Eiffel 101: HDPE Receiving and Handling Guide

In order to prevent pipe damage and worker injury, certain guidelines should be followed when receiving, unloading, storing and handling HDPE pipe.

1. Visually Inspect HDPE Pipe Before Unloading

HDPE pipe is generally shipped in bundles and sometimes includes dunnage and bands to protect the pipe during shipping. If orders are placed for multiple diameters, pipe may also ship nested. Upon arrival, all HDPE pipe loads should be visually checked before unloading. If damages or discrepancies are noticed, report them immediately.

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2. Unload HDPE Pipe with Proper Equipment

Before unloading, make sure the delivery truck is parked on level ground. Depending on the size of the shipment, proper unloading equipment may include a forklift with lifting tongs, or lifting equipment with wide web choker slings. If using a forklift, be sure it’s rated for the associated capacities. To prevent damage, do not connect the chains directly to the pipe. Instead, staff should follow the equipment user manuals while manning unloading equipment in order to avoid damage to the HDPE pipe or worker injury. HDPE pipe should never be rolled or pushed off a truck.

3. Store HDPE Pipe Properly

After HDPE pipe has been unloaded from the delivery truck, it may not be ready for immediate use. Set aside an adequate number of staging areas to temporarily store the pipe at a job site. Ensure all staging areas are level and out of the way of construction traffic. Furthermore, storage areas should be clear of large rocks, rough surfaces, or debris, as these things can cause physical damage to the pipe. If the HDPE pipe comes packaged as a bundled unit, it is also appropriate to store the pipe as a unit. On the other hand, if the pipe arrives as loose individual pieces, they should be stacked in rows. It's important to block the bottom row of individually stacked pipe on both sides to prevent movement, as well as to prevent the pile from collapsing. HDPE pipe should be stacked according to size, and each stack should not exceed a maximum height of six feet, as this can lead to pipe damage and worker injury.

4. Take Weather into Consideration

HDPE pipe is durable and suitable for outdoor storage. However, special care should be taken when temperatures drop below freezing. When HDPE pipe is exposed to freezing conditions, the flexibility of the pipe tends to reduce, which means it’s more likely to break if handled improperly. Improper handing can include such events as accidental dropping of pipe or impact from objects hitting the pipe.

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5. String the Pipe to Save Handling Time

To save handling time, HDPE pipe can be strung along an open trench’s side (opposite excavated trench material) in preparation to lay the pipe. Position the pipe on a level surface and out of the way of equipment and crew members. Restraints should be utilized to block the pipe from rolling out of place. It is important to leave space between each length of pipe in order to protect pipe ends from damage.

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