Spider Innovates in Wind Farm Access

360° Blade Access Platform Spider is dedicated to creating cutting edge at-height access and safety solutions, and we take pride in our work. We have remained a leader in the suspended access field for nearly 70 years thanks to our consistent dedication to quality, workmanship, and safety. Our innovations in at-height access extend beyond scaffolding and hoists, and we offer custom engineered solutions for our customers’ specific needs. The 360° Blade Access Platform is one of those innovations, because it affords workers 360° access to a windmill blade for maintenance, repair, and construction. In late 2015, Spider was approached by Akuo Energy with a request to create a solution to access their wind turbines, and we delivered a custom engineered solution.

Akuo Energy
Akuo Energy is France’s leading independent producer of renewable energy with subsidies in ten countries, including Uruguay. While Uruguay’s temperamental climate is excellent for producing wind speeds to generate high amounts of energy, the climate also requires consistent blade maintenance during the operation stage. Akuo Energy developed their own inspection, repair, and preventive maintenance services specifically for the region, but needed help with the access aspect. They approached Spider, and after a thorough analysis, Spider’s 360° Blade Access Platform was chosen as the best solution for their needs. However, due to the large size of the wind turbines on Akuo Energy’s wind farm, the standard platforms were too small.

The Challenge
The 300-ft Norex N117, Vestas V112 and V117 wind turbines required 360° BAP capable of passing over the largest portions of the large blades. In addition, because Akuo Energy’s maintenance team required mobile equipment, it had to be transportable and easy to assemble and disassemble to minimize long-term costs and installation time. Due to the size of the blades, the platform required would be the largest Blade Access Platform created by Spider, and one of the largest in the world.

The Solution
Spider’s expert team of engineers designed a 500-lb capacity, 15-ft x 7-ft 360° BAP, complete with four 1,500-lb traction hoists. With custom dimensions, the platform was able to capture the lower blades and pass the max chords to offer complete access. The new BAP was designed to be modular, allowing maintenance technicians to quickly assemble, disassemble, and transport the entire platform using a standard trailer.
Spider also custom engineered a rigging solution to work with the BAP, and provided initial rigging services, a Competent Person Training course to enable the crew to operate the rigging safely, and on-site supervision for the first project to ensure safety and productivity. The entire project was designed, manufactured, and delivered in just four months, with the initial blade capture commencing in January 2016.

The Client
Akuo Energy is well on their way to using our Blade Access Platform in regular maintenance and repair of their wind turbines.

Superb technical support, good practice, common sense, and fast decision processes were paramount in achieving our goal of purchasing a wind turbine access solution,” said Ing. Andrea Piñon, Asset Manager – South America, “Throughout the entire process we had a great relationship with Spider and very good responses from their team.”

“They succeeded in designing our platform, one of the biggest in existence, and enabling access to 100% of the larger blades installed in Uruguay. Once the platform was delivered, Spider’s field service technician was here to personally train our platform operators to ensure good safety practices and the correct set up and operation of the platform.

“We have a project to acquire a second platform to provide additional services to the region, and plan to continue to work together with Spider very soon. We are very happy customers and recommend them fully!”

In addition to our regularly available standard access and safety equipment, the Spider Systems Group is available for handling custom and large scale projects. Contact us at 877-774-3370 to discuss your needs, or to request a custom engineered solution.

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SpiderLine™ Fall Protection Equipment in Action

SpiderLine - Ohare Automated Transit System Bridge
Spider’s patented SpiderLine™ Temporary Horizontal Lifeline (THLL) is a safe, reliable, and proven fall protection solution for ironworkers, as well as those working on bridges, building construction, rooftops, and other elevated surfaces. Spider is proud to offer superior features at an affordable price, which is why we are continuously working to improve the quality and standards of our SpiderLine™. The newest version offers improved standard features and base options to increase flexibility, safety, and productivity.

The four NEW base options allow easy installation and optimal flexibility with any project. These include bolt down, weld down flange, weld down with no flange, and a concrete rebar clamp. Features such as top of beam bolts and a wing nut to tighten the chain allow for easier installation.

The built in standard modular pass-through stanchions allow freedom of movement because they allow workers to move around without having to unhook, use Y-Lanyards, or order additional parts. This makes our system more affordable than competing THLL systems, and improves productivity.

Our simple but robust chain clamp for I-beam stanchions makes installation easy with no parts to lose. Plus, the wide clamp option accommodates beams of up to 36 in. with flanges of up to 3 3/8 in. thick.

The SpiderLine™ offers safety and convenience, with a 12.5° vertical angle to allow an open walkway for workers and a low profile chain to eliminate tripping hazards. Finally, our improved energy absorber shear pin prevents over tensioning and improves tension indication to reduce wear and tear on parts, allowing you to work in safety.

•    Easy to install
•    Improved energy absorber shear pin supports up to 400 lbs.
•    Max length – 300 ft
•    Minimum length – 20 ft
•    Max span between stanchions – 60 ft
•    Max workers per span – 2
•    Max workers per installation – 6
•    5/16 5×26 WS Wire Rope
•    Meets OSHA & CSA requirements

Spider’s fall protection equipment has been rigorously tested on hundreds of projects around the Americas, and has earned its reputation for safety, reliability, and productivity. Depending on our client, Spider works with you to provide safety materials and training in addition to our fall protection equipment.

O’Hare Automated Transit System Bridge, Chicago, Il – Rossi Contractors was hired to widen a span of the O’Hare Automated Transit System Bridge over I90 in Chicago, Iiinois. The job required complete fall protection for the contractors, who would be simultaneously installing track ties, running, power, and control rails due to the short time frame of the project. Spider offered on-site safety training as well as 600 feet of SpiderLine™, allowing Rossi Contractors to set up 300 feet on each side of the structure and to deploy as many as 40 workers at once to maximize productivity. The SpiderLine™ pass-through feature allowed workers to move freely around the space without disconnecting from the system or using Y-lanyards. Finally, Spider manufactured custom brackets to position independent systems away from the base to provide unobstructed space for the installation of track and components.

Spider offers a full line of fall protection equipment including anchorage, connective devices, full body harnesses, and our SpiderLine™. Contact us at 877-774-3370 to learn more, or to request a quote on your own fall protection solution.

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Fall Protection Safety Solutions from Spider Staging

fall protectionSafety is an integral part of working at height. That’s why Spider offers a complete line of fall protection safety solutions to complement our suspended scaffold equipment. From fall protection harnesses and lanyards to rope grabs and beam clamps, our safety equipment is thoroughly tested and certified to the most rigorous OSHA and ANSI standards. Like all Spider equipment, our safety products are available through our 24 locations throughout the Americas.

Three Components of a Personal Fall Arrest System
A quality personal fall arrest system (PFA) should include three components: the anchorage, connective devices, and bodywear. Spider offers a full range of solutions, including a selection of each of these crucial safety items, which you can use to create and customize your own PFASs.

Body wear, or a full body harness, is a crucial part of any PFAS and must be worn by any suspended access worker on a job site. A full body harness distributes force during a fall to reduce the chance of harness-induced injuries, suspends a worker in case of a fall, and provides support while waiting for rescue after an arrested fall.

It is crucial to select a full body harness for the work environment and the work to be performed in order for it to offer maximum protection. For that reason, Spider offers a number of harnesses in various configurations for different applications and needs.

Spider Harnesses
Spider provides a range of fully adjustable harnesses in sizes small to XXL and for waists ranging from 33 to 56 inches. The right harness should be as comfortable as regular clothing, so sizing and fit are crucial to safety. Each full body fall arrest harness features lightweight webbing, leg adjustments, a chest strap, back sliding D-ring for fall protection, and semi-universal sizing.

We’ve also worked in a number of design features to improve the safety and convenience of our harnesses.  For example, a lanyard loop eliminates lanyard slack and tripping hazards, the chest strap is sewn in to ensure that it stays in the proper position, and a sub-pelvic strap offers greater support and helps to keep the user upright while arresting a fall.  Also, our No-Slip SURE-GRIP web prevents loosening, with constant T-Fastening options, an adjustable mating buckle for fast hook-up, tongue buckle leg straps for fast adjustments, and a sliding back D ring. Comfort features include optional replaceable shoulder pads to distribute the weight of the tool bag to reduce fatigue, padded back support, and a padded D-ring.

•    Conforms and tested to OSHA 1926 Subpart M and ANSI Z359.1-2007
•    One of the most affordable harnesses on the market
•    Lightweight and designed for comfortable, all day wear
•    Adjustable pads for comfort and weight distribution
•    2-color design makes donning the harness easier
•    1 Year Workmanship/Defect Warranty
•    Max Worker Rating 310 lbs/140.6 kg
•    Hardware – 4130 Steel/ Minimum 5,000 lbs. of tensile strength
•    Heavy duty nylon construction

Connecting Devices & Anchorage Connections
Spider provides a wide selection of connecting devices and anchorage connectors in a variety of models and configurations to complement our harnesses. Spider’s connectors are capable of supporting up to 5,000 lbs (2,268 kgs) of force and should be chosen according to the work environment.

Contact us at 877-774-3370 to learn more, or to request a quote on your own fall protection solution. We offer trained technicians through each of our 24 branches in the Americas, provide custom engineered solutions backed by local safety expertise, and we’re happy to help.

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Spider Partners with Next Generation Scaffold

Shaft (3)Spider has been specializing in top of the line hoists and scaffolding equipment for nearly seven generations, and we are now offering a new and unique vertical and horizontal access solution with significant savings to our customers.  By partnering with Next Generation Scaffold Services, Spider now offers SafeDeck, a game-changing scaffolding access solution for a range of industrial and commercial applications including power plants, oil refineries, nuclear facilities, bridges, atriums, skylights, shafts, stacks, and more.

SafeDeck
SafeDeck scaffolds offer significant time and labor savings over traditional methods, including up to a 70% reduction in materials for installation and dismantling, up to a 50% reduction of scaffold-related man hours during critical outages, and a reduction in exposure to leading edge falls.

The unique versatility of the SafeDeck scaffold system allows you to work with both horizontal and vertical platforms, allowing for more versatility in creating custom solutions, and it supports large areas and high load capacities.  SafeDeck also allows erectors to safely swing trusses with OSHA-compliant handrails, which is a key improvement over current erection and support methods.

SafeDeck in Action  
Spider has used NextGen scaffolds to offer versatile solutions for our clients. One example includes working with the El Dorado County Transportation bridge crew to provide suspended access to the old Mosquito Bridge over the American River in Placerville, California. The wooden bridge is 75 years old, nine feet across, 140 feet long, and is crossed by 1,300 vehicles daily.

Spider Staging on Mosquito Bridge

Challenges – The El Dorado County Transportation was called on to replace the main bridge support beams. Each wooden beam weighs 500-800 lbs and is up to 18 feet in length.  With narrow roadways and rugged terrain, the options for scaffolding types and installation were limited.

Solution – Spider used a 20 x 24 foot NextGen floating platform to allow two workers enough space to dismantle and remove an old beam and replace it with a new one. Due to the narrow roadways and rugged terrain, the scaffold was constructed offsite and rigged in place with a crane. With four double lined SC1000 air hoists, the entire platform had a capacity of 8,000 lbs – more than enough for two workers, equipment, and material. Finally, Spider provided two material hoist line kits with SC1000 traction hoists to transport the beams. Spider’s on-site training crew ensured that the crew was able to safely and efficiently operate and reposition the platform for the duration of the work.

Contact Spider at 877-774-3370 for more information about Next Generation’s scaffold solutions, or to request a quote. We offer 24 local branches across the Americas with custom engineered solutions that benefit from local safety expertise, and our trained technicians are happy to help.

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Operating Spider Hoists in Cold Weather Conditions

Winter months bring cold and potentially extreme weather, which affects everyone working outside. However, with an average 1-degree temperature drop for every 100 feet of altitude, plus added wind chill, working at height in cold weather can be much more hazardous than working in the same weather on the ground. Considering potentially slippery surfaces, exposure to the elements, increased wind speeds, and ice or snow build up, it is crucial for workers at height to take extra safety precautions when working in cold weather conditions. But while OSHA has extreme wind regulations, there are no such standards for working in cold weather, so extra safety precautions are often overlooked.

For example, in cold weather, it is important to bundle up and wear warmer, protective clothing to prevent hypothermia, frostbite, or cold-related stiffness while on the platform. Because it’s colder on suspended platforms, where wind and the elements are more of a concern, this is doubly important when working at height.

However, even bundling up has its own challenges. Clothing can be heavy and restrictive enough to cause fatigue, and might be bulky enough to create issues with a safety harness. In a very cold environment, you might be tempted to put on as many layers as possible, which can greatly restrict mobility. While investing in lightweight thermal clothing is always a good idea for working on scaffolds in cold weather, it’s also important to take steps to ensure the safety of someone wearing 3 to 5 layers of bulky clothing.

Tips for working in heavy winter clothing:
• Adjust harnesses to fit the new bulky clothing.
• Weigh the clothing and add the new weight to the total platform weight.
• Use shorter shifts as heavy or restrictive clothing causes fatigue.

Ice and Snow
You should never work in any form of precipitation, including snow. It’s also important not to work in icy conditions. Platforms should be de iced and completely dry before they go up, and if ice forms on the platform in air, workers should come down. Built up ice is slippery and heavy, which can cause a variety of problems, including adding significant weight to the platform. Ice can also get into ropes, pulleys, gears, and machinery, so it is important to inspect the rigging for ice and snow before using it.

Instruct Workers on Hypothermia
Working in pairs is always a good idea, especially in cold temperatures. A partner can recognize the signs of hypothermia, spot ice or other hazards, and help if you become incapacitated from the cold.

The signs of hypothermia include:
• Exhaustion or reluctance to keep moving
• Slurred speech
• Disturbed vision
• Collapse

In case of hypothermia, partners can follow these steps.
1. Prevent further heat loss. Get off the platform, change into dry clothing if possible, and bundle in additional clothing or blankets.
2. If the person is conscious, give them warm (not hot) water (no caffeinated drinks).
3. Get help or call emergency services and proceed based on their instructions.

Contact your local Spider branch if you have any questions about operating your Spider hoist in cold weather.

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Spider Case Study: Power Plant Maintenance

Spider Case Study: Power Plant Maintenance Spider is an expert in rigging, hoists, and suspended scaffold equipment, and we’ve been supplying at-height contractors for nearly 70 years. One of our services is custom solutions, and we work with our clients to create equipment and platforms designed around the specific needs of challenging jobsites.

Cannon Sline Inc. came to us in need of a custom solution after being hired to perform maintenance on the AEP Cardinal Station Unit 3 Cooling Tower in Brilliant, Ohio. The project featured multiple challenges, but Spider was able to create a solution so that the company could access the tower and perform maintenance as needed.

Project Scope
Cannon Sline Inc. needed to inspect, repair, and coat the entire interior surface of a cooling tower at the AEP Cardinal Station. The tower was 424 feet (129.3 m) high and featured a 200 foot (61 m) diameter, making the size a challenge of its own.

Challenges
In addition to the large size of the tower, the jobsite presented a number of unique challenges requiring custom solutions:
• The sloped surface did not work with existing parapet clamps.
• A platform could not follow the sloped wall. A custom design with a change of direction sheave was needed.
• The change of direction sheave meant that a winch system and anchor plan were necessary.
• Existing lightning protection meant a standard topside rigging system would not work.
• The entire system had to be easy to use and easy to relocate to keep to the 11-week outage schedule.

Spider’s Solution
Spider reviewed Cannon Sline’s custom requirements and designed a solution for their needs. We designed and built a custom parapet clamp for the sloped parapet wall. We also created a platform for the sloped wall utilizing a primary and secondary wire rope system running the length of the platform. A custom change of direction sheave system allowed the platform to follow the sloped contour of the tower walls, facilitating access to the underside of the slope. We also designed custom devices to be integrated into standard rental equipment, reducing the overall cost of the project. Finally, everything was designed, manufactured, and delivered onsite in just 5 weeks to meet the project’s tight deadline.

With more than 70 years of experience in putting people to work safely at height, Spider knows rigging. Plus, with 24 operation centers in the Americas, and over 200 trained professionals on our staff, we’re available wherever you are, so we can offer fast, responsive, and hands-on support. Contact us at 877-774-3370 to learn more, or send us your requirements for a custom solution. Spider is happy to help.

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Spider Elevator Capabilities

elevator hoist capabilitiesIf you are installing, maintaining, or modernizing your elevator, Spider has a full range of tools and lifting equipment, as well as custom solutions designed for your needs, to handle every elevator suspension job. With nearly seven decades of experience putting people to work at height, we have the tried and true experience to make sure your job goes smoothly and safely and stays within budget. Spider’s dedication to quality, operational excellence, and premium technical support ensure that you get the quality tools and hoists you need to finish the job safely and on time. Plus, we’re available nationwide, so you get the support you need, no matter where you are.

Spider’s Elevator Solutions
UL-Listed Hoists, ranging from 220-2,200 lb capacity:
• Astro E2200
• SC1000 and SC1500
• UpPro P1010

JoBox – Our standard JoBox includes all of your elevator access equipment plus nearly 50 tools in one convenient kit.

Custom Solutions - Discuss your project with your local Spider branch, and we will work on a customized solution to meet your requirements.

Nationwide Service and Support
With 24 branches in the Americas, Spider is capable of offering rapid support, delivery, and service wherever you are so you can meet project deadlines and maximize worker uptime. This also ensures national accounts receive consistent, reliable products and services regardless of their location. Additionally, with our 150 factory trained technicians and 24/7 customer support, we can quickly provide answers to get you back to your project quickly.

Contact Spider at 877-774-3370 for a quote or to discuss your elevator access needs.

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The Importance of Hoist Service

Improving the safety and longevity of your hoist is an important consideration, not only for meeting OSHA requirements and safety standards, but also for protecting your investment in the hoist. Preventive maintenance and routinely scheduled inspections should be sufficient to keep your hoist safe for normal use, but we also require regular teardown and repair to ensure the continued reliability of the equipment.

OSHA 1910.28(I)(9)
OSHA standard 1910.28 mandates safety requirements for working with scaffolding, and the (I)(9) requirement states that it is mandatory to use equipment in line with the manufacturer’s maintenance and usage instructions.

Which Spider Hoists Require Annual Servicing? *
While you can find the operating and servicing instructions in the operator’s manual, the following includes a general overview of which Spider hoists require annual teardown and rebuild.
• ST-17
• ST-27
• SC30
• ST-18
• ST-180
• SC40
• ST-19
• LSR1
• Zmac/1000®
• ST-26

Additionally, Spider hoist models SC1000 and SC1500 require a teardown and rebuild every 3 years, or every 105 operating hours, whichever comes first.

*Special Considerations
Keep in mind that sometimes hoists require more frequent servicing. For example, if your hoist is used more frequently than the guidelines indicated in the operator’s manual or if it is used in corrosive or debris-filled environments, you should be sure to adjust your service appointments accordingly to ensure optimal operation and safety. Familiarize yourself with the service instructions in your operator’s manuals, and when in doubt, contact your local Spider branch for assistance.

Hoist Before Service

Hoist Before Service

hoist after servie

Hoist After Service

Servicing Your Spider Hoist
In order to ensure service that meets OSHA standards as well as Spider’s own strict quality requirements, only a Spider trained technician should service your hoist.

Contact your Spider team at 877-774-3370 to find out when your hoists were last serviced, or to schedule a service appointment.

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Basic Rigging Precautions

Basic Rigging PrecautionsPrecautions can help create a safer environment when working at height. Safety measures protect workers, equipment, and pedestrians and improve your chances of reducing accidents. In addition to having a competent person onsite to maintain safety standards, consider the following basic rigging precautions for added safety at elevated jobsites.

Inspecting and Planning

  • Create a plan in advance and review it with workers to ensure that everyone understands the plan and their part in it.
  • Confirm that every piece of equipment is sufficiently rated for the equipment it will carry.
  • Plan to protect building finishes from equipment. This includes elevator shafts, roof surfaces, flashing, and interior passageways.
  • Inspect the buildings before attaching rigging to confirm that the structure can support the scaffold weight with a 4:1 safety factor.
  • The distance between suspension points and hoist motors on the rigging should be exactly the same. If the distance is not the same, serious accidents can occur. Side loads can also cause rigging device failure.

For Workers

  • Wear hardhats at all times.
  • Stay alert for potential hazards, above, around, and underfoot. Pay special attention to electrical lines and mechanical equipment.
  • Observe equipment at all times while working. If something appears questionable, inspect it and correct any problems before proceeding.

Safety Tips

  • Always put up warning signs, barricades, or sidewalk closures. Many people do not notice work going on over their heads, so scaffold riggers need to be diligent in protecting passersby below.
  • Assemble as many components as possible on the ground or near the back or center of the roof rather than near the edge. Tie off when working within 6′ of edges without a protective railing. OSHA standards require a 42 +/- 3″ top rail, mid rail, and toe board or equivalent.
  • Keep cords, lines, and cables organized at all times. Consider creating areas where cords and cables belong to improve safety, and avoid walking on or near them to avoid damage.
  • Know the weight of every item and person on the scaffold at all times, and calculate loads to make sure the rigging is never overloaded.
  • Upon completion of rigging, always follow the initial inspection procedures before a scaffold is suspended.

Rigging Precaution Checklist
Download our rigging checklist and have an on-site competent person complete all steps prior to anyone operating the equipment and/or before leaving the jobsite.

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Standard Weights for Items on Suspended Platforms

Weight Guidelines Suspended PlatformsProperly calculating the total weight of a suspended platform, its workers, and all the materials on board is essential to prevent overloading. Overloaded equipment jeopardizes the performance and therefore the safety of its crew. While it’s good practice to weigh all items for the most accurate calculations, the following guidelines provide the average or general weights for many common items. When in doubt, check manufacturer specifications, call your local Spider branch, or weigh the items yourself.

Basic Scaffold Weights

  • Platforms and Work Cages – 55-3,800 lbs. (25-1,727 kg) (check manufacturer specifications, or ask your Spider rep)
  • Hoists – 72-250 lbs. (34-114 kg)
  • External overspeed brake bolt-on – 10-18 lbs (5-8 kg)
  • Stirrups – 30-150 lbs. (14-68 kg)
  • Corner Sections – 130 lbs. (59 kg)
  • Face Rollers – 5-25 lbs. (2-11 kg)

Accessory and Wire Rope Weights

  • Wire Rope – 0.17-0.19 lbs./ft (0.07-0.086 kg)
  • Power Cords – 0.35 lbs./ft for 10/3 cord and 0.38 lbs./ft for 10/4 cord
  • Wire rope weights – 50 lbs. (22.67 kg)
  • Wire Winder – 40-80 lbs. (18-36 kg)
  • Yoke – 30 lbs. (14 kg)
  • Remote Control/Pendant – 1 lb. (0.5 kg)
  • Transformer – 75 lbs. (34 kg)
  • Air Hose – 0.41 lbs./ft (0.19 kg)

Worker Weights

  • Workers – each – 250 lbs. (114 kg)
  • Fall protection – for each worker – 20 lbs. (9 kg)

Weights of Items Typically Added to a Platform

  • 5 gallons of water – 40 lbs. (18 kg)
  • 5 gallons of paint – 45 lbs. (20 kg)
  • 5 gallon bucket of debris/concrete – 100 lbs. (45 kg)
  • 5 gallon bucket of plaster/stucco – 75 lbs. (34 kg)
  • Sandblast hose or gunnite/concrete pumping hose (empty and per 100 feet) – 50-1,000 lbs. (19-455 kg)
  • Aluminum Pipe (1-¼” Schedule 40) – 0.8 lbs./ft (0.36 kg)
  • Aluminum Sheet (1/8” x 4″) – 0.6 lbs./ft (0.27 kg)
  • Steel Pipe (1-¼” Schedule 40) – 2.3 lbs./ft (1.04 kg)
  • Steel Sheet (1/8” x 4″) – 1.7 lbs./ft (0.77 kg)
  • Concrete Block (8 x 8 x 16) – +/- 40 lbs. (18 kg)
  • Wet Concrete – 20 lbs./gallon (9.07 kg)
  • 2 x 4 pine stud – 1.5 lbs./ft (0.68 kg)

Don’t forget to include other construction materials such as caulk, cleaning solutions, replacement parts, tools, independent lines, tarps, signs, overhead protection, helmets, fire extinguishers, and anything else you take on the platform. All of these weights should be taken into consideration to avoid overloading the equipment and improve the safety of your crew.

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