Concrete pipes are incredibly common across a huge range of construction and infrastructure projects. They are cheap, non-flammable and incredibly strong.
They are, however, extremely heavy and, because of their awkward shape, difficult to move safely, especially in confined spaces.
Obviously, for something as heavy as a cement pipe, you can’t manually lift or move them without risking injury and damage to the pipes and surrounding machinery, equipment and structures.
This is why there is a huge range of material handling equipment specifically designed for moving concrete pipes of a variety of sizes, weights and diameters.
When it comes to pipe lifting, you need the right tool for the right job. And selecting the right tool depends on a few factors. These are:
- The height and length of the lifter
- The safe loading range
- The maximum height and length of the pipe
- The range of the pipe’s diameter
- The weight of the pipe
Once you have these factors worked out, you then need to find the most appropriate lifting equipment to make sure you can move the pipes with the minimum fuss, hassle and risk.
So, let’s have a look at a few of the most common kinds of pipe lifting equipment.
Leveling pipe lifters
Also known as self-leveling pipe hooks, these allow you to place and position the pipe in one operation. They are designed to automatically adjust the weight of the pipe to achieve the proper balance point.
Key hole lifters
These are designed for lifting concrete pipes via holes in the pipe walls. The eye is fed down through a hole in the pipe wall and the tongue is positioned through the eye inside the pipe to secure the connection.
Ring and cone clamps
Suitable for cones, pipes and manholes, these clamps can be used with cranes and forklifts. Available in a range of designs, including manual clamps and hydraulic clamps, they can handle pipes in a range of heights and diameters.
Multiple pipe lifters
These are designed to lift several pipes at the same time. The device is lifted using a forklift truck forks, with a lock pin on the forks. The spreader bar is lined with rubber so that the pipes cannot be damaged.
Pipe turning devices
These devices are designed to turn pipes to make them easier to move, place and align. Equipped with rubber-lined, hinged metal grippers, they can handle pipes of various diameters. They are available in a range of designs and include rotating clamps and tilting tables.
Scissor grab pipe lifters
These have curved arms or rubber clamps that automatically clamp around the pipes.Scissor grab pipe lifters are ideal for handling round materials such as steel bars, tubes and pipes.
Toggle pipe lifters
One of the most common pipe lifters, it is as simple as inserting it through a hole in the pipe wall and toggling the stopper perpendicular to the chain. Toggle lifters generally have a working load limit of up to 2 tonnes.
When it comes to material handling equipment in general, or pipe handling equipment specifically, you can’t be too careful. Making sure you have the right tool for the job is essential for safe and efficient material handling.