Whoever is on the road by car knows you: traffic signs. In the "sign forest Germany" felt far too many and often placed nonsensically. Nevertheless, they regulate traffic and provide orientation. The installation of traffic signs in and out of town is a challenge for every highway maintenance department, road maintenance depot or building yard. Even if it is one of their routine tasks. Signs are newly installed, have been damaged in an accident, have become illegible due to the effects of the weather, or have been given new information and therefore need to be replaced.
At the same time, the place where the signs are installed is rarely completely free of danger. Especially out of town on highways and country roads, the installation or replacement of traffic signs is always fraught with danger. It is therefore important that this work is carried out quickly, safely and ergonomically.
Highway signs, information boards and traffic signs are available in countless sizes and designs. Round, square, mounted on posts, hanging on constructions, with and without frames, illuminated and much more. While small traffic signs such as warning beacons, speed limits or no passing signs can be effortlessly transported and attached by hand, larger signs such as directional signs present a challenge. For the longest possible life, signs are usually made of metal and painted with a water-repellent coating. Because of their thin, weight-saving material thickness, directional signs also always have sharp edges. Sharp edges are a challenge for any sling, which is why DGUV Rule 109-017 addresses this issue in a separate chapter. In addition, the sensitive surface of the signs must not be damaged under any circumstances during transport and installation. Due to all these factors, only suitable lifting equipment should be used for handling traffic signs. You can read more about these below.
Wind and weather make handling traffic signs difficult. Both when loading the truck in the depot and at the installation site. Wet metal surfaces can cause attached slings to slip during the lifting process, posing a safety risk. Larger traffic signs covering several square meters are also susceptible to wind. This in turn makes the lifting process a safety risk for the slinger. Loads must never be allowed to lurch and injure people. Despite wind and weather, however, the entire handling process must be safe and ergonomic. The load must never be allowed to fall and cause injury to persons.
There are certainly more pleasant and safer workplaces than a busy highway or country road. Especially in these places, work should therefore be completed quickly to avoid exposing people to danger for longer than absolutely necessary. If traffic signs have to be replaced or erected at these locations, the construction site area is always cordoned off over a wide area in order to offer the workers the greatest possible safety. Traffic lanes are narrowed and routed past the construction site. Despite the cordon, traffic rushes past unchecked and only a few centimeters away. Although the employees of the road and highway maintenance departments and building yards have a certain routine, they do not want to expose themselves to any more danger than is absolutely necessary. So if the installation can be carried out quickly and yet safely, this is an advantage for everyone involved.
In practice, traffic signs are very often attached with textile attachments such as round slings . They are sometimes adventurously looped around the signs to lift the load. Due to the sharp edges, smooth surface and non-existent anchor points, this type of slinging carries a certain risk. The load can start to wobble and the round slings can slip on the slippery surface, causing the load to fall. Since traffic signs are not equipped with classic attachment points like machine parts, the safest solution is basically to grip the load directly using a so-called plate clamp (or lifting clamp).
The safety plate clamp CGSMHT from Carl Stahl is ideal for lifting and transporting traffic signs. This is because it was developed specifically for this application. Several advantages speak for the use of this clamp:
The safety clamps are very easy to operate by hand. So they can be attached quickly - without additional tools. For large signs weighing more than 350 kg, combine several clamps together and then connect them to the crane by chain.
The main target groups are road maintenance depots, highway maintenance depots as well as building yards of local authorities, which are commissioned with the replacement or installation of traffic signs. Attached to the sling, which in turn is directly connected to the crane hook of the truck crane, the safety plate clamp CGSMHT can already help on the premises to safely pick up the traffic sign from a frame on the ground and lift it onto the truck.
Traffic signs usually do not have extra attachment points - such as eyelets or loops. It is therefore not possible to attach the signs or information boards directly with a hook. In practice, round slings are often used. However, attaching them to the load is time-consuming and involves a safety risk. The CGSMHT safety plate clamp, on the other hand, is attached in no time at all, clamps the load securely thanks to locking bolts, and is easy to use in any situation.
The CGSMHT safety sheet metal clamp was specially developed for use with traffic signs and information boards. With its design and coated gripping jaws, it holds the load firmly and securely without scratching the paint. The clamp is also built to have a large opening. So you can use it to easily grip traffic signs that have a frame. However, the sign itself must not exceed a thickness of 2.00 mm. Due to its characteristics, the CGSHMT is not suitable for transporting steel girders, sheet metal or standard profiles. For these loads, there are other plate clamps accordingly.
Different loads also require different clamps: For the handling of sandwich panels, for example, sheet clamps with an adjustment function and exchangeable gripper jaws come into question.