Alternatives to timber in shipbuilding

Timba™ Blocks – The load rated & lightweight shipyard solution

July 5, 2023

We are always amazed at the multiple uses for our load-rated Timba™ support Blocks.

Timba™ is a cost effective, lightweight, and load-rated alternative to timber in the workplace. Commonly used to support heavy equipment and machinery, Timba™ can also be used to support marine vessels – from pleasure boats and upwards!

Reduce shipyard maintenance risks with Timba Blocks

These Timba™ Blocks weigh 13kg and can hold an evenly distributed load of 36 ton.

NPR Timba™ Blocks are the lightweight alternative to handling timber across the shipyard. In comparison to heavy cumbersome wooden blocks weighing up to 80kg+, the Timba™ Blocks pictured above weigh only 13kg – and feature handles for ease of use. This reduces manual handling risks such as strain injuries, heavy lifting, splinters, and pinches.

Risks of timber in shipyards & shipbuilding

Example of wood used in a shipyard. No need for these heavy wooden blocks with Timba™!

To ensure load stability, our Timba™ Blocks are coated in Anti Slip paint and load-rated to 30kg per square cm. The pictured Blocks can take a maximum of 36 ton if the load is spread over the entire block surface. Timba™ Blocks can also be stacked to achieve required heights within reason and limits of the Load Rating. A compliance plate is fitted to each Block with a QR code that directs users to a Timba™ Load Calculator on our website. The Load Calculator will help you determine the maximum load permitted on each Block to allow you to get the most from the product.

Timba™ Blocks are proudly Australian made and tested to Australian standards A1170.0 and ASTM D1621-10.

With 8 different sizes available, we have a Timba™ Block to suit every use at your shipyard.

At NPR we give a ship about worker safety… Reduce shipyard maintenance risks, improve shipyard workplace safety, and eliminate the environmental impact of timber in shipbuilding.

Contact your dedicated Product Specialist for more information or a quote. Give Peter a call on +61 0427 624 001 or email 

National Plastics & Rubber promotes safe working practices therefore, performing your own risk assessment is essential before using these products. 

Dangers of timber ribbing blocks for mining operations

The hidden risks of timber support blocks: make the switch to Stacko™ today

June 29, 2023

Explore the dangers of using timber and wood onsite to support heavy equipment and machines. Not only are you creating unnecessary safety risks – but it isn’t very environmentally friendly either!

Across the industry, where heavy equipment and machinery are commonplace, the safety of operations and personnel is of upmost importance. Creating a safe work environment leads to operational efficiencies, increased machine availability, and reduced downtime.

Cribbing or machinery support blocks serve several key purposes in the heavy industry and are employed in various applications – for example, equipment stabilisation and assembly, as well as temporary support structures. To ensure safe and efficient operations, choosing the right block is crucial. While timber cribbing blocks have traditionally been used, OEMs, mining companies, and contractors are increasingly making the switch to our load-rated polyurethane Stacko™ Blocks. Developed from the ground up, Stacko™ offers significant safety, performance, and reliability advantages.

Timber blocks pose a number of dangers to a worksite:

1. Limited Load-Bearing Capacity: Timber cribbing blocks have inherent limitations in their load-bearing capacity. The unknown shape, make up, and structure of each timber block makes it impossible to guarantee the load rating, and ability of a block to support the required tonnage. Over time, timber can deteriorate, leading to reduced structural integrity. This poses a significant risk when supporting heavy machinery, as sudden collapses or shifts can occur, endangering nearby personnel and equipment.

2. Moisture Absorption and Decay: Wood is prone to moisture absorption, which can cause the blocks to swell, warp, or decay. In mining operations, where conditions are often harsh and damp, the lifespan of timber cribbing blocks can be significantly reduced. This deterioration compromises their ability to provide stable, reliable, and durable support – increasing the likelihood of WHS hazards, risks, and potentially catastrophic incidents.

3. Uneven Weight Distribution: Timber cribbing blocks are susceptible to variations in shape and size, resulting in uneven weight distribution. This imbalance can lead to instability and potential structural failures, posing dangers to both workers and equipment.

Safety dangers of timber cribbing blocks

4. Not backed by testing: Due to the unknown makeup of timber, and the differing structural integrity from block to block, timber cannot be independently tested or certified for its intended use. Timber blocks are not assessed against any safety standards, within an operating temperature range, or have any safety factor.

5. Manual handling risks: The handling of timber blocks around site poses many safety risks to workers. Timber is heavy to handle, with the potential for splintering – leading to back strain, hand injuries, and other incidents.

6. Environment concerns: No doubt you aware that timber or wood cribbing blocks are derived from the cutting down of trees – not the most environmentally friendly option! If you are looking to reduce your environmental footprint, then timber is not the ideal choice. Switch to a longer lasting block that can be reused with no compromise on load bearing capacity or stability.

Wood cribbing blocks for mining industry - unsafe

Replace timber with the superior alternative – Stacko™ Blocks:

1. Reliable load rating: Stacko™ Blocks are designed and engineered to handle heavy loads safely. Load rated to 30kg/cm2, with a 3:1 safety factor, Stacko™ offer a higher level of stability, reliability, and minimises the risk of accidents caused by structural failure. Complete trust can be placed in Stacko™’s lead rating to support, stabilise, and elevate your heavy equipment and machinery.

2. Lightweight and Easy to Handle: Stacko™ blocks are up to 30% lighter than timber and other cribbing products – making them easy to transport, handle, and position. Stacko™ Blocks also feature a handle for ease of use, and a safe-build trolley is available as an additional purchase. This not only improves operational efficiency and ergonomics but also reduces the risk of worker injuries associated with lifting and manoeuvring heavy blocks.

Superior heavy machinery support blocks

3. Rigorously tested: Stacko™ Blocks have been independently tested to AS1170. This is the standard in Australia required for jacks and standards. Conforming to this standard, Stacko™ possesses a 3:1 safety factor, and experienced less than 2% deflection at maximum load. The testing was conducted as a single Stacko™ block and as a 150cm high crib, within a temperature range of -50oC to +40oC – note this range refers to the temperature throughout the complete block, not the ambient temperature. This stringent testing regime guarantees Stacko™s suitability for use in a range of harsh conditions on site.

4. Interlocking design: Stacko™ are the only heavy equipment support blocks to feature an interlocking system. This patent protected design was developed for added safety, stability and reliability. Blocks are unlikely to topple when configured.

Load-bearing polyurethane blocks

5. Moisture and Chemical Resistance: Unlike timber, Stacko™ Blocks (manufactured from polyurethane) are resistant to moisture, oil, salt water, rodent and insects, as well as, most workshop chemicals. Polyurethane blocks are not affected by environmental conditions, ensuring consistent performance and structural integrity even in the harshest mining environments.

6. Consistent Size and Shape: Stacko™ blocks are manufactured from virgin materials to precise specifications, ensuring uniform size, shape, and weight distribution. This consistency provides stability and eliminates the risk of uneven weight distribution, reducing the likelihood of accidents caused by block instability – a high risk when using timber. Our on-site manufacturing capabilities allow for continually monitored quality control, testing, and quarantining if required.

Other benefits of Stacko™ include: UV stabilised, blocks are manufactured in Hi-Vis yellow, and the ability to assemble many configurations to suit various applications.

Load-rated polyurethane cribbing blocks

When it comes to temporary equipment stabilisation, assembly, and support, the choice of block plays a critical role in ensuring worker safety. It is clear that timber no longer has a place in a safety-oriented and environmentally conscious industry. By transitioning from timber to Stacko™, you can enhance safety standards, mitigate the risks associated with unstable support structures, and provide a secure environment for both workers and equipment. Make the smart choice for your heavy industry operations by embracing the advanced safety features and superior performance of polyurethane Stacko™ Blocks.

To speak to a Stacko™ Product Specialist today give us a call on 07 3279 3066 or email

Heavy Duty cable and hose cover

Cross over to safety with NPR’s Heavy Duty Cable & Hose Crossover

June 13, 2023

National Plastics & Rubber are committed to creating safe worksites across the heavy industry. With over 25 years’ experience, we have the knowledge, skills, and ingenuity to produce reliable products that achieve practical results.

One of our most trusted products, the Heavy Duty Cable & Hose Cross Over is just one example of our innovative solutions developed to improve site efficiency and help you cross over to the safe side.

Crossovers, also referred to as cable ramps, hose covers, and cable protectors, are designed to create a clear pathway with neatly organised cables elevated off the ground. We understand that unimpeded pedestrian and vehicle access across site is vital to reducing WH&S hazards, risks, and potential incidents.

NPR’s Heavy Duty Cable & Hose Crossover is designed to meet the demands of heavy industry operations and protect large diameter electrical cables and hoses. It is one of the only cross overs capable of protecting dragline cables with an outside diameter of up to 120mm. The load capacity of this Heavy Duty Crossover further ensures it can withstand the weight of rolling equipment, machines, and trucks up to 630 Ton GVM across site.

Hose & electrical cable cover crossover

Purposely manufactured from polyurethane, our Crossover is highly durable, tough & corrosion resistant. It is produced in bright orange for improved visibility, and to serve as a visual cue to workers – drawing attention to potential hazard and encouraging caution when crossing the protected area.

Dragline electrical cable cover crossover

Experience major cost savings when compared to equivalent steel covers which tend to be conductive and contain sharp edges. NPR’s Heavy Duty Polyurethane Crossover is the safe and cost effective solution.

NPR’s Cable & Hose Crossover is easy to install and maintenance free. Watch our how to use video.

Available as a 2 or 4 metre complete assembly. For more information or a quote give us a call on 07 3279 3066 or email

We also supply Pedestrian (with hinged lid) and Light vehicle Cable Covers.

polyurethane critical production roller

Manufacturing Capabilities: Recoating an 11 ton Roller

March 31, 2023

National Plastics & Rubber are the largest Brisbane-based polyurethane solution providers. We specialise in industrial polyurethane products that provide innovative solutions to the heavy industry. Working with leading mining clients, OEMs, and industry professionals – we have developed a range of globally trusted products, including wheel chocks and load-rated cribbing blocks. Read more about the benefits of polyurethane compared to rubber or plastics.

With over 25 years’ experience in the industry, we harnessed the benefits of polyurethane and recognised its ability to provide quality safety, reliability, and productivity solutions to our clients across the mining, construction, earthmoving, and aviation industries – to name a few.

Recently, we worked with one of our large manufacturing clients to recoat one of their critical production rollers. With the roller measuring 6 metres in length, and weighting 11 ton, the project demonstrates our unique capabilities as a leader in the polyurethane industry. Impeccable coordination, quality control, and manpower were required to successfully pour over 300kg of polyurethane under time constraint.

polyurethane solutions

Our production team take great pride in producing quality polyurethane products for the heavy industry. Our polyurethane is mixed through a specialised dispensing machine on-site to ensure stringent quality control measures are met. We conduct regular pressure and sample testing, as well as independent reports to guarantee the quality of every product produced.

polyurethane product testing

NPR are proud to be a leading polyurethane solution manufacturer and one of the only companies capable of servicing large equipment alongside our high-volume production capabilities.

For more information on collaboration opportunities – contact National Plastics & Rubber.

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