How Far Apart Should Acrow Props Be?

In FAQsby Scott Butlin

Using Acrow Props Correctly

If you’re using Acrow props in your next project, and you have never used them in the past, you may be wondering how you can support the load of a cavity wall or a load bearing wall properly, and ensure a safe working environment for your builders.

In this guide, we’ll answer many of the most common questions about using Acrow props correctly. As a leading supplier of Acrow props, Australian Scaffold has an unbeatable depth of expertise when it comes to working with Acrow props. Let’s get into it!

How Do I Set Up An Acrow Prop Safely?

There are a few basic tips that you should follow to set up each acrow prop safely when it’s in use.

  • Always make sure the props are fully tightened and engaged – Acrow props have two adjustment mechanism. You can adjust the height in a more coarse fashion using a series of holes and pins. More granular adjustments are made using the collar, which twists on the threads on the outer tube of the Acrow prop.
    Once you’ve adjusted the prop to the proper height, make sure to tighten the collar completely, to make sure the props are fully engaged and set at their height. Failure to do this can result in a collapse.
  • Minimize horizontal stress – Acrow props are designed only to support vertical loads. The maximum that an Acrow prop can be out-of-plumb is 1.5°. Any higher than this, and the unusual loading of the Acrow prop could lead to total failure. Make sure the prop is completely vertical, using a level.
  • Brace Acrow props when possible – If you’re using more than one or two Acrow props, or supporting a very heavy load, it’s best to brace them using scaffolding poles. This can help increase both the vertical and horizontal stability of an Acrow prop, particularly one that’s being used to support the side of the wall, such as a skin wall.
  • Secure the top and bottom plates correctly – If the top plate is being placed directly against masonry, timber, or another material, make sure to nail it in place using the proper hardware, to ensure it cannot move under load.
    You must also fasten the bottom plate using nails, bolts, or another fastening method, to ensure the Acrow prop does not shift while it’s in use.

These basic tips are sure to help you as you begin to use Acrow props, whether you’re using them for temporary works, or large-scale construction projects, such as supporting a long length of wall made of masonry while removing the lower brickwork.

How Far Apart Should Acrow Props Be? | Australian ScaffoldsHow Far Apart Should Acrow Props Be?

There is no single answer for this. The distance that Acrow props should be spaced will depend on the total load you’re supporting, the material upon which they’re resting, the type of load they are supporting, the length of each Acrow prop, and the load bearing capacity of each device.

Other factors, such as crumbling or unsteady brickwork or unusual loading, can also require you to use more Acrow props. We recommend consulting with structural engineers, who can provide you with an informed recommendation, based on your particular needs, and the specifics about your project.

If you need a rule of thumb, though, most experts recommend using one Acrow prop about every 1 metre, particularly to support brickwork and masonry, such as skin walls.

In addition, Acrow props should always be evenly spaced. Even spacing allows the load to be safely distributed to each prop, and that there is no excessive load on any Acrow prop.

If your Acrow props are not evenly spaced, you could face cascading failure. One prop that is heavily-loaded may fail. Then, the other props must take the load of the failed prop, resulting in multiple failures, and a potentially dangerous situation.

So make sure that your Acrow props are evenly spaced, and that the combined weight capacity of your props exceeds the weight that you are supporting by a large margin, as a safeguard against cascading failure.

How Do I Use Strongboys And Needles With To Support Masonry?

Acrow props are typically the best choice for supporting masonry, by using either strongboys or timber needles.

  • Strongboys – A strongboy is a metal platform that is attached directly to the Acrow prop, to support masonry. The strongboy projects outward from the Acrow prop, and is typically placed after mortar or several bricks have been removed, to support the inner or outer skin walls. The blade of the strongboy locks safely in place, providing load-bearing support that allows you to open up the wall and structure below.
  • Timber needles – Timber needles are an alternative to strongboys. They’re typically platform-shaped, and placed into a masonry wall after several bricks have been removed. Then, the timber needles can be slipped in.
    After this, the Acrow prop is raised to support the timber needles, which support the brickwork above, and allow you to work on the structure below.

Both strongboys and timber needles can be very effective. Strongboys have the advantage of being slimmer in profile, so they can often be used without removing bricks – just mortar.

But timber needles can create a larger platform and provide a more stable surface to which the Acrow props can attach, so they also have advantages, compared to strongboys.

Can I Use Acrow Props On A Timber Floor?

Again, this depends on the specifics of the floor, and the total load supported by the Acrow prop. A timber floor that is fully supported with load-bearing floor joists may be able to handle a heavy load, but one that lacks this support may cave in, and be unable to support the load. This could lead to a catastrophic failure of the structure.

Always consult with a structural engineer if you need to use Acrow props inside, and do not have a concrete floor or a metal plate upon which they can rest. This is the only way to make sure that your temporary support structure is safe, and the floor load is not too high for the structure.

How Often Should I Check My Acrow Props During My Project?

Ideally, at least once a day. When checking your Acrow props, you should:

  • Look for signs of unusual loading, such as an angle beyond 1.5° out-of-plumb
  • Look at the base and the top of each Acrow prop, to make sure that each is securely fastened, and has not come loose
  • Give each Acrow prop a light shake to make sure that it is completely solid and immovable
  • Check the strongboys or timber needles to make sure that they have not warped or become damaged under load.

Get More Details About Acrow Props From Australian Scaffold!

At Australian Scaffold, we empower you to work safer, faster and smarter. Our Acrow props for sale are the best in the country, and we have all of the tools that you need for your next project. To learn more about us and what we do, please give us a ring at 1300 919 905. You can also contact us online, and get in touch with one of our employees with any questions or comments you may have. We look forward to hearing from you, and helping you secure high-quality Acrow props for your next construction project.