An inloader pallet at a major construction site in Northern Europe was blown down by strong gusts during a thunderstorm in the spring of 2018. An accident, which happens and may happen, every now and then, in handling of such pallets. A domino effect and thus arising major damages could only be prevented by the adjacent inloader pallet equipped with R-Tech stabilization elements.
Stability is always a big issue when it comes to inloader pallets, because very high wall elements – of up to over 4 m – are transported on relatively narrow transport widths, i.e. on a width of 1.5 m. This results in very large „sail areas“. As can be seen on the pictures shown, moreover, the subsoil is not paved as on most construction sites. In particular, if only one wall element is placed in the center of an unsecured pallet, as in this case, the entire wall element including pallet can be blown down by strong gusts of wind.
This or similar causes led to the domino effect which arose in 2015. The consequences are considerable additional costs for the new production of the wall elements, time delay, contractual penalty, and, in the worst case, injuries or even accidental death of a person.
There is considerable potential for optimization
To prevent this situation from arising at all, the primary approach of the Austrian-based R-Tech company is to adapt handling devices such as inloader pallets and load-dropping pallets to the products and technical possibilities of the precast concrete plants in an optimum way. The important factors are the static design of the loadbearing/supporting structure and practical tests conducted under real-life condition.
About this topic, Franz Reiterer, the general manager and founder of the R-Tech company, says: „There is a considerable potential for optimization in the field of transportation and manipulation of precast elements. Transport racks are a primary tool for safe and efficient manufacturing of precast concrete elements. The employees are working every day and every hour with this tool and hence an optimum handling should be incorporated in the quality management system. Only in this way can accidents and damages be avoided to a large extent.“
Unfortunately, damages and accidents also happen due to steel constructions, which are not professionally welded together, or due to an unqualified use by workers who are badly instructed. Owing to the large number of factories using this transport system at present, a standardization of the basic requirements to be met by such transport pallets would be perfect, according to R-Tech.