Why You Shouldn't Coat Wood Cribbing Skids And Supports

Posted on: 22 April 2016


Cribbing skids are large pieces of wood or other materials used to support the weight of a section of pipeline, heavy machinery, or other object that shouldn't be in direct contact with the ground. Wood beams offers many benefits over other types of cribbing, but only if they're left raw without any kind of coating added to the surface. Learn why it's important not to coat your wood cribbing skids or purchase pre-coated products.

Gripping Surface

First, pressure treated or painted wood becomes slick and even somewhat slippery. When you're using the beams or blocks to support something large that could hurt people and damage equipment if it slips, you don't want to take any risks by reducing friction between the wood's surface and the item resting on it. Use untreated wood only because it has a rough exterior for preventing stacked cribbing skids from sliding against each other as well.

Moisture Control

When the surface of wood cribbing is coated with preservatives, paints, or sealants, water and other forms of moisture bead on the surface of the material instead of slowing soaking in. Those little beads of moisture increase the problems of slipperiness exponentially. If there's a severe risk of fire from letting flammable liquids soak into the cribbing under a piece of equipment, switch to a different support material like plastic or metal instead of sealing the wood.

Damage Warning

Bare wood also helps you notice when a skid is reaching the end of its lifespan or it is damaged enough to replace. When splitting and cracking is disguised by a thick layer of colorful paint or epoxy coating, you won't know a support piece is about to collapse until it cracks and sends thousands of pounds of equipment or materials falling and sliding in any direction. Inspecting skids before and during every use is an essential safety precaution, so don't interfere with your crew's ability to spot and replace damaged pieces of wood.

Appropriate Use

If it's necessary or helpful to add some kind of color to the cribbing beams so they're easier to sort by size, wood type, and use, try adding a thin coat of paint to the end of each piece of wood instead of coating the entire thing. This maintains an absorbent and rough surface on the sides of the beams that are used for support while giving you the convenience of knowing what skid you're looking at with a glance. Use only a single layer of paint so you can still see signs of damage like checking and cracking at the ends.\

For more information, contact B and D Mats, LLC or a similar company.