Worth Knowing

Outrigger pads are to be used with the outrigger system or down jack on your equipment. There are a few different systems on equipment for the outriggers or down jacks:

Out & down outrigger system: This is vertical pressure from the equipment & has a rubber up method. This system is designed to widen the foot print of the equipment, getting the rubber or tires up to make sure the PSI is not addressed through the suspension of the equipment, but through the outrigger system.

The A-frame or 45 degree outrigger system: Smaller cranes or boom trucks have this style, as well as quarter mount equipment with a kicker leg being the 45 degree outrigger.

Combo of out & down with 45 degree outrigger systems on 1 unit.

Down Jacks: This system is common for the trucking & RV industry with lowering gear for the down jacks to drop a trailer or set up level.

*Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations of the equipment you are using or operating for set up.

Outrigger pads are a tool of safety.

50% of crane failure includes collapse from improper use of outriggers. The outrigger pad is used to displace the point of contact pressure PSI/ PSF that the ground sees. The outrigger pad expands & displaces the point of contact from the equipment’s outrigger/ pontoon/ shoe/ float. This will decrease the PSI or PSF for the GBC ( ground bearing capacity). The GBC is the maximum PSI or PSF the ground can hold before it displaces. The point of contact on the equipment is small with exceptionally high PSI using outrigger pads to hold up & displace the PSI by expanding the point of contact to the ground.

These portable and user friendly outrigger pads are American made by American Veterans & our custom composite is guaranteed for life. The reason for our Bigfoot name is, our outrigger pads make a BIG FOOT print or expand the point of contact from your equipment’s outrigger. The Bigfoot outrigger pads are an engineered tool of safety & success. The custom composite outrigger pads were built by Bigfoot Bill, working with engineers, to get the maximum PSI value & guarantee these pads for life.

Stability is dependent on the equipment’s foot print and center of mass. The foot print is the total area enclosed by the support structures of the equipment. The center of mass is the point at which the equipment would balance if it were set on top of a single point of support. If the center of mass is off the edge or outside the foot print, the equipment will topple.

There are two ways to provide extra stability:

  • Use a counter weight to help shift the center of mass back over the foot print.
  • Make the foot print bigger.

All cranes have counter weights, but there is a limit to how heavy they can get for transportation & set up. The ground can only carry a certain PSI/ PSF before it will displace or collapse. Using retractable outriggers to extend the foot print is essential for the crane’s stability. After deploying the equipment’s outrigger system, using Bigfoot outrigger pads to expand the point of contact will displace the PSI/ PSF for the GBC.

The materials Bigfoot uses are the highest quality with our American custom composite or Premium Birch.

  • The custom composite is 1/7th the weight of steel with comparable PSI values to high grade American steel. This material is exceptionally resistant to water/ electricity/ corrosion and guaranteed for life.
  • The Premium Birch has been used in the field for decades to the harshest conditions with exceptional results. This has a typical life span of 10 years with normal conditions & set up.

Bigfoot strongly recommends not using FRP or Non-American materials on any critical loads or picks of 10,000 lbs+ or with personnel aloft.

Fiberglass/ FRP material outrigger pads or crane mats:
This material will give no visual indicators before or during use of failure. Fiberglass/ FRP is for light weight usage and has no place for the high PSI values that are seen with cranes or bucket trucks in any critical lift. The use of Fiberglass has had to reduce it’s load ratings by 40%+ with real field conditions and use in a very short time. While reducing the load rating, they are still punching holes in Fiberglass for light weight use. Fiberglass has no place in the real field for use on set up or supporting cranes, or any equipment in a safe or secure manner.

Fiberglass or FRP is as follows:

  • Will have brittle failure with no warning, even with inspection prior to use or set up.
  • Poor strength, will crush or punch holes in it
  • Exceptionally expensive to repair
  • Low life span with heavy loads & small point of contact. Our study with this has found failure within 1-2 years with exceptionally poor results in the field.
  • As Fiberglass is used, the impact will break down & then with no warning collapse/ punch holes/ have complete failure.

Non- American materials: Bigfoot has had multi non-American custom composite 3rd party tested. The results have been a 25% PSI value of our American custom composite. There are companies that claim made in America while using non-American materials. Having material made outside the USA and then sold here as a vendor or marketing company is not made in America. 100% recycled material has nowhere near the strength as our custom composite. The recycled material is too inconsistent to give accurate PSI vales, nor will it hold over time under the high comprehensive loads seen in this industry.

ImageImageImageFIBER brittle failure, with no indicators or warning
FIBER brittle failure, with no indicators or warning.

Bigfoot Construction Equipment

is not a vendor or marketing company, but an in house manufacturer with field experience since 1991.
Building with American Materials, with American Veterans since the start of this American Family Business, is exclusive to the
industry and only done by Bigfoot


Strength / Stability / Safety