Guidance on Loadings

Guidance on Steel Access Covers and Loadings

Although BS EN 124 does cover manhole tops manufactured from a variety of materials including steel it is argued that some test procedures are inappropriate for steel. The standard defines certain test loads and minimum permanent deflections that are impractical from an economic point of view and it is maintained are unnecessary in certain slow moving traffic situations. In addition steel fabrication is a highly flexible process allowing all sorts of non standard sizes and designs that are not covered by BS EN 124.

As a consequence the industry in the UK uses a number of definitions of loading categorisation that can be confusing. Some are historical descriptions while others are descriptions based on the gross laden weight of a vehicle or individual wheel loads. There can be conflicting definitions of exactly what the descriptions mean and how the access cover will perform.

In an attempt to apply some logic and give guidance for users the Fabricated Access Covers Association (FACTA) of which Wrekin is a member have produced definitions and loading categorisations in the form of classes for fabricated covers but not pressed tops.

In addition many of the historical loading descriptions still persist so using our 30 years experience and technical knowledge Wrekin have produced a guide to load categorisations and the correct choice of Wrekin product.

There are a number of key points that require emphasis

  • Where steel products are suitable for use in vehicle situations they are designed for slow moving traffic applications only. They must never be used in highways or any other area of fast moving traffic.
  • Access covers manufactured from pressed steel are recommended only for areas of low intensity traffic.
  • None of the loading categorisations can be directly compared to BS EN 124

Example applications and the Wrekin product to choose

FACTA AInternal and external areas which can only be used by pedestrians or cycles e.g. toilets, changing rooms, footpaths and cycle tracks
Pressed Steel (infrequent traffic) Single seal C211K/P series Double seal C221K/P series
Fabricated Steel (more frequent traffic) Single seal C211K series Double seal C221K series
Recessed for block paving 60mm blocks C281M series 80mm blocks C291M series
Recessed for screed or concrete C271M series
FACTA AAVery light industrial areas, where small trolleys and private cars/small vans can manoeuvre eg domestic driveways, trolley parks, hospital wards
Pressed Steel (infrequent traffic) Single seal C211L/P series Double seal C221L/P series
Fabricated Steel (more frequent traffic) Single seal C211L series Double seal C221L series
Recessed for block paving 60mm blocks C281M series 80mm blocks C291M series
Recessed for screed or concrete C271M series
FACTA AAAService areas, shopping malls, light industrial areas
Pressed Steel (infrequent traffic) Single seal C211M/P series Double seal C221M/P series
Fabricated Steel (more frequent traffic) Single seal C211M series Double seal C221M series
Recessed for block paving 60mm blocks C281M series 80mm blocks C291M series
Recessed for screed or concrete C271M series
FACTA AAALight industrial areas, where trolleys and light pallet trucks operate
Pressed Steel (infrequent traffic) Single seal C211M+/P series Double seal C221M+/P series
Fabricated Steel (more frequent traffic) Single seal C211N series Double seal C221N series
Recessed for block paving 60mm blocks C281N series 80mm blocks C291N series
Recessed for screed or concrete C271N series
FACTA BPneumatic tyres: Pedestrian precincts, light commercial delivery or parking areas
Solid tyres: Factories, industrial plants, where small pallet trucks operate
Pressed Steel (infrequent traffic) Single seal C211N/P series Double seal C221N/P series
Fabricated Steel (more frequent traffic) Single seal C211N series Double seal C221N series
Recessed for block paving 60mm blocks C281N series 80mm blocks C291N series
Recessed for screed or concrete C271N series
FACTA CPneumatic tyres: Factories, industrial plants, commercial delivery or parking areas
Solid tyres: Industrial areas where pallet and small fork-lift trucks operate
Pressed Steel (infrequent traffic) n/a
Fabricated Steel (more frequent traffic) Single seal C211P series Double seal C221P series
Recessed for block paving 60mm blocks C281P series 80mm blocks C291P series
Recessed for screed or concrete C271P series
FACTA DPneumatic tyres: Heavy duty plant areas and service roads where HGVs can reach speeds of 20 mph max.
Solid tyres: Heavy duty industrial areas where medium duty fork-lift trucks operate
Pressed Steel (infrequent traffic) n/a
Fabricated Steel (more frequent traffic) Single seal C211X series Double seal C221X series
Recessed for block paving 60mm blocks C281X series 80mm blocks C291X series
Recessed for screed or concrete C291X/TR series
FACTA EPneumatic tyres: Dockside and container storage areas where heavy transporters operate
Solid tyres: Very heavy industrial areas where large heavy duty fork-lift trucks operate
Pressed Steel (infrequent traffic) n/a
Fabricated Steel (more frequent traffic) Non Standard – Please contact sales department – 01283 222042
Recessed for block paving
Recessed for screed or concrete
FACTA FAirfield aprons, where particularly heavy wheel loads are imposed by aircraft and towing vehicles
Pressed Steel (infrequent traffic) n/a
Fabricated Steel (more frequent traffic) Non Standard – Please contact sales department – 01283 222042
Recessed for block paving
Recessed for screed or concrete
highwayAny highway
NEVER USE STEEL COVERS IN ANY HIGHWAY SITUATION DUE TO TRAFFIC SPEED AND INTENSITY
Instead, use WREKIN ductile iron covers for highway applications

Loading guide

Steel Covers Guidance Table
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Steel access covers guidance table

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Steel access covers guidance table