How to Stack Steel Pipe
Stacking and storing steel pipe on your jobsite not only presents a logistical problem but a safety issue as well. Unless you stack steel pipe properly, with strapping and wood separators, chances of the pipe falling and injuring someone are great. Correctly stacked pipe will also benefit you in the time it will save in transporting the pipe to different locations on the jobsite. By making the pipe into "one unit" you transform the round pipes into one solid block that can be easily picked up and moved with a forklift or other lifting machine.
Place 4x4 pieces of wood down where you want to stack your steel pipe. The 4x4 pieces will serve to keep the pipe off the ground, making it easier to be picked up by a forklift or other lifting machine. Place the 4x4s a quarter of the length of the pipe in from each end.
Lay down your first layer of pipe on the 4x4s. Make sure the ends are even and do not make the width of the pile more than 6 feet or you will run into difficulty lifting and moving the pile.
Set the 2x4s on top of the first layer so they stand up on their 2 inch end. Place the boards in several feet from the end of the pipes. If you have very long steel pipes you will need to place more boards to adequately support the next layer. A good rule of thumb to remember is that you should not leave more than 6 feet of the pipe unsupported.
Set the next layer of pipes on the boards. Keep the ends even with the layer below and set the same amount of pipes down as are in the layer below. Imagine that you are building a block made of pipe. Never stack different sized steel pipes in the same pile.
Continue placing 2x4s between the layers and stacking pipe until the stack is about 5 feet high.
Strap the stack to make it one unit. Pass your metal strapping under the pipe and over it and using your tensioner and sealer, connect the two ends of the strapping as tightly as you can. See the instructions that came with your strapping tensioner and sealer to do this properly. Place strapping at both ends of the pipe (near the 2x4s) and follow the rule of thumb of no more than 6 feet of pipe should be left unsupported (or unstrapped). When you are done you will have a stack of pipes that is held together as one unit. It cannot fall apart and it will be easy to move.
Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.
- hauling steel image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com