What to Look for in a Scaffold Tower
With such a broad range of scaffold towers on the market, it isn’t at all uncommon to find yourself somewhat overwhelmed when sourcing high-quality scaffolding for a commercial, industrial or residential project. Here are a few important considerations to take into account.
The Height Required
Experienced contractors have a good understanding of the difference between platform height and working height, which you need to understand if you are to buy the right scaffold tower for your project. Platform height refers to the height of the platform on which workers stand, whereas working height refers to the height of the platform plus the average reach of a person.
For example, if the platform height of a scaffold tower is 2.5m, the working height will be 4.0m-4.5m, however, you may need to adjust this difference if you are shorter or taller than average. What’s more, as many people tend to overestimate or underestimate heights, it’s highly advisable that you check the height required with a tape measure or by counting brick courses.
Strength and Stability
Two qualities that you wouldn’t want to overlook in a scaffold tower, it’s essential that the tower you purchase is both strong and stable. In addition to being ‘Made to British Standards’ (BS EN1004), and constructed of quality materials, you also need to check the gauge or metal thickness of the tube, as well as its diameter.
Generally, the thicker the gauge and diameter, the stronger and more stable the scaffold tower will be, which is important for health and safety reasons on all projects regardless of size.
Another important consideration is how the tower frames (the part which forms the main structure) fit together. A swaged fitting is the best solution as this ensures a close fit into the next tube which reduces the amount of movement between components resulting in a sturdier tower – which is the ultimate desire for most people.
Base Size Required
There are a number of factors to take into consideration with regard to base size, including stability and the amount of space that you have to work with. With regard to stability, it is the smallest dimension, or the width, that is one of the most important determining factors here, whereas with working space you need to take into account:
- The shape of the tower (rectangular or square) and the work environment
- The ground or surface on which the scaffold tower will be erected
If you are working in a narrow passage or on a stairway, you may need to look at specialist scaffold towers, like Top Tower’s StairDeck Stairway Tower, which is perfect for working in tight spaces and on stairways, areas that have traditionally posed numerous problems for scaffolders.
Scaffolding towers are very safe, for the most part, these days. Nevertheless, for commercial use, you still need to ensure your scaffold tower conforms to national safety regulations, which means primarily, it must incorporate a full guard rail and toe boards and have internal ladder access to the trap door platform.
Some other safety features that you might like to consider looking for include adjustable height foot plates and base rails, which tie the first frames of the scaffold together and further minimise movement. Stabilisers can also be added to further enhance stability.
Whether you need lightweight scaffolding for DIY/home handyman tasks or significantly larger towers for a commercial/industrial project, look no further than the comprehensive Top Tower range. We look forward to helping you choose the ideal scaffold tower for your requirements.