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Scaffolding Tricks for Tight Job Sites
The surprise winner: Elevating scaffolding proves to be the king of cut-up jobs. Six pros talk about tight sites.
In the race for profits in an ever-tightening market, mason contractors are using every trick in the book to increase production and cut job costs. The use of elevating scaffolding on tight, cut-up jobs has had surprising results.
1. “People look at tight jobs as a production killer, but we see them as an opportunity in disguise,” says Everett Greenstreet III of Senate Masonry in Kensington, Md. “We were surprised to find out that’s where our elevating scaffolding really performs best. I personally watched my guys set up 10 Non-Stop towers in about 40 minutes on a very complicated wall. You can’t do that with frames or mast-climbers; it would take five hours. Five hours! How many blocks can you lay in five hours? Plus, my guys are laying an extra hour a day, because we never stop to hop planks. Add that up.”
An old myth busted
2. According to Jeffrey Jones of Jones Masonry in Biloxi, Miss., “When it comes to cut-up jobs, it goes in place absolutely faster than frames. I’ve been running work for about 10 years, and it’s the best for masons. Of course, I grew up around crank-up scaffolding, and I was taught to use it everywhere possible. Anytime you use a crank-up system, you’re way ahead.”
How it works
Setting up outside corners is the same as setting up frames, just set one tower passed the corner, and lap your planks onto it.
3. Jeffrey Jones’ brother, Matt, tells about an extremely tight job site in downtown New Orleans: “It’s a huge benefit on this job. We’re using the Non-Stop Standard-Duty that we can move and set up by hand. We put it up on the second floor roof, set it up by hand, and laid those walls in no time. We used it inside for the gymnasium walls, where we had practically no access. We set it up by hand in there and ran those walls up without stopping.”
4. Brint Callaway, a factory rep for Non-Stop Scaffolding, had a tricky layout with two inside corners, a radius, and an outside corner all set up together. (See Photo 3.) The towers were set to the brick line, and then the masons’ walkboard arm was extended to the block line and the blocks were laid. The scaffold was lowered, the arms were slid back to the brick line, the scaffold was restocked with bricks, and the bricks were laid without having to shift the scaffold.
“We assembled the towers on the ground, 36 feet high, and then tilted them up with the forklift,” says Callaway. “The whole process took about an hour, and we were done. We had the entire scaffold ready to go for 30-foot-high walls, three corners and a radius, and nobody left the ground. Moving to the next wall takes about one-quarter of the time it takes to tear down and rebuild frames.”
Sometimes, there is no room to work
5. Drew Lenn of D. Lenn Masonry in Pensacola, Fla., faced such a job recently. “We were doing a public library and only had about 10 feet of room on one long side,” Drew says. “It was easy with our elevating scaffolding. I just put a pipe on one fork and picked up the 36-foot-high towers from the side. I drove up in the hole, set them down at the wall, and backed out. We landed a tower about every 10 minutes. We fed the scaffold from the end; we have five boards back there so we just rolled everything down the wall. We would have been there forever with frames.”
Sloping sites solved
Tight areas hinder material handling
Nowadays, tight sites with tall buildings create another problem: feeding the scaffold. Sometimes, there is physically no room to maneuver a forklift, or the walls are too tall for the forklift to reach the scaffold. The best solution is a materials hoist such as those made by Betamax. Many contractors own one that employs a trolley to cantilever the hoist over the side of the scaffold; however, that limits the load capacity.
At Non-Stop we developed a trap-door that installs in the laborers’ platform, and a bracket to mount the hoist in a fixed position above the trapdoor. (See Photo 4.) The advantages of this new method are many. The hoist can safely lift its full rated capacity and height (up to 200 feet). The trapdoor can be mounted anywhere along the length of the scaffold, reducing material-handling distance. Multiple units can be installed on a long scaffold.
Try it now
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 18:57|