Cribbing Do’s and Don’ts: What You Need to Know

Aerial lift operators can use cribbing to maintain a level surface. Now, let’s review key topics surrounding cribbing.

What Is Cribbing?

Cribbing is a temporary work structure commonly used in construction. It is used to support aerial lifts and other heavy equipment.

Wood is often used for cribbing, since it provides strength and durability. Yet, how cribbing is built plays an important role in its effectiveness.

Aerial lift operators must use proper cribbing techniques. Failure to do so can result in aerial lift tip-overs. It can also lead to equipment damage and workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Wood Cribbing Tips for Aerial Lift Operators

Here are tips for safe use of wood cribbing with aerial lifts.

1. Choose the Right Type of Wood

Plywood often represents a great option for cribbing. It is a thick, sturdy wood that is capable of handling heavy loads. In addition, plywood cribbing delivers exceptional stability.

Along with plywood, Douglas Fir and Southern Pine are frequently used in wood cribbing blocks. Cribbing from these wood varieties has been shown to handle large loads without wearing down.

2. Place Cribbing on Stable Ground

Cribbing should only be used on level ground. Verify no debris is underneath or blocking the cribbing.

3. Calculate the Block Size

Divide an aerial lift’s maximum lifting capacity in tons by five. This will provide the correct block size for wood cribbing.

Should You Use Wood for Cribbing?

Wood typically provides the best option for cribbing. However, plastic and steel can also be used for cribbing.

Regardless of the cribbing material, it is paramount to ensure it can support an aerial lift’s weight. Before selecting cribbing, find out the weight of a lift. This information can be used to refine your search for appropriate cribbing.

Can Wood Cribbing Break?

Wood cribbing will show signs of wear and tear if it cannot support an aerial lift’s weight. In this instance, cribbing will start to crush. Cribbing may also make a “groaning” noise as more weight is placed on it.

Aerial lift operators should keep an eye out for warning signs that wood cribbing is breaking. They should inspect their cribbing regularly. If cribbing raises any red flags, it should be repaired or replaced immediately.

san diego aerial lift certification

Aerial Lift Cribbing Do’s and Don’ts

When it comes to aerial lift cribbing, there are many do’s and don’ts to consider. These include:


  • Wear work gloves, a helmet, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with cribbing.
  • ✓ Select cribbing that is free of damage.
  • ✓ Distribute an aerial lift’s weight on cribbing.


  • ✓ Place cribbing on an unstable surface.
  • ✓ Use an aerial lift on cribbing in heavy winds and other severe weather conditions.
  • ✓ Utilize damaged or flawed cribbing materials.

Safety training is paramount for aerial lift operators to use cribbing without putting themselves or others in danger. offers an OSHA-compliant aerial lift safety training program to help workers avoid accidents and injuries. To learn more about our training program, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.