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There are some jobs that require you to work at height but are not suited to a ladder. It may be the case that you require some sort of platform to safely place a number of tools, or you might need to have both hands entirely free to carry out complex work on the outside of a property. In this situation you might assume that you need to erect permanent scaffolding in order to carry out the work safely.

Thankfully, however, it is possible to make use of a scaffold tower instead. Here we take a look at some of the reasons it might actually be preferable to use a scaffold tower instead of scaffolding for your work at height.

Quicker to assemble

Scaffold towers are much quicker to assemble than traditional scaffolding. Towers can typically be erected by one person, so they are suitable for sole traders or commercial tradespeople, as opposed to scaffolding which requires a team of people with specialist training to set up. This means that scaffold towers can be effectively used by anyone and it is far easier to do so.

Of course, it also means that scaffold towers are quicker to disassemble – the whole process is simpler and less time consuming.

More versatile

There are many jobs – from simply home DIY to professional construction sites – that require additional stability or the ability to use two hands while working. In this case a ladder would not be appropriate, but a permanent scaffold would not be suitable either. However, a scaffold tower can be used due to their aforementioned fast setup time.

They can be used for all sorts of jobs, and it may also be possible to set them up on uneven ground where a ladder could not be safely placed.

Easier to transport

You might not realise just how easy it is to transport scaffold towers. Whilst they are very large structures when built, they are also extremely lightweight – this makes them very easy to move when they are disassembled. They can typically be transported in medium-sized vehicles without any danger of exceeding weight limits.

This can make them ideal for tasks that require a more stable and durable platform that a ladder, but where a full-size scaffolding installation would take too long. You can simply transport the tower to the location of the job, set it up quickly and get the work done safely.

Just as durable

Scaffold towers are just as durable and long-lasting as any traditional scaffolding. Towers are typically made with aluminium components – this is a very strong and non-corrosive metal, meaning that it is up to any task. Therefore you can use them with the same peace of mind in terms of safety and durability.

Would you like to learn more about the range of scaffold tower options available? The team at Precipitous has years of experience in supplying towers to individuals and businesses.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

You may have had a ladder for a long time. And if it has always served you well you might not see a reason to replace it. But it is definitely something worth thinking about – you can consider your new ladder purchase to be an investment. So, why is it worth investing? Here are four reasons that you would benefit from a new high-quality ladder.

1 - Modern features

If you currently have an older ladder then you might be surprised at the advances in technology and what they have meant for modern ladder features. Todays ladders are now lighter, stronger and more adaptable than they have ever been. With standard features such as rubber feet to stop the ladder slipping, and ergonomic rungs to make standing easier, a new ladder will make your experience easier and more comfortable.

2 - The right ladder for the job

An advantage of buying a new ladder is that it allows you to purchase something that is actually perfectly suited to the work that you are carrying out. It may sometimes be the case that if you have had a ladder for a long time that you start to use it in ways that it is not really designed for. For example, you might want to work on your roof when really your ladder is not designed to be used at that height.

Buying a new ladder gives you the opportunity to get something that is going to be completely suited to all of your upcoming tasks.

3 - Safety

This is perhaps the strongest reason to invest in a new ladder. Older ladders can weaken or deteriorate over time due to the effects of weather and heavy use. If you have had your ladder for a long time then you may be putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation by continuing to use it. If your ladder has seen better days, consider upgrading to a new one.

4 - Longevity

Modern ladders have excellent build quality and will be a dependable and durable purchase. Investing in a new ladder is a long-term purchase helping to ensure that you won’t need to spend money in future. It can be more cost-effective to invest in a high-quality ladder now, rather than buying something cheap or second-hand that will eventually need replacing.

If you are thinking of investing in a new ladder but aren’t sure what type would be suited to you, it is worth getting in contact with a specialist dealer who can offer insight from years of experience. The team at Precipitous has been supplying ladders to individuals and businesses across the UK for many years, and we would be happy to provide you with any advice or assistance that you need.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

It is a nightmare scenario, whether you’re at work or carrying out some DIY around the house – the scaffold tower you were going to use has a broken part. Firstly, it should be stated that it is not safe to use a broken scaffold tower and while it might look sturdy and secure, it will have a weakness that could cause it to collapse entirely if used.

So, what should you do in this scenario? Of course, you could simply buy a brand new tower, but this can be expensive (and it may not even be the quickest option). There are actually a number of other possibilities:

Fix

In some cases, it may be possible to fix your scaffold tower. For example, if one piece of the tower has broken you may be able to buy a replacement part and use the tower as normal. Many high quality dealers offer replacement scaffold tower parts, so get in touch with them to see if they can provide you with the piece you need.

Hire

Did you know you can hire a scaffold tower? If you need a tower on short notice but don’t want the expense of buying this can be an ideal option. In many cases fixing a tower can take time, so it actually makes sense to hire a tower in the short term to get the job done – you can then fix your tower at a later date.

Buy a used tower

Buying a second-hand tower is a far cheaper option than buying new, and in many cases, you will be able to get exactly the kind of scaffold tower you are looking for. It is important to note a couple of caveats here. Firstly, you should only buy a second-hand tower if it suits your needs. It can sometimes be tempting to opt for a cheap tower even if it’s not quite what you are looking for; this must be avoided. Secondly, you should ensure that the dealer you are buying from is reputable. Make sure that they have thoroughly checked over the tower and that it is in good condition to use.

If you are not sure which option is best for you, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team at Precipitous today. We sell new and used towers, as well as hiring out and offering replacement parts, so we can give you unbiased advice on the best option for you.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Winter safety tips for scaffold towers

14 November 2018 14:54:29 GMT

If you are considering working at height, a scaffold tower can often be seen as a safer option, especially if you are carrying out tasks that are going to take a long time. But during the winter, working from a scaffold tower presents a number of risks that aren’t necessarily a problem at other times of year.

If you are planning to use a scaffold tower it is important to follow safety advice closely. Here are some of our tips for working on a tower over winter.

Be aware of the weather

One of the major mitigating circumstances when working at height is what the weather is going to be like. Inclement weather can make working on a scaffold tower dangerous. You should always check the forecast and be mindful of the current conditions when you are working. Heavy rain or strong winds not only have the potential to knock things off the tower (creating danger for anyone standing beneath) but could also cause people using the tower to lose balance.

Never take a risk and attempt to use a scaffold tower if the weather is poor. Remember that it will be harder to work in bad conditions so it is a better idea to wait for things to calm down before working on the tower.

Dress appropriately

It is always important to dress appropriately when you are using a scaffold tower. This is never more pertinent than in the winter when cold weather – wearing the wrong gear can lead you feeling cold very quickly, which can put you in a dangerous position when you are working at height. You need to have as much dexterity and strength as possible, so wrap up warm, wear gloves and assume the weather will get colder as you work.

Check your scaffold tower thoroughly

The winter can be tough on scaffold towers and whilst they are highly durable, parts can begin to deteriorate over time. Someone with experience should check over the tower thoroughly before it is set up to ensure that all of the parts are still in good conditions. It is also a good idea to think about how your tower is stored over the winter to make sure it is suitably protected.

Use a tower that is right for the job

Scaffold towers can be extremely useful access equipment if you are going to be carrying out a task over a longer period of time. But it is important to use a tower that is right for the job. If the tower is not tall enough, for example, you should not attempt to set it up in a way that is not recommended (such as with a step-ladder on top), as this can be dangerous.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

It is easy to think of scaffold towers as purely a tool for commercial and construction sites, so you might be surprised to the learn that they can actually be used around the home to great effect. If you have a DIY project or home renovation that you are planning, you should consider using a scaffold tower as they can save you a lot of time and make things easier.

In this blog we take a look at how scaffold towers can be used around the home, as well as how to avoid some of the mistakes which are commonly made.

Great for larger projects

While you probably wouldn’t set up a scaffold tower to carry out window cleaning, they can be perfect if you are carrying out a large-scale project on your property. One of the major advantages of scaffold towers is that they are safer for use over longer periods for working at height than working on a ladder.

When you are going to get plenty of use out of the tower this can actually be a very cost-effective solution, rather than having to buy multiple ladders for different jobs. It will also save you a significant amount of time.

Set them up safely

If you are going to make use of a scaffold tower for your home project, it is important that you set them up safely and securely. This should always be carried out by someone who is very familiar with scaffold towers and is competent to do the work.

Also remember that you should thoroughly check over your scaffold tower before each use – and that they should never be used in a way that they are not meant to. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.

Second hand towers can save you money

If you are interested in using a scaffold tower but are concerned about the potential costs involved, a great solution can be purchasing a second hand tower. Used towers from reputable dealers are just as good as a new tower but can be bought at much lower prices.

A word of warning, however – make sure that you are choosing a tower that is suitable for your needs, and not just choosing it because it is cheap.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Are you getting ready to carry out some window cleaning at your home? It is important to use the correct type of ladder. In this blog we will take a look at the different types of ladders you can use to clean windows and help you be safe as you work at height.

The different ladders available

There are many types of ladder available and for a task like window cleaning you need to first make sure that your ladder is tall enough. The last thing you want to be doing is having to lean and stretch, potentially putting yourself in a dangerous position to clean the windows. Extension ladders and combination 3-way ladders are both popular choices for window cleaners.

It should be noted that if you have a ladder that almost reaches, but is easily available, you shouldn’t be tempted to use it. You ladder needs to give you an appropriate height in which to carry out the work without having to put yourself in an uncomfortable position.

Always use a ladder when you need one

When planning to clean their windows, some people make a mistake that can be extremely dangerous for them. And that is using an object other than a ladder to attempt to work at height. For example, you might assume that if you are cleaning windows at ground level that you can do this work without the help of ladder. However, depending on the height of your windows they may be too tall for you to carry out the task entirely.

This leads many people to use a makeshift solution such as standing on a box. You might assume that this fine, but a box is not designed to allow you clean. This could mean that you are susceptible to falling. Even if you only need a little extra height to clean the windows safely you should use a stepladder that allows you to do so securely.

Look for alternatives

Remember that it might not always be completely necessary for you to use a ladder to carry out window cleaning. Any kind of work at height is dangerous so you should explore other options before getting up on the ladder. For example, it might be possible to use an extending wiper from ground level to reach high windows.

Additionally, if you have windows that open wide it may be possible to clean your windows from inside your home. Both of these options are safer than working at height, and should be considered if possible.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Three ladder mistakes you need to avoid

24 September 2018 13:59:32 GMT

If you are going to use a ladder, either at work or at home, you need to ensure that you are doing it safely. Here are three common ladder mistakes that even experienced users make – you need to avoid them as they can put you in danger.

1 - Underestimating a step ladder

A step ladder only takes you a few feet off the ground, so that means that you do not need to follow the same strict regulations as you would if you were using an extension ladder – right? The truth is that while you might not be as high off the ground on a step ladder as you are on other types, you are still at risk of injury when you work at right.

Shorter falls can be just as damaging to your body, not least because you haven’t taken any safety precautions to protect against them. So, if you are going to use a step ladder you need to make sure that you are doing so with the utmost safety and care – just as you would with a much taller ladder.

2 - Assuming your ladder is still in good condition

There is no doubt that ladders are strong and sturdy pieces of equipment that can withstand a great deal of use. However, no ladder is indestructible, and it is in fact the case that your ladder can deteriorate over a short period of time as it is likely to get a lot of heavy use, for example if you are carrying out a DIY project.

It is essential, then, to thoroughly check your ladder is still in good condition before each use. Do not assume that a ladder is safe to use.

3 - Setting up your ladder on unstable ground

It is essential that you should always set your ladder up safely and correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. But one of the most common mistakes that people make is they set up their ladder on ground that is simply unsuitable for it. You have to stand your ladder on a solid foundation – if you can’t then this is not a safe area for you to be using that ladder.

Never cut corners with ladders, as doing so can put your life at risk when you are working at height if something goes wrong.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

How to safely check your roof

10 September 2018 08:52:00 GMT

It always important to take the time to check your roof occasionally. If it has been a few years since you have checked out the health of the roof on your property it is a great idea to get it done now before the winter comes. The old saying goes ‘fix the roof while the sun is shining’ all while it is cliché, it is certainly still applicable.

But if you are going to check your roof you need to make sure that you are doing it as safely as possible. Here we take a look at how you can check the health of your roof without putting yourself at unnecessary risk.

Check what you can from inside

The first step in checking your roof is something that everyone can do – inspect it from the inside. If you roof has any serious problems, it is likely that you will be able to see them from the inside. This could include patches of damp, obvious sagging, draughts or in some cases actually being able to see light from the outside. If you notice any of this, you already know that you have a problem with your roof.

Use the proper equipment on the roof itself

To carry out a full inspection of your roof you will need to actually get on top of it to understand the condition of the tiles and to see if any further problems are emerging. You don’t necessarily need to have experience to check over the roof, but it is extremely important that you take care. The most important aspect of doing this is using the right equipment.

You will need an extension ladder or even a roof ladder to be able to get up to the roof safely and carry out the inspection. Do not attempt to use a ladder in a way that it was not designed for.

Take extra care

Remember that if your roof is in poor condition it can be extremely hazardous. Loose tiles can fall or the integrity of the roof may not be what it could be. Take real care when you are checking out the roof and do not attempt to climb on a roof that looks unsafe. Always take more precautions than you think is necessary, and if you are ever in doubt, call in professionals to deal with it for you.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

There are many reasons that you might be interested in purchasing a new ladder. You might have had an old ladder that is now past its best and needs replacing. It may be the case that you need a specific type of ladder to carry out a particular task. Or could it even be that this is the first time that you are buying a ladder?

In any of these scenarios, it can be easy to be confused by the sheer range of ladders that are available. That means you need to do a little research before you buy to ensure that you are getting the right ladder for your needs.

At Precipitous we offer a huge range of ladders from simple extension ladders and extending telescopic ladders to those for a specific purpose, such as a roof ladder. Buyers often come to us with questions about which ladder is right for them. So here is our guide to the three questions you need to ask in order to establish which type of ladder is right for you.

What kind ladder do I need for the task?

The kind of task that you are carrying out will actually dictate the ladder for you, so when you come to come to make your ladder purchase, make sure you ask which type of ladder will be suitable for the job. Many people who don’t have a great deal of experience on ladders will assume that an extension ladder is fine for all tasks, but there are many situations where a different type of ladder may be a better choice.

What sort of material is best?

Ladders are available in various different materials and these can make a difference as to whether the ladder is suitable for you. While wooden ladders were common and popular in the past, modern models typically shun the material in favour of more durable and long-lasting ladders.

Aluminium is a common choice. It is highly affordable, making it ideal for buying specific use ladders. It is also very light, which is perfect for transportation. Another option is fibreglass, which has the advantage of not conducting electricity, making it safer to use around electrical equipment.

How tall does the ladder need to be?

As a rule of thumb consider how high you will need to be to carry out the task and buy a ladder that is taller than that height. Remember that you cannot stand on the top rungs of the ladder so when you are at the maximum height you will usually be able to reach just below the full height of the ladder.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Working at height can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Every year thousands of people are injured in ladder accidents that would have been completely preventable. Here are four common ladder mistakes that could be easily avoided.

1 - Placing your ladder on uneven ground

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when using a ladder comes when you are setting it up. A ladder can be in perfect condition and can be the ideal height for the job, but if it is placed on unsuitable ground it can make it dangerous to use. Ladders should only ever be placed on ground that is firm, solid and flat.

Placing it on uneven ground can very easily put it in a position where it will topple over, making it extremely dangerous to work on. Even if you are only using a ladder at a low height, a fall can cause serious injury, so always make sure that the ladder is set up correctly.

2 - Working on a ladder that’s not fit for purpose

It is sadly all too common for people who need to work at height to reach for the first ladder to hand, whether it is suitable for the task at hand or not. Remember that there are many different types of ladders available in various styles and heights. Just because you have used a ladder for tasks in the past does not mean that it will be suitable for the one you are currently carrying out.

You should only ever use a ladder that has been designed for the purpose you are intending to use it for.

3 - Using your ladder incorrectly

Additionally, it is important that you should never try to use a ladder in a way that it has not been designed for. This goes hand-in-hand with using the correct ladder. It is extremely dangerous to put yourself in a position where you are using a ladder incorrectly – for example by standing on rungs that are too high.

4 - Not carrying out thorough checks

It is vital that you should carry out a thorough inspection of your ladder before each use. Ladders are made of strong materials, but they can deteriorate with time. Some aspects of the ladder can wear down such as the rubber feet and this can make it dangerous to use. Working on a ladder that is in poor condition puts you in danger.

If you are concerned about the condition of your ladder then it is always wise to invest in a new one.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

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