Blocking and Cribbing for Heavy Equipment

SKU: C-391Duration: 21 Minutes Certificate Included

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Course Details


Training Time: 21 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Blocking and cribbing is a phrase which describes a variety of procedures used to stabilize heavy equipment, or large components of heavy equipment, during maintenance. Blocking refers to any of a number of methods for securing a machine, or part of a machine, while it is being worked on. Cribbing refers to the technique of stacking a group of uniform blocks to create a temporary, but sturdy, elevated structure capable of supporting a heavy load. This course describes equipment and guidelines for successful blocking and cribbing operations.

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the purpose of blocking
  • Describe cribbing
  • Identify some of the blocking techniques used with heavy equipment
  • Describe the materials used for cribbing
  • Describe cribbing block care
  • Describe some of the techniques used to build a successful crib

The following key questions are answered in this module:

Why does heavy equipment need to be blocked during maintenance?
Hydraulic devices that are used to lift equipment for maintenance should not be relied on to keep the equipment elevated. If a person could be injured by the hydraulic failure, a static blocking device is needed to securely hold up the equipment during maintenance.

What type of equipment is used for blocking?
There are many ways to block, or secure, equipment for maintenance. Some the most common devices are jack stands, hydraulic sleeves and cribbing.

What is a jack stand?
Jack stands are steel supports which may have a fixed height or be height-adjustable within a certain range.

What is one major advantage cribbing has over jack stands?
Cribbing has a larger support area than jack stands do and therefore better distributes the load of a large machine on soft ground. It also provides a larger area of support where it contacts the equipment.

Why should cribbing not be painted or stained?
Paint or stain would reduce the natural surface friction of wood cribbing which helps the stacked blocks stay together when they are under load.

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

Beyond its use in a maintenance environment, there are some other common uses of cribbing. Cribbing is used in emergency response situations to safely support cars, trucks, and equipment. Cribbing allows unusual loads to be stabilized so that rescue workers can access victims. Cribbing is also commonly used in conjunction with lifting equipment such as cranes. In this application, cribbing is used to increase the load distribution area of outriggers, or to compensate for sloped or uneven terrain. Building up support points on a crane allows the lifting platform itself to be level.

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

  • Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy –
  • DMME Training Topics -
  • Caterpillar Safety Services –
  • CAT Safety Services Safety Basics -
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration –
  • OSHA Safety eTools -

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