IPAF launches new 'Ready Reckoner' conversion tool
A new interactive conversion tool launched by IPAF, helps operators to calculate the correct spreader plate sizes for powered access equipment. This tool is part of the IPAF 'Spread the load' campaign, which states that; spreader plates should always be used with boom-type mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), when fully supported on their outriggers.
These spreader plates should be used with all other MEWPs that have outriggers, unless these are proven unnecessary by a risk assessment. The 'Spread the Load!' campaign sets out clear and practical guidance on when and how spreader plates should be used, to avoid incorrect set-up, (as a result of inadequate ground assessment, poor selection of spreader plates and incorrect positioning of outriggers), which can lead to a MEWP overturning.
This 'Ready Reckoner' conversion tool allows operators to quickly see the weights and loadings that need to be considered when using spreader plates. Through putting in the weights of machines and identifying the different soil types, operators are then able to identify the appropriate size and specification of spreader plates needed. The spreader plates should have the necessary size, stiffness and strength to spread the load over the required area.
“A significant problem is that manufacturers currently use a variety of units for measuring relative bearing pressures,” said IPAF technical officer Chris Wraith.
“The new conversion tool makes it clear and simple for operators looking for ready guidance. The campaign message is straightforward: Always do a risk assessment and check ground conditions. Know the weight of machines and be aware of machine point loadings and ground load-bearing capacities.”