Crane Hot Line features FiberMax Crane Pad Case Study for 265-ton All-Terrain Crane

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Crane Hot Line publishes the FiberMax Crane Pad Case Study for 265-ton All-Terrain Crane

The Connelly Crane Rental team with their second largest all-terrain crane, a Grove GMK5165. Regarding the new 265-ton Liebherr and FiberMax crane pads, Joe Estep, Operations Manager, said the operato

It is important that cranes with outriggers be set up on some type of pads. when it comes to crane accessories, outrigger pads are fundamental.

The Customer’s Business
Connelly Crane Rental Corp., Detroit Mich., is a 75-year-old regional crane rental company serving Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Its fleet includes mobile and crawler cranes. For years the company has used timber mats and steel plates for ground support under their larger cranes.

“It is important that cranes with outriggers be set up on some type of pads,” said Joe Estep, Operations Manager. “When it comes to crane accessories, outrigger pads are fundamental.”

The Need for a Solution
When the company purchased a 265-ton Liebherr LTM 1220-5.2 all-terrain crane, Operations Manager Joe Estep, considered his options for ground support materials. For cranes the size of Connelly’s new Liebherr, previously the company had used timber mats with steel plate. However, the longevity and weight disadvantages to these materials led him to investigate DICA’s FiberMax crane pad options.

The Decision Process
Estep performed a cost-benefit analysis between FiberMax® crane pads and timber mats. Because of wood degradation caused by moisture, stress under load, and other environmental conditions, Estep has typically replaced timber mats every two to three years at a cost of $3000 to $4000 each set. In the last 15 years, he has replaced the timber mats used with the company’s larger 360-ton Liebherr at least seven times. “That’s $25,000 to $30,000 just on wood mats, not considering the labor to configure them,” he said.

“Over a 15 to 16 year span, I figured I would spend the same amount on replacing timber mats as I would on investing in the FiberMax crane pads. Plus I will save on labor and transportation costs since the FM8x5x10 Mega Duty crane pads only weigh 1,285 pounds each, about 60% less than what we had been using previously.”

The Solution
DICA proposed two solutions using the data supplied by Estep, which included the LTM 1220-5.1’s maximum outrigger forces of 265,264 pounds, outrigger float dimensions of 24 in. square, and maximum outrigger pressure of 460 psi.
“Based on the maximum outrigger reaction force for the crane, a 10” FiberMax pad was needed to provide the rigidity and strength necessary to support the potential 265,000 lb. force. To determine the outer dimensions of the pad (the pad area) we reviewed Connelly Crane’s typical operating environment. Connelly Crane selected the 8’x5’x10” crane pad. This ensured that their average Ground Bearing Capacity (GBC) would not exceed 5,000 psf when outrigger reaction forces stayed under 200,000 lbs.,” explained Joshua Ford, DICA Fitting Specialist.

The Results
The new crane outfitted with the FiberMax pads completed several jobs within the first month of delivery. “The operator and crew couldn't be happier,” said Estep, primarily because the FiberMax crane pads are easier to handle—they weigh half as much as wood and steel plate, which makes them easier to set-up. The crew also said they have confidence in their setup and like that the crane pads look professional.
Based on the performance and cost savings of the FiberMax product, “This was the first set of FiberMax crane pads we’ve purchased, but they won’t the last,” said Estep.

Benefits of FiberMax Crane Pads over Timber and Steel

  •     Engineered: Made of engineered materials, FiberMax will not rot, delaminate or degrade.
  •     Life Span: FiberMax has a 20+ year lifespan.
  •     Strength: FiberMax is as strong as steel. The Internal bi-directional I-beam design of FiberMax was originally developed for vehicle and pedestrian bridges. The engineered design and material properties allows FiberMax pads to distribute concentrated loads over large areas to effectively reduce ground bearing pressures.
  •     Transport: FiberMax weighs up to 70 percent less than steel, resulting in significant transportation savings. Users of FiberMax crane pads consistently report being able to eliminate 1 truck, trailer and employee per job.
  •     Labor: Equipped with specialized lifting hardware, up to four FiberMax pads can be lifted into place at once, reducing setup and tear-down time.
  •     Professional: Standard features include float placement target, hi-visibility non-slip surfaces, high-contrast steel frames, safety striping, and serial numbers with personalized rating plates.

About DICA
DICA, Guthrie Center, Iowa, has been specializing in building a better outrigger pad since 1988. By creating engineered solutions for improving equipment stability and ergonomic safety, DICA is leading the way in product innovation for outrigger pads and crane pads.
DICA outrigger pads and crane pads are used in 38 countries and on 6 continents around the world in construction, maintenance, electrical utility, oil and gas and tree care as well as local, state and federal government agencies. Learn more at

About Heartland Communications Group
Heartland Communications Group Inc., publishes a number of heavy equipment magazines, electronic newsletters, and websites for the North American market. Its print products—Crane Hot Line, Lift and Access, Contractors Hot Line, Attachment Connection, and Parts Connection—analyze new technologies, discuss industry trends, and review unique applications for buyers and owners of construction and rental equipment.

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