Sandbag Storage and Filling
The Bulk Container Association (FIBCA) has created a set of guidelines for the use and storage of bulk bags in an effort to ensure safety. The guidelines cover everything from bag storage to filling to transportation. We will cover storage and filling in the first of our bulk sandbag use posts.
This article as meant to provide an overview of bulk sandbag use and should not replace a thorough review of the manufacturer instructions for the bag you choose.
Before You Start: Review Sandbag Basics
Always be sure that you are choosing the right bag for the job. Check the manufacturer guidelines to be sure that the material you are storing or moving in the bags is not incompatible with the manufacturer’s intended use BEFORE filling any bags. This includes making sure that the material you place in the bag is safe for that bag and that you know in advance the weight that the bag can safely accommodate.
Bulk bags and sandbags need to be stored in a safe, clean, dry place to protect them from the sun’s UV rays and inclement weather. UV rays and moisture can significantly weaken the strength of the bag over time. Additionally, moisture may damage the contents of the bags if you are trying to store material that is needed for future use. It is highly recommended not to store bags outside but if you must store them outside be sure they are well covered with some type of waterproof covering that will also protect them from UV rays. The FIBCA makes clear that they do not endorse the practice of outdoor storage though as it can have an adverse effect on the stability of bulk bags or sandbags.
- Be sure that the bag you are going to use has been stored correctly so that it’s integrity is not at risk. There’s nothing worse than filling a bag and having it tear or fail.
- Check the bag over to be sure it is free of any initial tears or punctures.
- If you are using a bag with a bottom discharge chute, make sure the chute is closed correctly.
- Make sure the material going into the bag is compatible with the components of the bag.
- Fill the bag as evenly as you can and be sure it stays stable
- Do not overfill the bag past the manufacturer specifications for the weight the bag can safely handle.
Additionally, if you are filling bags with lift loops or sleeves using a crane or forklift to hold them:
- Make sure that the loops or sleeves are vertical to prevent any undue damage from lateral forces.
- Be sure that there are no sharp edges that could tear the bag and that the fork lift tines are strong enough for the load with rounded edges to prevent tearing.
- Raise and lower the bag smoothly
- If hazardous materials are involved, extra precautions need to be taken to ensure personnel safety. You can read more about additional requirements on the OSHA site.
Traffic Safety Warehouse provides a large assortment of bulk sandbags for an array of jobs. You can always call us at (877) 966-1018 if you have product questions.
Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association (Fibca). “FIBC Handling Guidelines Part 1 – Storage of Empty FIBCs.” (n.d.): n. pag.FIBCA. FIBCA. Web. <http://fibca.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Part1_Storage_of_Empty_FIBCs.pdf>.
Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association (Fibca). “FIBC Handling Guidelines Part 2 – Filling of FIBCs.” (n.d.): n. pag. FIBCA. FIBCA. Web. <http://fibca.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Part2_Filling_of_FIBCs.pdf>.
Spring is here and along with the season we can expect the usual raining and flooding. It is important to have a plan and the supplies in place for those times of extreme water levels, especially if you are in an area that is often impacted by floods.
Being ready for a flood before it happens is the best policy and it is pretty easy to do. The goal is just to stop the water before it can do damage. There are several ways to do this but still the favorite and most effective flood supplies are sandbags.
No one plans a flood and they usually happen with little warning so equipment that can be moved and deployed quickly is of utmost importance. Sandbags are easily stored ahead of time because they can lay flat and do not take up much space at all. Once there is a flood danger reported, they can be quickly put into action and since they are flexible they can be lay upon each other and fill gaps to keep water out.
Many choose to use traditional sandbags that can be filled with sand. A sandbag filler can be used to speed up the process of filling the bags. AIRE Diversion Tubes have become increasingly popular because they are environmentally safe and quick to fill. Another interesting alternative are self inflating sand bags. When these bags come in contact with the water, they absorbe the water quickly, filling and creating a barrier.
Protect your property and be ready for flooding water by researching your options and planning ahead. With the easy storage of this type of equipment and the quick set up, there is no need to be caught unprepared.
This is a follow-up to our blog article last week. We are spending a little extra time on the topic of flood control right now because this is the season that we find most people are affected by heavy rains, water rising and flood damage. Many of you ask about the best way to fill sand bags, so we wanted to provide some additional tips.
For those using propylene or burlap sand bags, Tim Bertschi, of U.S. Army corps of Engineers’, has put together a very helpful video. You might want to watch the video BEFORE you find yourself in a flood control situation:
Thank to Tim for his very helpful video.
One of our other favorite flood control products is the self-inflating sand bag, just because of its ease of use. These bags expand automatically when they come in contact with water, inflating to as much as 40-44 lbs in 3-5 minutes.
To see them in use, check out the following video:
We hope you find this helpful. If you still have questions about which products to use for flood control and water absorption needs, don’t hesitate to call us at 877-966-1018 and we can help you out.