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  • Wood cribbing

    Looking for input. We need to update our cribbing. What type of wood are people using? Hardwood vs PT syp?

  • #2
    One thing to remember about cribbing. Hardwoods tend to fail catastrophically, where soft woods such as southern pine or douglas fir will compress and not shatter. The plastic cribbing is ok in a situation where there is not much chance of a shift in the load, but I personally do not recommend it because of the cost to replace damaged pieces.

    I have a very good resource from Billy Leach on the uses of Cribbing in Rescue. If you would like a copy, you can e-mail me and I will be glad to send it to you.

    [email protected]

    Most of all, be sure to train on the use of cribbing in every situation imaginable, and then some. The more training you do, the more efficient the department will become at stabilizing a vehicle.

    Good Luck!
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

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    • #3
      We use and recommend F7 grade Oregon....
      Luke

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      • #4
        As I just posted in another thread.I would recommend Dura Crib by Turtle Plastics. www.turtleplastics.com

        They are stronger, last longer and do not absorb any fluids.

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        • #5
          Not a fan of plastic cribbing

          I give plastic cribbing two big thumbs down.

          We're sold back on wooden cribbing.

          *It is far more expensive
          *It can not be "bitten" like wood
          *The cribbing gets slippery and dislodges easier
          (Note: to those that say they have some type of interlocking pattern that prevents this, I say it STILL is not as good as wood. Half the time the pattern forces you to use the cribbing in only a few orientations so that the pieces interlock. Plus, for the models that interlock like Lincoln Logs, you lose storage space)

          Yeah, the plastic cribbing doesn't absorb most fluids. For the cost though, most places can replace their wooden cribbing several times over.
          Last edited by Resq14; 11-24-2003, 02:26 AM.
          God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
          Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
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          • #6
            Synthetic usually works good for stepchocks but for other cribbing hardwood you can find the cheapest. Let's face it most cribbing eventually ends up being disposable at one time or another. When you start using chains across it I would rather chink up some piece of wood I got as left over than a synthetic that I paid serious bucks for. Check with contractors and landscapers in your area for left over pieces that could be cut into something useful. If you can afford it some water seal treatment doesn't hurt. Get a little bit longer use out of it. But I am in the humid tropics.

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            • #7
              I don't like hardwood for cribbing.Soft wood will crush and has a predictable crush factor.Hardwood will fail suddenly and with little warning.Synthetics same way,slippery,unpredictable fail rate,expensive when compared to conventional cribbing.You want a little more stiff try using PT wood.Synthetics on snow/slush;now that's an adventure.T.C.

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              • #8
                You might even be able to get a quantity of 2x4's and 4x4's donated by local lumber yards. Free and proven.
                Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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                • #9
                  I don't like plastic, for the above mentioned reasons.

                  I don't like pressure treated. No need for it. It's much heavier than you need for cribbing, it's too unpredictable to use for shoring.

                  For cribbing, soft or hard doesn't matter to me. But soft wins on the utility that it "bites" better, weighs less, and is cheaper and/or free in bigger quantities. You're not likely to see catastropic failures of wood in cribbing use -- it's pretty well supported. A few pieces of solid oak hardwood aren't bad to have handy if you see the right situation for them.

                  For shoring, softwood. It's lighter in the big lengths, and as pointed out gives more warning before failure. Shoring is definitely more a danger for failure -- you're talking about long, unsupported lengths, and a shifting load can really change the forces.

                  BTW, we use old Chestnut salvaged from torn down barns. It's essentially a softwood, especially 150+ years old, but very strong so it makes excellent cribbing. I wouldn't use that old stuff though for shoring!
                  IACOJ Canine Officer
                  20/50

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                  • #10
                    Chestnut?Dal you're showing where you live.How about some Locust or Hemlock?I've seen cribs "fail"therein lies my caution about the predictable softwood.I don't find PT that much heavier(I use it on all my tow trucks),it's just a bit tougher,lasts a lot longer when stored outside,and has the same warning characteristics of softwood.There is a bit of an artform to "correct"cribbing,very few failures if done correctly but a huge safety factor if you don't.Being in the emergency lifting business we learned the right way real quick.The only commodity we can't quickly replace is our people,their safety is my TOP priority.BRR has a lot of great tips on these subjects as do a number of the TOWING trainers I work with around the Northeast.Everyday is a learning day and established procedures get "tweaked" every year.This session Billy's going to ruin some Rigs,should be another interesting event.T.C.

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                    • #11
                      Ah Rescue101...but sometimes factors are a bit different.

                      I'll bet the cribbing you use on your tow trucks is probably used a lot more than the average fire department (thus the durability of pressure treated is an advantage).

                      Weight is one of the big challenges on most fire apparatus, so saving weight on your dunnage pile that only sees rain rarely is a good thing.

                      Plus I must admit, it's new "fresh" PT that hast the biggest weight difference, not the older stuff.

                      And concern for it snapping is probably again more a shoring issue -- and yes, I'm personally prejudiced. The few times I've seen PT snap, I didn't like the way it blew -- especially the time a 4x4 snapped at a knot and dumped me, my big @ss, and my hammock on the ground! (There's now a 6x6 PT that I spent a half hour selecting in it's place!)
                      IACOJ Canine Officer
                      20/50

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dalmatian90
                        ... especially the time a 4x4 snapped at a knot and dumped me, my big @ss, and my hammock on the ground ...
                        lol
                        God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
                        Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
                        Click this to search FH Forums!

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                        • #13
                          Add another vote for wood here. I am always hearing that "we just don't have enough room for all we need to carry on our squads", so why would you carry something that takes up the same amount of room but does less work? I have often wondered just how much that little notch on the stackable plastic cribbing cost us and I finally got a chance to prove it to myself. I am attaching 2 pictures to prove this point. The first shows 10 pieces of wood cribbing next to 10 pieces of stackable plastic. The wood pile is 18.5 inchs high while the plastic pile is 12.75 inchs. We lose almost 6 inchs with the exact same number of pieces, yet the ends of the plastic are still 4x4, so they require the same storage space as the wood. The second pic shows what it takes to make equal height stacks. 16 pieces of plastic to equal the 10 wood. Hmmm ... Let me see ..... it gives me less, it cost me more, I need more of it to do the same job, and it fills up my compartment just as fast as wood...... Call me a tight dutchman, but I just can't justify that.

                          Zmag

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                          • #14
                            Our department uses soft wood (usually spruce) exclusively. It’s cheaper than fir, and easy to replace. We have found that has more to do with technique, than material. To date we have never had cribbing fail. Heavier loads and higher lifts require heavier timbers at the bottom.

                            We are in the process of implementing a pick-up trailer box converted to a utility trailer with a cheap canopy on it to carry heavy timber (12x12, 8x8, 6x6, etc) and extra cribbing (4x4, 2x6, 2x4, wedges, etc). Another great spot to carry extra cribbing is under the hose bed on a pumper. You can store long lengths of 4x4’s under the hose and cut them up with a chain saw as required. At least it’s on site and you don’t have to waste a lot of time looking for it.

                            We’ve found that plastic cribbing is not only more expensive and heavier, but slipperier as well (especially in cold weather). Another drawback to plastic cribbing is that it’s next to impossible to nail and/or screw it together for added stability (only when required). We carry a carpenter’s hammer and nails with us, and blunt the nails before using them to avoid splitting.

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                            • #15
                              Sorry for the delay, had a slight "file size" problem
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