FACTA Specification

Fabricated Covers

What is FACTA Specification?

Fabricated Access Covers Trade Association (FACTA) is a specification that allows fabricated access covers to be made from a variety of materials and offer flexibility in its design, something that isn’t achievable for cast covers. FACTA focuses on wheel loadings and base their test loads and calculations on the European standards for structural steelwork.

This specification offers load classes to address the shortcomings with BS EN 124 which does not take into account fabricated covers which are normally manufactured from steel or aluminium and restricted to 20mph speed limits. Fabricated covers are not subjected to the same dynamic loads associated with covers manufactured from materials such as cast iron. Because of this, the ultimate test loads in BS EN124:2015 are substantially higher than what is necessary for fabricated covers.

FACTA specification  addresses these concerns and sets out a classification for access covers that is considered more accurate, but not equally comparable to BS EN124:2015.

What type of access covers are covered by FACTA specification?

  • Solid top covers
  • Recessed covers designed for non-structural infill
  • Recessed covers designed for structural infill
  • Surface drainage products

For covers up to up to 1m. Please see BS9124 for covers over 1m.


What loadings does FACTA cover?

FACTA have produced a classification table that outlines what each loading class can withstand, in terms of both gross laden and slow moving, as well as the comparison against the EN124 specification. It also details the typical application for each loading.

Access covers rated by FACTA are simply listed with a rating from FACTA A to FACTA F. The primary factor they use is the slow moving pneumatic wheel load, which is deemed to be speeds of no greater than 20mph in low intensity trafficked areas.

FACTA loadings can be compared to relevant EN124 loadings – e.g. FACTA A compares to EN124 A15, FACTA B compares to EN124 B125 etc, but FACTA adds in 2 extra classes of AA and AAA which are particularly useful in factory settings. The test loads in FACTA, particularly on the C Class and D Class manholes are much more practical and cost effective in real situations.


FACTA Class Overview Typical Applications
FACTA A Pedestrian use and up to 5kN (0.6 tonne) wheel loads Internal and external areas which can only be used by pedestrians or cycles, such as toilets, changing rooms, footways and cycle tracks
FACTA AA Small vehicles up to 15kN (1.5 tonne) wheel loads Very light industrial areas, where small trolleys and private cars/vans can manoeuvre, such as domestic driveways, trolley parks and hospital wards
FACTA AAA Cars up to 25kN (2.5 tonne) wheel loads Service areas, shopping malls, light industrial areas (pneumatic tyres); light industrial areas, where trolleys and light pallet trucks operate (solid tyres)
FACTA B Cars and vans up to 50kN (5.0 tonne) wheel loads Pedestrian precincts, light commercial delivery or parking areas (pneumatic tyres); factories, industrial plants, where small pallet trucks operate (solid tyres)
FACTA C Trucks up to 65kN (6.5 tonne) wheel loads Factories, industrial plants, commercial delivery or parking areas (pneumatic tyres); industrial areas where pallet and small fork-lift trucks operate (solid tyres)
FACTA D Articulated lorries up to 108kN (11 tonne) wheel loads Heavy duty plant areas and service roads where HGVs can reach speeds of 20 mph max (pneumatic tyres); heavy duty industrial areas where medium duty fork-lift trucks operate (solid tyres).
FACTA E Heavy, moving plant up to 158kN (16 tonne) wheel loads Dockside and container storage areas where heavy transporters operate (pneumatic tyres); very heavy industrial areas where large heavy duty fork-lift trucks operate (solid tyres)
FACTA F Aircraft and heavy plant up to 237kN (24 tonne) wheel loads Airfield aprons, where particularly heavy wheel loads are imposed by aircraft and towing vehicles

Can I use a fabricated steel cover in the carriageway?

Due to the speed and intensity of traffic on roads and highways, steel covers are deemed unsuitable for this use. Consider using ductile iron covers and gratings for these applications.


I require an access cover to withstand 40 Ton Gross, which FACTA loading would be most suitable?

Although there are three FACTA loadings which state they can withstand up to 44 Ton Gross Laden, the intended applications for each loading greatly vary from one another. The key difference between these loadings is the Slow-Moving Wheel load. FACTA B for example can only withstand 5 Ton Slow Moving (50kN), which would be more than ideal for car parks/delivery areas where cars/small vehicles operate. FACTA D however can take up to 11 Ton Slow Moving (108kN), which is best suited to plant areas/access roads where HGVs/Medium Duty Forklifts operate. In this case, the intended application would be the deciding factor.

Key points to remember with FACTA covers

  • Fabricated covers suitable for use in areas with vehicle access are designed for slow moving traffic applications only.
  • Covers rated by FACTA should never be used in highways or other area of fast moving traffic.
  • Access covers manufactured from pressed steel are recommended only for areas of low intensity traffic.
  • None of FACTA’s loading categorisations can be directly compared to BS EN 124