phenolics) such as FR-4 in particular have proven their value for many years. Other plastics, such as FRP grating, are electrically non-conductive and often specified into applications for this advantage alone.

Industries served: Utilities, Power Generation, and anywhere electrical hazards are an issue

Stabilizing Equipment:

Redco outrigger pads offer numerous advantages over wooden or metal outrigger pads. They do not rot, rust or support mold growth. They do not easily stick in soft soils, are lightweight and also easy to clean.

Industries served: Mining, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Construction, Crane Service, Concrete Pumping, Tree Service

For more information on how plastics can solve safety issues in your workplace contact us today!

 

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Tuffkast vs. Nylon

Redco™ Tuffkast and Nylon have similar applications in the world of plastics such as bushings, bearings, sheaves, pulleys and even outrigger pads. Some customers get confused between the differences in the material and still others are wary of Tuffkast because, as a Redwood Plastics proprietary plastic, it is not nearly as well known as nylon. Nylon is a plastic developed around the time of the Second World War, whereas Tuffkast is a co-polymer (made of different plastic types). Tuffkast is much newer and is slowly penetrating the plastic industry. Many of Tuffkast’s properties counter potential weaknesses of nylon material.

There are three major advantages of Tuffkast over nylon:

1.) Nylon has some of the highest moisture absorption among industrial plastics at 4% on average (after 24 hours saturation). Tuffkast on the other hand will only absorb up to 0.5% moisture in the same time frame.

2.) Nylon does not handle shock or impact well, but this is a strength of Tuffkast.

3.) Nylon gets brittle in cold temperatures while Tuffkast has much better low temperature properties.

As with any comparison there are tradeoffs in selecting Tuffkast. Tuffkast is too “soft” for some applications meaning nylon would still be the optimal material choice. Tuffkast is also more expensive: about 30-50% more than nylon by weight. Regardless, as a company we see applications every week that are better served by Tuffkast. Be sure to consider it for your next project.

For questions on our Tuffkast, nylon or other plastic materials contact us today.

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Oversized Outrigger Pads

One advantage of being the manufacturer of our outrigger pads is the ability to produce custom sizes to suit our customers needs. Recently we manufactured some of our biggest pads ever: 48″ x 60″ x 3″ thick outrigger pads for a large port on the U.S. Pacific Coast. Redwood Plastics can also manufacture our pads to your specifications up to 48″ in width and can usually have an order out in a few days as long as the material is in stock.

Our outrigger pads do not absorb moisture, do not rot or rust and are UV-stabilized. We can manufacture them round, with handles, or no handles – we will work with you to produce the pads you need for your application. We also have anti-slip options available as many of our branches can provide an economy anti-slip surface on request, though we can also manufacture LUNS premium anti-slip outrigger pads made of a military-grade material.

Some pictures of those huge outrigger pads:

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For more information or pricing contact us.