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 to users the Fabricated Access Covers Association (FACTA) of which Wrekin is a member has 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.
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
Internal and external areas which can only be used by pedestrians or bicycles e.g. toilets, changing rooms, footpaths, cycle paths.