How far should Acrow Props be?
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 to properly support the load of a cavity wall or a load-bearing wall 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 props. Let’s get into it!
How Do I Set Up An Acrow Prop Safely?
There are a few essential tips that you should follow to set up each acrow prop safely when it’s in use.
- Always ensure the props are thoroughly tightened and engaged – Acrow props have two adjustment mechanisms. 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, tighten the collar completely to ensure 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 a prop can be out-of-plumb is 1.5°. Any higher than this, and the unusual loading of the 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?
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 prop, and the load-bearing capacity of each device.
Other factors, such as crumbling, unsteady brickwork or unusual loading, can also require you to use more Acrow props. We recommend consulting with structural engineers, who can provide an informed recommendation based on your particular needs and the specifics of your project.
If you need a rule of thumb, 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 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 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 an 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.
Timber needles can create a larger platform and provide a more stable surface to which the 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 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 ensure that your temporary support structure is safe and that 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, to ensure that each is securely fastened and has not come loose
- Give each 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.
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At Australian Scaffold, we empower you to work safer, faster and smarter. Our props for sale are the best in the country, and have all the tools you need for your project. To learn more about us and what we do, please ring us at 1300 919 905.
You can also contact us online and contact 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.