Published by on 09 Jun 2010
Above is a photo showing how we currently set scaffolding on slope conditions. I designed and fabricated the bottom section of scaffolding that works on all slope conditions we face in our business.
My name is Pat Thompson. I am a foreman of a construction crew working for a concrete specialty company. Most of the work that my company does is repairing deteriorated concrete on bridge abutments, piers, and concrete bridge beams, in the state of Pennsylvania.
I started years ago as a carpenter for a small residential home building company. During my years there, I had to at times set up scaffolding on different terrains and slope conditions. As a carpenter, I was always able to build something under the scaffolding to take up the unevenness of the terrain. And every time I set up scaffolding, I always thought to myself that there must be a better way, a different piece of equipment perhaps that already exists that can be used on various slope conditions.
After leaving the home building company to take the job I have now, I find myself setting up scaffold towers every day, most of the time on anything but level terrains underneath bridges. I began searching for scaffolding accessories that could be used on all-terrain conditions. I was not able to find any accessories that would solve this problem.
One day my crew and I began setting up a several scaffold towers on a very steep slope. This ended up taking two days to accomplish and a truck load of heavy oak planks to crib up all of the scaffold towers.
All those oak planks had to be hand carried from up on top of the bridge to down under the bridge where we needed to set up our scaffold towers. It takes a lot of extra time on steep slopes to get a scaffold tower in just the right spot, get it level, and then feel safe when working off a scaffold tower that has been cribbed up like this. After we completed the concrete repairs on the bridge at this location, we spent another day and a half carrying all those oak planks back up the hill to load them back on the truck all by hand.
I had had enough of this. If there are no scaffold accessories available to eliminate using all these oak planks, then it’s time I design and fabricate something that will make this part of the job easier and safer.
After some brainstorming, I came up with my own scaffolding accessory design and fabricated a number of these accessories for my company to use. All of my company’s crews are now using this accessory when setting up scaffold towers on various sloping conditions. This makes the activity of setting up scaffold towers much less time consuming and safer. My crew was always uneasy working off a scaffold tower that had 3 feet of oak plank cribbing underneath one or two legs of the scaffolding.
They always complained about how long it took and how hard it was to get it level until I handed them my first prototype accessory. “Here, try these and let me know what you think.” They loved it and now feel very safe when working off scaffolding on various sloping conditions.
And the best part is that it doesn’t take much time at all to get set up, which is good for the company as far as production costs.
I invite you to take a look at my scaffold tower accessory for all terrain conditions and let me know what you think about it. If you have ever struggled with the same things I mentioned, you will appreciate my idea.
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