Guide To Calculating The Load Capacity Of A Platform

Calculating the load capacity of a platform is not always an easy task. At times it can present challenges and complex issues which require the expertise of a professional....
Platform

Calculating the load capacity of a platform is not always an easy task.

At times it can present challenges and complex issues which require the expertise of a professional.

Indeed, the question of load capacity is not one that can be taken on by ‘just anyone’ but calls for knowledge, skill and professional expertise.

That being said, even if you do not plan to calculate the load capacity of a platform yourself, it can be helpful to understand what is required and what the general process entails.

This can help you to make a wise choice when it comes to determining which professional will handle the task for you, as well as understanding what is happening at the time.

Allow us to explain the process in a clear and concise way by addressing the following topics:

  • What Factors Come Into Play When Calculating The Load Capacity Of A Platform?
  • Why Do Fees Vary That Structural Engineers Charge For Calculating Load Capacity For A Platform?
  • What Is The Process For Calculating The Load Capacity Of A Platform?

There are several key factors which come into play when calculating the load capacity of a platform. The main ones are as follows:

  • platform type
  • platform usage
  • platform material.

Of course, other factors may also need to be taken into consideration depending on the location and situation.

Why Do Fees That Structural Engineers Charge For Calculating Load Capacity For A Platform Vary?

One platform may only result in a relatively small fee for a load capacity calculation, while another platform could come in at a significantly higher price.

Why is this the case? Simply put, there are few platforms which are exactly the same.

Since the factors we outlined above vary for each platform, the amount of time that an engineer needs to invest in the calculation will also vary.

Let’s take an example to illustrate what we mean.

Let’s say that an engineer has been asked to calculate the load capacity of a platform which is 1,000 sf.

The calculation of the load capacity for this area is likely to take up a lot more time than the task of calculating the load capacity for a much smaller platform.

Hence it is only reasonable to expect that the two prices will be different.

As another example, a structural engineer may be asked to make calculations for a platform made up of a specific floor type which is more complex to interpret than a standard flooring.

Perhaps the beams which support the platform are concrete rather than steel for instance.

When the task becomes more complicated and more complex issues are involved, naturally, the fee that is going to be charged will also increase.

What Is The Process For Calculating The Load Capacity Of A Platform?

When a structural engineer has been commissioned to calculate the load capacity for a platform the first thing that they will normally do is arrange a time to visit the site.

At this site visit, they will measure all of the structural elements which support the platform floor, as well as take note of all of the factors we outlined above in our first topic.

Once the engineer has all measurements in writing they will most likely return to their office where they will have the right tools and systems to start their calculations.

Since calculating the load capacity of a platform can entail many elements, the calculation does not tend to be immediate.

In fact, it is normal for it to take several days before a structural engineer will be in a position to provide a copy of the calculations to their client.

Once the engineer has completed all calculations, they may choose to visit the platform site again to check certain measurements or other inclusive factors.

From there, they will prepare a letter which states the weight capacity of the platform.

Usually, the floor load capacity will be written in pounds per square foot, often noted as PSF on the official letter.

At times a client will feel dissatisfied with the load capacity they have been provided with and will request to increase the amount.

Some situations, such as whether the structure is wood or steel, means the structure may actually require more reinforcement to withstand a certain load.

However, such a matter would be addressed by engineering experts to identify the best course of action.

The Bottom Line On Calculating The Load Capacity Of A Platform

Load capacity calculations fall into a category of expertise which requires a wealth of experience, knowledge and a strong skill set.

By understanding the process in more detail you are in a good position to choose a professional team who can carry out the calculations for you in an efficient and trustworthy manner.

If you are looking for knowledgeable and experienced scaffolders, who have leading-hands that work together with you and offer expert advice, please contact us at Skelscaff today on 1300 266 607 or email us at contact@skelscaff.com.au.

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