Manhole and drainage covers are used as an important role of towns and cities, giving access to large networks of cables and pipes. It's easy to see that they vary greatly in shape and size, only adding to the difficulty of finding the right lifting tools and equipment for the job. Lifting these covers can also be physically demanding. In this blog post we will go through everything you need to know about manfole cover lifting tools.
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT MANHOLE LIFTER FOR THE JOB AT HAND
There are many different types of manhole lifting systems on the market which are all capable of varying degrees of lifting covers, many are not suited or well liked for there size and complexity resulting in the user reverting to simpler but sometimes more riskier methods of lifting manhole covers. Firstly, knowing the Lifting limit for one person is 25 kg as determined by Health and Safety regulations, this is important to follow as avoiding back injury should be a priority.
Most manhole covers are around 50kg in weight so most large manhole covers require proper equipment to lift.
Also knowing the environment and situation around you will determine the equipment you will need. Although most manhole covers should have plenty of space around them, objects or debris can surround the manhole cover overtime which may need to cleared. For medium to small manhole or drainage covers there are portable hand held lifters which offer quick and efficient lifting capabilities and lifting times of around a minute for those quick jobs.
Hydraulic manhole cover lifters
If enough space surrounding the cover is available, Hydraulic manhole cover lifters are a perfect tool for lifting as they are equipped with wheels for moving the cover to different locations without the need for manually hand lifting it. Hydraulic lifters have the added benefit of an easy and quick pump mechanism to do the lifting. As with hydraulic equipment to ensure its long lasting product life, it must be stored properly in adequate storage, we offer a storage box for these Hydraulic Lifters.
VARIOUS SHAPES AND KEYS FOR MANHOLE AND DRAINAGE COVERS?
Manhole and drainage covers come in a variety of shapes such as rectangles, squares, circles and triangles. Knowing which product will fit the particular cover must be considered. Some products have the ability to change its arm and key position to adapt to the various sizes while others are only capable of lifting one type of cover. The design of the lid will also greatly impact the use of leverage since it must be lifted straight up first before dragging it horizontally away from the hole.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT KEYS USED TO OPEN DRAINAGE COVERS
As manhole and drainage covers have various shapes and manufactures, this also gives rise to a variety of keys used in order to open them and many lifting products will be supplied with additional keys. Many utility operators must simply carry extra keys to be on the safe side when out on a job. When looking at cover lifting products it is important to note if they include additional keys should you require them.
KEEPING SAFETY IN MIND WHILE LIFTING MANHOLE COVERS
- Avoiding back injury (The aim of any good Manhole cover Lifter should be to reduce the risk of back strain and injury)
- Use proper lifting technique
- Avoid using older and unsafe methods for lifting manhole covers
- Ensuring the workspace is safe to operate in
- Know your lifting limits
Why You Shouldn't Lift Manhole Covers By Hand
Manual lifting and back injuries are too often linked to each other and whether through ignorance or being impatient some people will still try to lift manhole covers by hand. Understanding the weight and size of the cover is the first aspect which needs to be understood. This can be difficult as the covers come in various shapes and sizes, it is only as they are being lifted can you tell the proper weight of the cover. There weights vary as there construction materials are often made of cast iron, steel, concrete or combinations of materials.
Manually handling of these covers risks catching and trapping fingers, hands or feet between the edge of the cover and the ground.
There is also the challenge of lifting the cover in a good stance or position for the operator, if the cover is in a raised position or possibly obstructed by a large object, this can make it quite difficult to lift. Knowing about hazards or slippery surface around the cover should also be taken into consideration and ensuring a safe and clean working environment as much as possible is key. It is never worth taking risks when working with heavy objects and the use of proper tools and equipment is always recommended. Keeping safety in mind must be a priority at any job.
AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO DEAL WITH SEALED AND TIGHT FITTING MANHOLE COVERS
Understandably overtime manhole and drainage covers will get layers of dirt, gravel and soil accumulating within any narrow gaps or small openings. Overtime this leads to manhole covers becoming very difficult to lift and seem almost fixed in place. An old method to get around this was the use of sledge hammers to weaken the seal.
Fortunately an easier method of using specifically designed seal breakers are now used to help break the seal and make it easier to lift the covers. These are recommended and there are a variety of seal breakers available, some as standalone products and some are integrated with the manhole lifter product itself which is an added bonus, as it is useful feature to have when dealing with older covers that haven't been opened in many years.
PRACTICAL STORAGE FOR YOUR HYDRAULIC MANHOLE COVER LIFTING EQUIPMENT
This storage box is built with high quality aluminium with checker plating, this will store and protect your Hydraulic Manhole Cover Lifter and tools. The box size is 1250mm long, 350mm wide, 360mm high. Having somewhere safe and secure such as this storage box for your Hydraulic Manhole Cover lifting equipment is vital and ensures:
- To protect your tools to give them a longer lasting life
- Makes for a clean and tidy workspace
- Easy transporting of tools when they are kept in there own storage box
In addition, this storage box could be used to store other valuable tools and equipment you may have and wish to protect.
MY TOP 3 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MANHOLE COVER LIFTERS
E-LIFT MANHOLE COVER LIFTER
The latest E-Lift manhole cover lifter is designed for one man to safely lift manhole covers with minimum effort and safety in mind. This compact tool is manufactured to very high standards along with an affordable price tag. The foot on the E-Lift enables the user to get more leverage when lifting a cover. Keys are interchangeable, which is an excellent feature to choose the key suitable for the cover, simply screw in and lock into position. This unique design enables keys to be stored in the handle along with a dirt pick. E-Lift manhole cover lifter is supplied with 3 keys.
- INTERCHANGEABLE KEYS
- 3 KEYS SUPPLIED
- DIRT PICK SUPPLIED
- KEYS & DIRT PICK STORED IN HANDLE
- LIFTER CAN BE USED IN PAIRS
MINI-LIFT XL MANHOLE COVER LIFTER (PAIRS)
The Mini-lift XL manhole cover lifter is designed for one or 2 men to lift manhole covers with minimum effort, designed with safety in mind it has a longer handle, preventing the need to bend therefore reducing the risk of injury. The Mini-lift XL manhole cover lifter is a lightweight tool, manufactured to Mustang's normal high standards, this product is also very affordable. The Mini-lift XL manhole cover lifter is sold with 3 interchangeable keys giving you more capabilities of lifting different cover types.
FITS IN THE BOOT OF A CAR
DESIGNED TO REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURY
3 KEYS SUPPLIED
PIVOT LIFT MANHOLE COVER LIFTER
The Pivot Lifter is designed for safely lifting manhole covers and is capable of lifting round, triangular, square, rectangular and also split covers very easily. With its rotating lifting eye this enables the position of the lifter to be the perfect lifting point. The Pivot Lift is quick to assemble, allowing a cover to be lifted within only 1 minute of arrival on site. The Pivot Lift comes with seal breakers and two pairs of keys both of which are very practical to have.
QUICK TO ASSEMBLE
FITS IN THE BOOT OF A CAR
BUILT IN SEAL BEAKERS
SUPPLIED WITH 2 PAIRS OF KEYS
In summary I have briefly talked about some of the aspects of lifting manhole and drainage covers which can be physically demanding and undertaking such work without suitable lifting aids can greatly increase the risk of personal injury, so it is worth the investment and time to research good products which will suit your needs and the nature of your work. I invite you to take a look at our product range here for manhole cover lifters in our store as we offer many extra features with our products, making easy work of the heaviest of covers.
Our Manhole Cover Lifters are designed to lift covers with minimum effort and all our products are ‘CE’ marked and supplied with Certificate of Conformity to meet Health & Safety Regulations.