There are many different types of scaffolding used in the construction industry today. Regardless of which type you choose, the main purpose of scaffolding is to provide a safe platform for people to work at height.
In lots of jobs, a ladder is not sufficient enough for the task at hand. You need something which offers more space and is more robust. On lots of construction sites, you might see permanent scaffolding which could be there for long periods of time.
However, this can be costly and time consuming, which is why many industries choose to use mobile scaffolding as an effective alternative.
So, if you’re about to embark on a construction project, or carry out some repairs and maintenance, then we’re here to tell you all about mobile scaffolding including why it’s used and the benefits it can bring to your project.
What is a Mobile Scaffold?
A mobile scaffold is a temporary structure based on wheels or casters and is used for a wide variety of different applications. It can be transported from one part of a site to another making it a highly useful piece of equipment for lots of industries. The wheels can be locked in place to secure the structure and allow workers to complete tasks safely.
This independent platform is constructed on site and is built with a cross-beamed vertical structure. It’s composition makes the tower very strong which allows workers to carry and use heavier tools than they would be able to on a ladder.
As mentioned, when working at height there are lots of different options to choose from, and each has their own advantages. As well as scaffolding, you might also be considering using a cherry picker. Check out our blog post to see the differences between both of these platforms, to help you make the best decision for your project.
Who Uses a Mobile Scaffold?
In the construction industry, workers use scaffolding towers to complete different jobs such as roofing, brickwork, and to carry out repairs and maintenance. Even when a building is complete, it’s still important to complete regular surveys. Scaffolding towers allow building inspectors and civil engineers to adequately assess the exterior infrastructure.
However, aside from construction, these platforms are also used for other tradesmen including plasters, decorators, and window cleaners who need to access areas at height. Although they could use a ladder, it would make it very difficult and unsafe for them to be carrying equipment up and down.
Another industry which uses mobile scaffolding is events. From constructing staging to installing cameras and speakers, this is another example of how these portable structures can be very useful.
What are the Benefits of Using a Mobile Scaffold?
There are a whole host of benefits to using mobile scaffolding in contrast to a more permanent structure.
Especially for those who have a smaller budget or limited resources, these temporary platforms can be a cost effective solution that still gets the job done.
However, it’s important to consider what you need from your scaffolding before choosing the best options. With that said, let’s explore some of the benefits in further detail.
Lots of jobs require more stability or extra working space that a standard ladder would be able to provide. However these same jobs are not suitable for a permanent scaffolding fixture which is why people choose a mobile scaffolding tower. These are a helpful middle ground and provide a robust working platform.
Furthermore, they can be set up on uneven ground making them a practical solution for construction sites where conditions are not always ideal. This gives workers peace of mind that they can construct the scaffolding without worrying about where to place it.
Mobile scaffolds are available in a variety sizes allowing you to choose the best option for the needs of your project. Instead of risking your safety by carrying heavy pieces of equipment up and down a set of ladders, you can securely rest these on the platform.
In turn, this makes completing a job much quicker as you’re not having to make various trips to collect more tools. You can decide from the outset which pieces of equipment are needed for the job and keep them at easy reach while working on the portable tower.
As many mobile scaffolding towers are made from aluminium components, this non-ferrous metal is non-corrosive and is therefore highly durable. This makes them a reliable investment for commercial tradesmen, with a significantly long operational lifespan. Furthermore, this durability means they will be able to withstand weather conditions which is an absolute necessity for a construction site.
By using aluminium, these portable towers are very sturdy and can support the weight and strains expected of it. As we’ve covered, tradesmen will be using heavy pieces of equipment on these platforms so it’s essential that they are structurally sound.
Providing they’re carefully maintained, a mobile scaffold tower should last several years before it’s deemed no longer safe to use.
Scaffolding towers are lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. Due to the lack of galvanised steel poles, these structures can be easily transported from one place to another. This adds further versatility, as you’re not restricted when completing your job. This gives workers even more flexibility to respond to the needs of different projects.
In addition, scaffold towers are equipped with wheels meaning they can be moved around on site to access hard to reach areas. There is no need to dismantle and rebuild the structure as it can simply be pushed from one location to another. However, with any sort of apparatus, great care must be taken to avoid any hazards that could pose a risk.
Easy to Assemble
Scaffold towers are a viable alternative to lighter pieces of equipment such as ladders. Also, unlike building a more permanent structure, these portable platforms do not require specialist training to construct.
They include a set of instructions about how to set up the tower to guide workers through the assembly process. Conveniently, many mobile scaffold towers fit together in a modular design, making them very easy to put together. This also means that additional levels can be added if extra height is required.
This is a big advantage as a mobile scaffold can perform the job of many other different types of ladders at once, without the need to buy or transport access equipment to a worksite.
Less Resources Required
Mobile scaffolds can be assembled by 1 person easily and quickly. Similarly, the structure can be manoeuvred from one place to another by 1 person, which is advantageous to any team of workers. Instead of having to pull people from different jobs to help with the transportation, and therefore using up valuable time, a single person is able to handle this independently.
This is also very beneficial for smaller teams where there might only be one or two people working on a project.
In contrast to a larger scaffolding structure, it takes a lot of manpower to correctly assemble and dismantle the structure safely. However by using a scaffolding tower you are saving precious time and resources which can be spent on completing the project.
These temporary fixtures are protected with railings to allow workers to safely access areas both in front and above them. This prevents workers from falling when they are trying to reach certain heights by providing an exterior barrier.
They also have a wide surface area and are supported on four legs to create a stable and secure base. This enables you to complete work on the platform without worrying about your balance or the structure toppling over.
Of course this relies on the scaffolding being built correctly in the first place, so always ensure you refer to the instructions before assembling the components.
What Should I Consider When Using a Mobile Scaffold?
When using any type of scaffolding, safety is absolutely key. Especially when you’re working at height, there are even more risks involved which is why you need to be confident that the structure is secure and reliable.
Below are a few important considerations when using a scaffolding tower to ensure the job not only gets done, but that it gets done without compromising your safety.
Erection and Dismantle
When using a mobile scaffold, the supplier or hiring company has a responsibility to provide a set of instructions about how to assemble and dismantle the tower correctly.
This should include any bracing requirements and the height at which the scaffold can be erected. This information should be read by the person assembling the tower and anyone else who is supervising.
The are two safe systems of work when erecting a tower:
Advance guard rail system – This is where temporary guard rail units are locked in place from the level below and are moved up to the platform level. They are in place before the operator accesses the platform to fit the permanent guard rails.
'Through-the-trap' (3T) – This involves the operator taking up a working position in the trap door of the platform, from where they can add or remove the components which act as the guard rails on the level above the platform. It is designed to ensure that the operator does not stand on an unguarded platform
Tower scaffolds must comply with the standard required for all types of scaffolds including double guardrails, toeboards, bracing and access ladder.
When you have hired your scaffolding tower, it should arrive with all the necessary components to ensure it is safe and stable.
For a tower to be structurally sound, it relies on all parts being in place as they are at risk of collapse if some sections are abandoned.
Following assembly, all towers must be inspected to ensure they are safe to use by workers. Moreover, if the tower is being used for any type of construction work and a person could fall 2 metres or more from the platform, then it must be inspected after assembly and then every 7 days. If the inspection shows it is not safe to continue, then you must stop work immediately and correct any faults that have been identified.
The result of an inspection must be recorded and kept until the next inspection is recorded.
It’s key that a mobile scaffolding platform is stable to allow workers to stand on them safely. To ensure this happens, you must never use bricks or building blocks to take the weight of the tower. In addition, a tower should never be erected above the height stated in the instruction manual.
Using and Moving Around
Whilst it’s very easy to move a mobile tower due to its lightweight nature and design, always make sure those around you are aware of what is happening first.
There are a few things to bear in mind when using a tower.
Never use a tower if:
In strong winds
As a support for ladders
They have broken or missing parts
They have incompatible components
Additionally, when moving a tower you should always:
reduce the height to a maximum of 4m
check that there are no power lines or obstructions overhead
check that the ground is firm
push or pull using manual effort from the base only
How Can YardLink Help?
At YardLink, we supply a fantastic range of mobile scaffolding options to allow you to complete your jobs safely regardless of the industry you work in.
If you’re looking for a highly versatile and cost-effective way to work at heights, then take a look at our access towers. Narrow scaffolding tower hire options like our single width options are easy to erect and are perfect if you need to conduct some repair work. Heights range from 2.2 metres to 12.4 metres, so you can reach any height you need to. Meanwhile, our double width access towers are great if you’re working on a larger area.
With so many options available, you can be sure to find something that works for you! And with next day delivery, you can be confident that your hire equipment will arrive quickly to allow you to get on with the job at hand.
Talk to YardLink to see how our single and double width access tower hire options can work for you. We’re more than happy to help!
The Benefits of Using a Mobile Scaffold
When you’re completing any job at height there are various things to consider, such as manoeuvrability, versatility, and more importantly safety.
Lots of jobs require workers to access hard to reach areas including construction sites and painters and decorators. Whilst a ladder might suffice some of these requirements, they do not offer the same level of flexibility and safety that a scaffolding platform does.
However, due to time constraints and cost, many companies do not have the resources for a permanent scaffolding structure which is why mobile scaffolding is the perfect solution. This sturdy fixture allows workers to operate at height without compromising on safety. They are flexible, versatile, and can be easily transported from one location to another with minimal effort.
If this sounds like a piece of equipment you need for your project then give YardLink a call or send us an enquiry to see how we can help.