Spider Scaffolding – Modular Platforms

Spider-modular-platformSpider offers a diverse range of modular platforms and accessories for rent and purchase to allow contractors and facility owners to meet individual jobsite requirements. With 25 full service rental and purchase locations across the Americas, we can deliver your swing stage rentals wherever you are. And our local, certified technicians provide optimal expertise to ensure your swing stages operate flawlessly in your unique climate and exceed local safety standards. When it comes to suspended scaffolding rental, no one does it better than Spider.

Spider Modular Platforms
Spider modular platforms are designed for speed and ease of set-up, versatile uses, high load capacities and long working spans. Built to the durability standard we hold for our own rental fleet, Spider Mod is American-made and meets the expectations of the most demanding professional contractors.

Spider Mod features 3, 5, 7, and 10 ft sections configurable into a maximum of 80 ft (supported by only two hoists) – the longest length available on the market. Aluminum sections keep the platform lightweight while steel connectors and end adapter stirrups ensure long-term durability. And wood, dimple, or grating deck options guarantee you’ll have the proper platform surface for your specific application.

Each platform is rated for 1,000 lbs at a 40 ft configuration or 500 lb at an 80 foot configuration. For a guide to allowable single cantilever load and length configurations, view our chart and as always, if you need assistance with your mod platform configurations, contact your Spider representative.

Modular Platform Specifications
table capture blog

Modular Platform Accessories
Spider’s modular platforms can be equipped with various accessories, including corner adapters, stirrup assemblies, wall rollers, and more, making it easy for you to customize a platform that fits your unique project needs.

Contact Spider at 877-774-3370 to rent or purchase our modular platforms and accessories.

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Spider is back at the U.S. Capitol

2017 Inauguration of Donald Trump

2017 Inauguration of Donald Trump

As our country prepares for the inauguration of our 45th president, Spider once again provided the suspended powered access solution for the installation of the American flags on the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

Using cornice hooks, outrigger beams and counterweights to clear the sandstone cornice of the building, Spider rigged a 40-ft swing stage equipped with Spider traction hoists.  With three separate drops, customer Architect of the Capitol was able to precisely position and install the massive flags that serve as the backdrop for the inauguration stage.

Spider is not a stranger to this project.  In 2009, we provided similar equipment, services and also training in preparation for President Obama’s inauguration ceremony.  Spider delivery and rigging personnel passed FBI background checks to access the site and performed rigorous onsite equipment inspections to ensure safety and security on this sensitive project.  The customer’s satisfaction with Spider’s equipment and expertise was evident as they immediately turned to us for this year’s project.

2009 Inauguration of Barack Obama

2009 Inauguration of Barack Obama

With headquarters in Seattle, 23 operation centers around the country and innovative products made in the U.S., Spider is proud to be a part of important events in our country’s history.

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How to Correctly Fit and Don a Harness

Correctly Fitting a Harness Falls are the leading cause of fatalities and injuries investigated by OSHA, and taking the time to properly fit and don a harness before accessing a jobsite can save lives. In addition to complying with OSHA standards, a quality harness can ensure that the worker is prepared in case the worst happens. Spider offers a range of high quality fall arrest harnesses and has nearly seven decades of fall protection expertise to help keep your crews safe on the jobsite.

Correctly Fitting a Harness to the Worker
A fall arrest harness should fit as comfortably as clothing so that it does not hinder movement. However, it should also fit snugly so that the worker cannot easily slip out of it. ANSI standard Z359.1-1992 mandates that any fall protection harness should provide full support for the body across the lower chest, over the shoulders, across the thighs, and is properly fitted to prevent a fall-out.

Measurements – Spider’s fall arrest harnesses are designed to fit to the waist with adjustable shoulder, thigh, and chest straps.

Fall Arrest Harness Size Chart
Harness Size Waist Measurement
Small/Medium 34 – 44 in. (864 – 1,118 mm)
Large/X-Large 42 – 50 in. (1,067 – 1,270 mm)
XX-Large 48 – 56 in. (1,219 – 1,422 mm)

Belt Size Waist Measurement
Small/Medium 33 – 45 in. (838 – 1,143 mm)
Large/X-Large 33 – 45 in. (838 – 1,143 mm)
XX-Large 38 – 50 in. (965 – 1,270 mm)

Inspecting a Fall Arrest Harness
Harnesses should be inspected carefully each time they are used, and should be thoroughly examined by a trained inspector at least once every three months.

Inspect the harness material. Hold the material/webbing in an inverted “U” with the body side toward the body and hands 6 in. (152 mm) apart. Inspect the entire length, looking for frayed edges, broken fibers, pulled stitches, cuts or chemical damage. Broken strands appear as tufts on the webbing surface. Broken, cut or burned stitches are easily seen.

Inspect buckles and D-rings. Make sure both are firmly attached. Inspect condition of D-ring and metal wear pads. Buckle tongues should be undamaged, overlap the buckle frame, and move freely back and forth. The roller should turn freely on the frame. Look for sharp edges. On friction buckles, make sure outer and center bars are straight. Pay particular attention to corners and attachment points of the center bar. On sliding bar buckles, inspect the frame and sliding bar for cracks, distortion, or sharp edges. The bar should glide freely. Pay special attention to the corners and ends of the sliding bar.

Check belt ends to make sure grommets are still in place. Belts with grommet-less holes should be checked for torn or elongated holes.

How to Correctly Don a Spider Fall Arrest Harness
Wearing a fall arrest harness correctly is just as important as wearing it in the first place.

1. Hold the harness by the back D-ring. Shake it gently to allow the straps to fall into place.
2. If chest, leg, and/or waist straps are buckled, release the straps and unbuckle.
3. Slip the straps over the shoulder so the D-ring is located in the middle of the back, precisely between the shoulder blades.
4. Pull the leg straps between the legs and connect to the opposite end. Repeat with the second leg strap. If the harness is belted, buckle the waist strap.
5. Connect the chest strap and position it in mid-chest area, tightening to keep shoulder straps taut.
6. After all straps have been buckled, tighten all buckles so the harness fits snugly but allows full range of movement. Pass excess strap through the loop keepers.

Spider offers a full range of harnesses designed for every at-height work situation. Contact us at 877-774-3370 to request more information or to discuss your needs with one of our service representatives. Or, visit us at any of our 25 service and rental locations for a consultation.

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Spider Harnesses for Fall Arrest Safety

Fall Protection HarnessFor nearly 70 years, Spider has been pioneering the suspended access industry, putting crews to work at height safely and reliably.  In addition to our innovative equipment solutions, we offer a full line of safety accessories, including harnesses, lanyards, lifelines, rope grabs, and other fall protection equipment, to maximize code compliance and worker safety on the jobsite.

Let’s take a minute to focus on our selection of harnesses, available in a range of different models and sizes to allow you to choose the best option for your jobsite.

Spider Harnesses

Spider offers full-body fall arrest harnesses featuring 1 3/4 in. (44 mm) nylon webbing, leg adjustments, chest strap, and a sliding D ring. They are available in semi-universal sizing, in S/M to XXL, and support 1 worker (tools included) up to 310 lbs (140.6 kg). D-rings are stamped steel in cad or zinc plated 4130 steel and feature a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 lb (2,268 kg).

Standard features:

  • Lanyard loop to eliminate slack and tripping hazards
  • Non-slip SURE-GRIP web prevents loosening
  • Adjustable mating buckles or Tongue buckles
  • Sliding back D-rings
  • Padded back support
  • Sub pelvic strap for support

Optional features:

  • Replaceable shoulder pads
  • Removable tool belt

All of our harnesses fully comply with ANSI A10.32, 2004, ANSI Z359.1, 2007, OSHA 1910.66 Appendix C, OSHA 1926 Subpart M, and CSA Z259.

Select the model that meets your needs:

Basic Fit – Spider’s Basic Fit harness is our standard safety harness designed for general use.  It is lightweight, comfortable for all day use, and one of the most affordable harnesses on the market.

Fall Arrest Harness – Our fall arrest harnesses feature an easy-fit buckle designed to help you get the perfect fit. The fall arrest harness is available with several options, including stretch or standard nylon webbing and mating or tongue buckles. We also offer models with tools belts to provide maximum convenience on the job site.

Positioning Harness – These harnesses are available in S/M and L/XL for a waist size of 29-50 inches. Adjustable straps make it easy to size the harness to your body size over clothing for a comfortable fit. They are also available with a mating buckle or a tongue buckle.

Constructor – The constructor harness is available in multiple configurations featuring side D-rings and optional lanyard loops, plus a back pad for fatigue reduction.

Confined Space Entry – This harness is ideal for working in areas with limited spaces with features that enable rescue and retrieval.

Nylon Loop – Nylon loops help to reduce conductivity, making the harness safer in electrical environments.

Climbing Harness – This harness is specifically designed for controlled descents and ladder climbing, featuring a front D ring.

Miller Relief Step™ Safety Devices – The relief Step is a safety device designed to alleviate the effects of orthostatic intolerance or suspension trauma. The Miller Relief Step is a short term solution designed to temporarily alleviate suspension trauma by preventing blood from pooling in the veins of the legs.

Contact Spider at 877-774-3370 to request more information, or visit us at any of our 25 service locations in the Americas for our expertise.

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Rigging Supplies and Solutions for Suspended Scaffolding

NYC - American ArchitectIn any suspended scaffold, the rigging is a vital part of the system and crucial to the safety of the workers who use it. There is no room for defect or sub-par quality. Spider has been engineering quality rigging supplies and solutions for work at height in the Americas for nearly 70 years. We helped to pioneer the ANSI/SSFI SPS 1.1-1/03 standard which guides contractors in the evaluation of their rigging products, ensuring they are built to a common testing and labeling standard. We were first to market, and we continue to lead the curve of innovation at the request of our customers, providing rigging solutions for applications that require optimal performance and increased productivity.

Spider’s Rigging Equipment and Solutions

Spider offers a range of standard rigging supplies as well as custom solutions.

Outrigger Beams – Spider’s line of outrigger beams includes a selection of beams, support frames, support posts, and other accessories designed for strength and durability. Our 5×5 outrigger beams are easy to assemble, range in length from 16 to 25 ft (4.9 to 7.6 m), and enable outreach from 48 to 74 in. (1.2 to 1.8 m).

Down Under Assembly – Our Down Under Assembly is designed to set up and deploy quickly, saving time while offering stable construction. This system locates a rigging point down a vertical span and under a horizontal distance to access walls under architectural features such as cornices, caps, etc. Spider’s Down Under Assembly offers more under reach than competitors – up to 5 ft (1.5 m) – as well as an adjustable down reach from 4 to 8 ft (1.2 to 2.4 m) and a 1,500 lb (680.4 kg) maximum hoist capacity.

Max Reach Assembly – Extend the reach of your standard outrigger beams with Spider’s Max Reach Assembly. This engineered system is simple to install, easily retrofits to standard 5×5 outriggers, and provides outreach up to 8 ft (2.4 m) at 1,000 lbs (453.6 kg).

Gantry Stands – Choose from rolling and fixed gantry stands to suit your job site. Spider’s gantry stands balance the fulcrum and counterweight loads between each leg to provide optimum stability.

This is just a sampling of Spider’s full range of rigging equipment and accessories. For more options, including adjustable support stands, beam tie-down systems, splice tubes, hooks and clamps, visit our site.

We’re also standing by at our 25 rental and service locations around the Americas. Stop by or call us at 877-774-3370 to request a quote or to discuss your rigging needs.

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Access Solutions for Elevator Installations and Maintenance

elevator access solutionsWith nearly 70 years of experience in suspended access technology, Spider has the expertise to offer top of the line lifting solutions to make elevator installation, maintenance, and modernization as safe and efficient as possible. We now offer a full range of tools, safety solutions, and lifting equipment designed with elevator applications in mind, to keep your team working safely and productively. And, with 24/7 support across the Americas at 25 rental and service locations, we can offer rapid support, delivery, and technical service wherever you are.

Elevator Lifting Solutions
Spider offers a full range of solutions to meet all of your elevator installation and maintenance needs, including two NEW traction hoists.

UpPro 1009 UL35 Spider UpPro P1009 UL35 - final (1)

Our new UpPro traction hoist is the first UL-listed, single-phase, man-rated 2,220 lb hoist on the market. With a 30 ft/minute travel speed and a high lifting capacity of 2,200 lbs, the UpPro increases uptime, productivity, and safety on the jobsite. It offers improved reliability and operator safety with safety features including a built-in overload, controlled descent for self-rescue for workers, externally mounted Overspeed Safety Lock (OSL), and optional Inclination Safety Lock (ISL). Plus optimal power management and soft starts and stops are achieved with the variable frequency drive. For more details, download the UpPro 1009 UL 35 brochure today.

SC1500-GHS Spider SC1500-GHS

The new Spider SC1500-GHS is the first UL-listed for man riding, high speed traction hoist on the market. The model features speeds of up to 70 fpm on Guided High Speed (GHS) applications to allow for productivity and safety. The SC1500-GHS features a lifting capacity of 1,500 lbs, and offers the best low voltage performance in its class with the proven, market-leading track record of the SC1500 hoist. Features including continuous voltage readouts from the on-board voltage meter and easy to use remote pendant controls make the SC1500-GHS ideal for increasing productivity. For more details, download the SC1500-GHS brochure today.

Spider also offers a range of other solutions including our standard SC1000 and SC1500 hoists and the Astro E2200. Plus, we offer custom tool kits with specialty access equipment and tools based on your unique project needs. We will put together the elevator access solutions including UL-listed traction or material hoists and tools for your project to help you eliminate equipment management and other hassles.

Contact us at 877-774-3370 to request a quote, or to discuss your custom access needs.

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Creating Safe At-Height Technology with UL Certification

UL classified - Canada and USOver the past 70 years, Spider has remained dedicated to designing quality suspended access equipment for safety, productivity, and reliability. To hold to that, Spider designs, engineers, and tests all of our hosts in accordance with the Underwriters Laboratories UL 1323 standard for hoists, as is required under OSHA 1910.28(i)(1) & (g)(3) and 1926.451(d)(13). Our goal is to ensure that all of our customers receive products that are manufactured, maintained, and serviced according to strict and consistent safety standards.

What is UL?
UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, holds a standard for hoist safety first produced by Underwriters Laboratories in 1999. In order to earn a UL certification, the equipment must be tested in a qualified testing laboratory. This testing includes experimental testing for safety to ensure compliance with test standards, inspection of equipment and materials, service-value determinations, the use of a controlled procedure for identifying the listed or labeled equipment or materials tested, and the creation of creditable and objective reports of findings and the test methods employed. In short, the laboratory must extensively test the equipment and then release their findings and their testing methods in order to meet UL standards.

Spider is proud of our quality and service standards, which is why we invest in UL testing. In addition to ensuring UL certification, we work to maintain consistent quality production. Underwriters Laboratories examiners regularly inspect our hoists in our factories to verify consistent sustained production of the products, as designed and originally tested and listed, making them safer than products listed by other labs.

The SC1500- GHS
Recent updates to the UL 1323 standard now allow for faster hoists in guided applications. The new standard allows a scaffold guided by pretensioned wire ropes or fixed rails in an enclosed space or hoistway to travel up to 70 fpm, or twice as fast as the maximum rated speed for unguided scaffolds. Spider was one of the first to create a hoist to this new standard. The new Spider SC1500-GHS is the first UL-listed for man riding, high speed traction hoist on the market capable of speeds up to 70 feet per minute in Guided High Speed (GHS) applications, increasing productivity on elevator applications.

Spider is proud of our product quality and reliability. While many manufacturers fail to invest in UL listing, Spider does. You can verify our listing status by scanning the QR code below and entering “SafeWorks” in the company field. You can also look for the UL logo on our products – a sign that Spider continues its global leadership by providing the safest, most reliable solutions on the market.

QR code

Contact us at 877-774-3370 to request a quote, or to inquire about our suspended access solutions.

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Fall Protection Myths and Misconceptions

Training for Suspended AccessDoes a 6 ft. edge clearance provide adequate fall protection safety for OSHA guidelines? Are construction rules interchangeable? Do portable ladders require fall protection? OSHA’s fall protection safety guidelines CFRs 1910 and 1926 have been met with mixed levels of adoption, clarity, and confusion, caused by self interpretation and a lack of awareness of the OSHA 351 Standard Interpretations since their introduction in 1973. Many of the current myths and misconceptions surrounding OSHA fall protection standards began as self-interpretation, where a company decided what the standards meant, and their interpretation became so popular that many people are unable to differentiate those practices from actual OSHA standards.

Spider will address some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding fall protection safety.

Misconception: 29 CFR 1910 (General Industry) & 29 CFR 1926 (Construction) Standards Are Interchangeable

Many professionals treat CFR 1910 General Industry and CFR 1926 Construction standards as though they are interchangeable. This is a common misconception and can result in dangerous situations in at-height workplaces. It is crucial to determine the type of work before setting the safety standards. However, the gaps between CFR 1910 and CFR 1926 are closing, but most at-height work applies to CFR 1926, which means that those standards should be applied if you are uncertain of the type of work being done.

Myth: 6-Foot Rule

The 6-foot rule, or the idea that no fall protection is needed if all work is performed at least 6 feet from an edge, is a myth. It is also completely wrong according to both OSHA standards. OSHA has created multiple interpretation letters to attempt to clear up the issue, including a 1996 letter and a May 2000 letter. While OSHA determines that there is no distance that provides absolute safety from a fall, a distance of 50-100 feet would be considered a de minimis violation of standards (it is a violation of standards to not have the fall protection, but it does not directly affect health and safety and is therefore not included on a citation), and the use of non-conforming guardrails 15 feet from the edge is another de minimis violation.

For General Work, a designated area is close to the 6-foot rule. However, a designated area must have a clearly marked perimeter, be on a roof with a slope of 10 degrees or less, and only applies for temporary work. Also, access to the area must be clearly marked.
According to CFR 1926 Standard Subpart M, there is no safe working distance for construction work, and a guardrail or other standardized fall protection measures should be included.

OSHA 1926.5010(b)(10) requires that employees working on low-sloped roofs with unprotected sides and edges and drops of six feet or more be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, or a warning line system combined with either a guardrail system, safety net, safety monitoring system, or personal fall arrest system.

Myth: Portable Ladders Require Fall Protection

It is a common myth to assume that no fall protection is required on portable ladders. While it is understood that fixed ladders of certain heights require a cage or well for ladders of 20 to 30 feet, many people assume that these rules also apply to portable ladders. While General Work CFR 1910 does not include any references to portable ladders, Construction CFR 1926 refers to portable ladders, but fails to outline specific rules. However, in interpretation letters, OSHA states that fall arrest and fall protection are not required for portable ladders but does recommend fall arrest systems for any heights over 15 feet. It’s also important to meet the envelope requirements for ladder stability (4:1 angle, tie-off, footing, hands free, center of gravity. etc.), and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Misconception: A Body Harness and a Lanyard Immediately Make a Worker Safe

The idea that a worker is safe as soon as he or she puts on a body harness connected to a lanyard is a dangerous misconception. In order to ensure actual safety, it is crucial to calculate the distance of the lanyard, appropriately position the anchor, calculate pendulum fall, and ensure that the lanyard will not bounce when the worker falls on it. Without the appropriate calculations, a worker could be in just as much danger with a body harness and a lanyard as without them.

Myth: Rescue Planning Just Means Calling Emergency Services

Leaving a worker in a suspended situation after a fall might result in their death while waiting for emergency services to arrive. In many cases, suspension trauma must be dealt with within 14 minutes in order to prevent permanent damage or death. Construction standards state that the employer must attempt the prompt rescue of an employee after a fall, but does not specify the definition of ‘prompt’.

Myth: You Don’t Need Fall Protection for Very Temporary Work

For construction, it is mandatory to provide fall protection in any area where workers are on a surface that is more than six feet above a lower level. Because workers can fall at any time, the duration of the work has no bearing on whether or not the standard should be implemented, except during initial inspections prior to the start of the job. In fact, OSHA 1926.501(b)(1) requires fall protection for jobs even lasting only a few minutes.

Other: Fall Restraint

Fall restraint and fall positioning are frequently confused. Fall restraint is the process of using a physical apparatus to prevent a fall, and fall positioning is the process of using a physical apparatus to restrict any fall to a maximum of 2 feet. The big question here is whether or not fall restraint is permissible under General Work or Construction instead of Fall Arrest. While not explicitly mentioned in the original CFR 1910 or CFR 1926, both General Work and Construction guidelines include standard interpretations that allow for fall restraint.

The proposed changes to CFR 1910 sections D and I incorporate fall restraint as restraint line systems and mandate that lines should be capable of sustaining a tensile load of at least 3,000 lbs. In situations where you cannot fall, body belts are acceptable rather than a full body harness, and you can use a longer lanyard with a tether that prevents a fall in any direction and a 3,000 lb. anchor. If a personal fall arrest system is needed, refer to the guidelines and standards for personal fall arrest instead.

The best way to combat potentially dangerous fall safety misconceptions is to ensure that everyone on the job site is fully educated and aware of OSHA standards and their interpretations. You can review fall protection training requirements in 1926.503(a)(1).
Spider is the largest manufacturer and distributor of suspended access and fall protection solutions in North America. Contact us at 877-774-3370 for a range of fall safety protection equipment including lanyards, full body harnesses, and guardrails, or to request more information regarding our OSHA-approved fall protection safety training.



The content in this blog post was derived from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and published by OSHA. To read the original post in its entirety click here.

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Spider Staging Curtain Wall Applications

curtain wall installationOver the past seven decades, Spider has provided reliable access solutions to contractors working at height around the Americas. Some of these solutions include swingstages and Beta Max material hoists to help glazing contractors meet the needs of their most demanding curtain wall installation and maintenance projects. Spider’s focus on operational excellence and our commitment to listening to our customers ensure that we continue to research and develop new products to meet changing industry needs. Now, we are excited to deliver on that commitment with the introduction of two new lifting solutions for curtain wall applications: the Spider Dual Monorail System and the Spider Glazier 2200.

Spider Dual Monorail System
Spider’s Dual Monorail System is a complete solution for curtain wall applications, capable of offering precise horizontal and vertical positioning of large curtain wall panels. This innovative monorail solution is configurable as a single or double monorail and provides full worker access, as well as continuous, horizontal mobility for swingstages and material hoists around a structure’s perimeter.

With rotating pinned connectors, simple bolted splice plates, and support beams to accommodate rooftop obstructions, the Dual Monorail System is designed for ease of installation. The system features Spider’s new 6-in. x 8-in. I-beams, which are capable of supporting up to 3,000 lbs and are used for both the monorail and outrigger support, eliminating the need for extra outriggers. Engineered corner sections enable traversing from one building elevation to another, making it easier than ever to work with changing heights. Finally, the straight monorail can be configured to cantilever up to seven feet past the last outrigger, providing access to hard-to-reach areas.

• Fully integrated suspended access manufacturing and engineering
• Complies with OSHA 1926.451
• Engineered per customer application

Spider Glazier 2200
The Spider Glazier 2200 is a mobile material lifting solution capable of handling your most complex curtain wall applications while simultaneously ensuring maximum productivity and safety on elevated job sites.

Engineered to meet the challenges of curtain walling, the Glazier 2200 offers optimal flexibility with variable outreach ranging from 18 inches to 4 feet and an adjustable boom height of up to 117 inches. It’s also capable of lifting up to 2,150 lbs. With a variable frequency drive, it operates at speeds of up to 70 fpm, to simultaneously deliver mobility and high lifting capacity at speeds that support productivity.

With quick set adjustable tiebacks, standard Spider counterweights, heavy-duty low-profile casters, and a passive wire winder capable of holding 300 feet of 3/8-in. wire rope, the Glazier 2200 can improve jobsite efficiency. The counterweighted material lifting solution is capable of precise panel positioning with fine tune adjustments from the wireless pendant remote.

Built-in safety features include overload and overspeed protection, a top limit switch to stop the load at the upper limit, a tieback locking device that reduces the time required to reposition the tieback, and a steering handle to reposition the hoist without removing the counterweights.

The Spider Glazier 2200 complies with:
• ANSI / ASSE A10.5-2006
• ASME B30.17-2006
• OSHA 1926.552

Contact us today at 877-774-3370 to discuss your next curtain wall access challenge, or to request a custom solution from our engineers. With 25 branches in the Americas – including our newest location in Louisville, KY- 24/7 customer support, and engineers with local safety expertise, we’re here to help.

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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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