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The material of a scaffold tower might never have been something that you have put much thought into before. But if you are coming to either buy or hire a new tower, you might be surprised to learn that the material can make a huge difference to the functionality of your tower.

The vast majority of scaffold towers used in the UK are made from aluminium. Steel is also common, and there is also a growing number of fibreglass models available. The type of tower that you need could depend on the job that you are carrying out. So, let’s take a look at the different materials available to help you understand which one might be right for you.

Aluminium towers

This is one of the most commonly-used materials for scaffold towers. It is extremely popular due to the fact that it is strong, reliable and durable. Given that aluminium is also a very light metal it is very easy to transport it. If you are interested in buying or hiring a standard scaffold tower for normal DIY or professional use, aluminium is likely the best material for you.

Steel towers

It is very common to find steel used as a material for scaffolding, however, it is much rarer in scaffold towers as it is heavier and less user-friendly than other commonly-used materials. Steel is, of course, extremely strong and durable, however steel scaffold towers do not comply with respected industry standards. As such, steel scaffold towers are only suitable for DIY use.

Fibreglass towers

It is a relatively recent innovation that fibreglass is used in scaffold towers, but it is rapidly becoming very popular. The major benefit of fibreglass scaffold towers is that they are safe to use around electrical sources. It could be dangerous to be on a steel or aluminium tower around a live electrical current. Unlike these materials, fibreglass does not conduct electricity.

If you are interested in learning more about the range of scaffold towers available, talk to the experts at Precipitous. We have years of experience in providing high quality scaffold towers to tradespeople, businesses and homeowners across the UK.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

With 2019 now in full swing, many us start to look at our homes and notice the things that are in need of a change or a refresh. So, this is the right time to work on DIY tasks around the house. Of course in the winter it can be difficult to find the motivation to work outside, but there are still plenty of things that you can do around your property before the spring rolls around.

Check your tools and equipment thoroughly

Even the best quality tools and equipment will degrade with time and exposure to bad weather conditions. This obviously means that the winter is the worst time of year for your tools. With safety critical pieces of equipment like ladders, it is essential that they are in excellent condition when you use them. This means that now is the right time to do a thorough examination of all of your equipment and tools to establish that everything is in good working order.

If any of your DIY tools need replacing, it is better to know about it now, rather than on the day that you want to use them, and find that you can’t.

Give your garden a good tidy

It is undoubtedly the case that the garden can get fairly neglected over the winter. Not only is it a time of harsh weather and withering plants, but you are also far less likely to get outside to do general tasks, and as such it can lead to a build-up of fallen leaves and unkempt shrubbery.

So, before the spring it is well worth having a good clean up in the garden. Take the time to sweep up debris and prune trees and bushes. It’s worth pointing out here that trees could have been damaged by the bad weather, so now is the time to cut off broken branches.

Create some storage space

Now that we have had the New Year, it’s the perfect time to re-think your home especially with regard to storage space. The Christmas period can lead to lots of new things having to find a new place to live in your home – this can lead to the garage or the garden shed becoming a dumping ground.

Now is the right time to have a thorough clear out to create storage space, and ensure that you are using space effectively. The spring is a key time for carrying out work on the house, so it can be a great idea to have all your tools and equipment organised and in one place. Freeing up the space to do this is a great start.

Do some interior painting

Doing work on the exterior of the property is a no-no. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get interior work done. It’s worth taking the time to paint interior walls and surfaces before the spring when you will inevitably want to work on the outside of the property.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Safety advice for working at height

22 January 2019 16:25:10 GMT

Working at height

If you’re planning a project or carrying out a task at work that requires working at height, its important to take the proper safety precautions to minimise any potential risks. Whether you’re using a step ladder to help screw in a new lightbulb, or working on a ladder while you check on your roof, it is always crucial to make sure you do so safely. If you don’t, you could be at risk of serious injury resulting from a fall. Take a look at our safety advice below to think about when working at height.

Is there a safer way to do the job?

Before you start working on a project, take a moment to think about whether you actually need to work at height to get the job done. It could be that there is a much easier solution that requires less potential risk. One example is cleaning windows - It could be possible to clean the windows from inside the building. Of course, this won’t always be the case and some jobs will certainly need a ladder, step ladder or possibly a scaffold tower in order to be possible.

Wear suitable clothing

This might sound like common sense, but many accidents when working on ladders and scaffold towers are caused by improper clothing and a lack of care. Wear the correct clothing, and make sure you choose sensible shoes. No matter what you’re working on, take the time to put on some appropriate footwear with proper grip. Even if its just a quick job and you’re not working too high up, accidents can still happen – and even a short fall poses a serious risk.

Don’t work alone – ask for help

No matter what you’re working on, if you’re going to be working at height its important to have someone there to keep an eye on you, or at least check on you every now and again. If you do unfortunately suffer a fall, they can get help and call an ambulance should it be needed. Always remember that working at height comes with a number of risks.

Use the right equipment for the job

If you’re going to work at height, its important to make sure you’re using the right equipment for the job at hand. If you don’t need to be too high up to do what you need, then a step ladder will probably do just fine. If you need to be higher, think about using a ladder or possibly a scaffold tower to get the job done. Its also important to make sure your equipment is properly maintained and up to scratch. Take the time to do a thorough inspection before you use any ladder or scaffold tower.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Man taking down Christmas decorations from roof

Now that Christmas is over and the New Year has begun, it’s time to start thinking of putting those Christmas decorations away if you haven’t already. Depending on how you decorated your home for the festive season, you might need a bit of assistance getting to those harder to reach decorations. If you’ve put up Christmas lights outside your house, or have things hanging higher up inside your home, you will likely need to use a ladder or step ladder to get to them. Take a look at our advice below, including tips to stay safe when taking down your decorations.

Use a step ladder for inside your home

If you’ve got Christmas decorations hanging up inside, then the chances are that they won’t be up too high. However, a step ladder can give you a much needed boost. You might be tempted to use something else to stand on when taking down those harder to reach decorations inside, but using a step ladder is much safer than improvising with something else.

Using a good quality step ladder can easily get you that extra few feet off the ground and offer you the support you need to work safely. Of course, you should always be careful when working at height, even if you are only using a step ladder to take down your decorations. While you might not be too far off the ground, you are still at risk of falling and a shorter fall can still be damaging to the body. Make sure you are dressed appropriately, such as not using footwear that can easily slide off like slippers. If you’ve got someone helping you pack away the Christmas decorations, they can also keep an eye on you while you are up on the step ladder.

Check your loft ladder

Lofts are great places to store things throughout the year, and if you’ve got one, you probably use it to keep your Christmas decorations stored away. However, you might not use the loft ladder frequently, so it is important to inspect it beforehand. If it isn’t up to standard, then it’s time to buy a new one so that you don’t put yourself at risk. Remember, if you need to take bigger boxes up to the loft then its better to have someone pass them up to you if possible. This way, you can keep proper contact with the ladder while you work.

Use a ladder for outside work

If you’ve hung up lights outside your home, then you’ll need a suitably sized ladder for the job. Roof ladders, as the name implies, are perfect for working roof areas where Christmas lights are usually put up. If you need something more adjustable, then an extension ladder might be better for you. No matter what ladder you end up using, its important to make sure it is safe to use. Just like your loft ladder or step ladder, you need to make sure it is in good condition before use. Another important safety tip is to make sure that you do not set up your ladder on unstable ground, and that it is set up on a solid foundation.

If you need a new ladder, or you’re not sure which ladder would be the perfect one for the job, we can help. We have many years’ experience in the scaffold and ladder industry, and are also one of the UK’s market leaders in rigging and working at height. Contact us today to find out more.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

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

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