Specifying the Right Traffic Load Level for Utility Access Hatches

Utility, water, and wastewater contractors regularly specify metal access hatches for their infrastructure projects. There are several misunderstandings related to traffic ratings and the terminology surrounding
the topic. Many people believe if a hatch is rated as “traffic” it is automatically considered ready to put into a roadway with moving vehicles traveling over the designated area. In practice, the term “traffic” covers everything from lawn equipment driving over a cover in a landscaping area to a passenger vehicle in a parking lot to a semitrailer truck on an interstate. 
 
It is important to be able to ask the right questions to make sure that the traffic rating requested will work for the specific application.

Note: There are potentially negative consequences to selecting underdesigned covers. Conversely, overdesigned covers may not realize the economic benefits for a business when selecting proper covers for proper applications.
 
The purpose of the document below is to get a better understanding regarding the different levels of traffic loading criteria and how each rating applies to individual applications
 
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