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A Contractors Guide to: Maintaining Scaffolding and Scaffold Supplies

Scaffolding of any type must be used and stored correctly, alongside being inspected regularly in order maintain load supporting capabilities.

Scaffolding is not as simple as it looks, the strength and stability of a scaffold greatly depends on its condition, alongside how it’s installed, dismantled, stored and transported.

The strength of a scaffold and how much weight it can support is engineered at the time of manufacturing. The manufacturer of the system in use will provide all “critical load” data for the specific system.

Despite how much testing and analysis has went into the fabrication of scaffolding, be that traditional tube and fitting scaffolds or system scaffolds such as Cuplock, Kwikstage and Ringlock.

The safety of the scaffold once sold, relies on;

  • The customer the installing the system as per manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Handling, transporting and storing the scaffold using the correct storage systems
  • Scaffolding being stored within suitable damp-free, frost-free environments
  • Regularly inspecting the scaffold, attending to any necessary repairs and refurbishment caused by general wear and tear or damage

Scaffolding is an investment – there’s no doubt, a costly one at that however…

Scaffolding can and does last for decades, providing it has been maintained corrected and regularly inspected.

Take a look at our quick contractor’s guide in how to keep your scaffolding investment, making you money.




1 – Correct Handling and Installation

Firstly, all scaffolding must be installed by fully trained and qualified personnel, not all scaffolds have the same load supporting capabilities.

Take for example system scaffolding, of which there are three main types; Cuplock, Kwikstage and Ringlock. Even though all three are “system scaffolds” prefabricated in nature – that’s all they have in common.

The load supporting capabilities or “critical load” is NOT the same for all systems, each one is different.

Then let’s look at traditional tube and clip scaffolds, once again this system has its own unique “critical load”.

Another crucial factor when installing scaffolding is installing the scaffold as per manufacturers guidelines. The reason for this is, the scaffolds load supporting capabilities and structural stability relies on how the scaffold is installed.

If not installed as per manufacturers guidelines, even removing one crucial cross brace can result in the scaffold being structurally unsound with drastically reduced load supporting capabilities.

Bear in mind, the “critical load” is specific to each type of scaffold, hence why being fully trained and qualified in the specific system in use is imperative.




2 – Storage and Transportation of Scaffolding

Another factor in the longevity of any type of scaffold is how its stored and transported. It might not sound like much of a big deal, however when you consider each scaffolding tube and associated component has been designed for a specific purpose.

When scaffolds are not stored using correct scaffolding stillage, scaffold tube becomes battered, bent, dented and warped. Reducing the engineered load supporting capabilities and overall strength.

Scaffolding should also be stored within frost-free, damp-free environments to avoid oxidation of the metal and reduction of strength.







3 – Scaffold Repair and Reconditioning

Regardless of how careful contractors are through time, general wear and tear and occasional accidental damage, scaffolding does require repaired or reconditioned.

Regular inspection of the scaffold is generally advised before and after every use. By doing so, the contactor can quickly react to any damaged scaffolding, seeking repair or reconditioning back to a fit for working, load supporting and structurally sound condition.




Final Thoughts

System scaffolding of any type or traditional tube and fitting scaffolds are generally manufactured from steel or aluminium. Metal by nature is prone to rust, it’s also prone to being bent, dented and damaged.

If your scaffolding is looking worse for wear and you’d like more information on maintaining scaffolding equipment via reconditioning or repair. contact us on – 01744 850 300 or email us at – info@sthp.co.uk.

We also offer customers cost effective and convenient scaffold trade-in options, get in touch with our scaffold specialists for more details.

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