The Who, What, Why and When of Scaffold towers!

May 27, 2014 4 Comment(s) Scaffolding towers,
Scaffold towers are an alternative access method for jobs that involve working at height for a long time.  Being up a ladder and working for periods of more than 30 minutes can be Cartoon of a man up a ladder holding a case.uncomfortable on the feet, arms and back, not to mention the legs.  The other issue with using a ladder for long tasks is that you only have one hand free to work with, so painting and maintenance jobs could take twice as long on a ladder compared to a scaffold tower.A scaffold tower also gives you more stability, so there is no issue with balancing up a ladder and trying to hold a paint can at the same time: scaffold towers have plenty of room for tools and equipment as well as yourself.  For outdoor jobs they are especially useful, as the greater contact area with the ground makes for a more stable base, and there is no risk of it slipping out from underneath you.  They also allow you to achieve greater heights than standard ladders because there is less of an issue with stability, which can be a problem with using very long ladders.  Scaffold towers are not cheap and even the basic models start at over £200.  However, this investment is well worth it for long standing restoration and refurbishment projects, and even ongoing garden maintenance such as hedge pruning.

DIY Scaffolding

For DIY use there are a couple of options: an aluminium scaffold tower with a platform height of 2.43 metres, or with a platform height of 4.83 metres.  The shorter model gives a working height of 4.43 metres, based on an average height and reach.  The tower itself is 3.79 metres high, so would not be useable in spaces with ceilings lower than that (where you need a stable platform with less height, you should use a work platform)  Costing £227 including VAT and delivery, it is 1.72 metres long and 1.23 metres wide at the base, so it’s not a small piece of kit by any means.  The tower weighs 25 kilos and will take up to 150 kilos of load.  The platform can be positioned at nine different levels up to the maximum height of 2.43 metres and features a trapdoor for you to climb through from the bottom of the tower.  Once erected, the scaffold tower sits on two wide stabiliser bars and can be moved easily by lifting one end making the wheels contact the ground.  When not in use, the scaffold tower packs down to 1.95m x 60cm x 20cm, making it relatively easy to store and transport.A man climbs a scaffolding tower against a wall covered in ivy.The taller model has a working height of 6.83 metres and spans the gap between this height and the shorter model.  The taller scaffold tower comes with two trapdoor platforms, so that two people can work at different levels simultaneously.  There are also extra wide stabiliser legs, that make it 2.7 metres wide and 3.7 metres long.  It weighs 52 kilos and will take a load of up to 150 kilos (which is where you need to be careful with two people on it).  The 4.83 metre model costs £520 including VAT and delivery, but this is large enough to reach the top of a standard house and it provides much more safety and security than a ladder.

Scaffolding Towers for Trade

For heights above this, you will need to look at a scaffold tower designed for trade use, rather than the DIY targeted models above.   With a platform height of 5.2 metres and a working height of 7.2 metres, this trade scaffold tower is ideal for the tallest DIY tasks.  It is certified to HD1004 class 3 Trade, so is more than suitable for DIY use, taking a maximum load of 150 kilos.  The scaffold tower weighs 85 kilos, so it is not light, but it folds flat for storage and transportation and has locking castors to make moving it around a doddle.  Two trapdoor platforms, each 1.75 metres long, are supplied with it, so two heights can be maintained at the same time.  Toeboard sets are also supplied for each platform for added safety.  Double handrails finish off the meticulous construction of this scaffold tower, which is the tallest configuration of a modular unit.  By investing £899 including VAT and delivery in this model you are getting several scaffold towers in one, from 94 centimetres platform height all the way to 5.2 metres.  Adjustable stabilising legs are available for this trade scaffold tower system.If you are serious about home maintenance and DIY then it can be worthwhile making this investment.  You could even split the cost with friends or neighbours to enable more people to get DIY jobs done safely.  If safety is your number one issue, the trade standard model (modular, starting at £265 for the 94 centimetre platform base pack) has a sturdier construction and will stand up to more rigorous regular use.  Most people opt for a scaffold tower because the task they are undertaking is not possible on a ladder.  Repointing brickwork, re-fitting windows and exterior tiling all require a lot of equipment and materials and it makes more sense to have the space to keep these things nearby as well as the freedom to move while you are working.  The DIY suitable models we looked at first should satisfy most homeowner’s needs and the taller of the two offers double platform heights, effectively acting as the smaller model at the same time.

4 Comment(s)

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