Everything you need to know about loading platforms and their types
Construction loading platforms are pieces of equipment that site managers utilise when building multi-story buildings. These platforms provide a stable surface that cranes can use to lift building materials required for the structure, but they also allow workers on the ground to offload items when necessary. Below we explore everything you
need to know about this type of equipment.
How do loading platforms work?
Loading platforms are an effective way to transfer materials from lower to upper floors during building work. These systems negate the need to move materials by hand, improving the speed at which workers can operate.
Builders can place crane loading decks at different levels for maximum efficiency. They are also valuable in compact construction and demolition projects, particularly on sites with less space.
Approved loading platforms come fitted with safety harness points, which let workers roll out platforms as they need them. The result is improved material handling and a lower risk of incidents for construction companies.
What are the benefits of using a loading platform?
Loading platforms offer building site workers and managers a host of benefits that improve operations. While these systems do have some upfront costs, they can bring a significant return on investment.
Platforms are often stackable, meaning that workers can balance them on top of each other, making them easier to transport. For instance, multiple decks can fit on the back of a truck instead of just one or two.
Stackability is also great for storage. Firms can enhance their on-site efficiency while minimising storage space when equipment is idle.
Modern loading platforms only require one person to operate them. This way, team members can continue pursuing other high-value tasks while a single worker sets up the unit.
Chequered safety plating
Chequered safety plating offers building site managers a durable surface while keeping workers and materials safe. Embossed metal flooring prevents materials from sliding off the platform and gives operatives more grip as they go about their daily operations, even in dirty, dusty, and wet conditions.
Many construction loading platforms come with telescopic props for easy installation in various building site environments. They may also have pre-designed lifting lugs. Manufacturers carefully test all components before distributing them.
Safe and efficient material loading and unloading
Lastly, the primary benefit of any loading platform is safe and efficient material loading and unloading. Units make it far easier for cranes to operate effectively on building sites while minimising employee risk.
The drawer-like opening is the main innovation. Cranes can access material quickly, after which platforms can retract again (as long as they aren’t fixed), ready to accept the next load.
What types of loading platforms are there?
There are several different loading platforms on the market designed for various operations. Manufacturers design some platforms for skyscraper construction, but not all.
Retractable loading platforms
A retractable loading platform can move in and out of buildings to move equipment and material more efficiently. Products are usually flush with the building’s exterior when not in use but can move inside on rollers when operatives want to access their contents.
Retractable loading platforms are suitable for use with cranes but also store neatly out of the way when not in use. Despite the moving parts, capacities tend to be high. There isn’t usually a weight disadvantage compared to regular platforms.
Retractable loading platforms also offer a host of features to make them more usable. These include vertical installation for enhanced safety, stackability, and independent safety testing.
The Preston Superdeck is an example of a retractable loading platform. The system lets construction site managers position decks vertically, one above the other, for the fast delivery of materials into multi-storey buildings.
Professionals sometimes refer to retractable loading platforms as cantilever loading platforms. That’s because they appear to stick out from the edge of the building, a bit like cantilever stairs.
Fixed loading platforms
Fixed loading platforms are the standard loading platform for most construction applications. Builders use these in situations where they don’t need retractability.
These systems come in multiple sizes, ideal for construction managers operating on sites with space limitations. Some platforms can be as little as 2 metres in length.
Fixed loading platforms also come with fixed safety harness points. These let workers stack and roll them in and out as needed.
The installation of fixed loading platforms can take as little as 15 minutes. However, it may take longer, depending on the location.
What is the capacity of loading platforms?
The capacity of a loading platform depends on the model you choose. Superdeck loading platforms have a weight limit of 5,000 kg though actual amounts vary considerably between manufacturers.
How many loading platforms do buildings need?
The number of loading platforms a construction project requires depends on the height of the building. A five-storey building, for instance, can benefit from five decks, while a 50-storey building needs around 30 loading platforms.
You will need to speak to a supplier to determine the number of decks your projects require. Tall and thin buildings may only require one column of platforms, while shorter, wider ones may need multiple interior access points.
Loading platforms come in various types and improve efficiency on high-rise, multi-level builds. They bring many safety advantages and reduce risks for on-site managers and workers.
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