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How to erect and dismantle a scaffolding tower

When building and dismantling a scaffold tower, it’s really important that it’s done safely to keep yourself, your co-workers and members of the public free from harm. If you’re wondering how to build a hired 3T aluminium scaffolding tower, you’re in the right place!

How to build a scaffold tower

Below, you can find the steps that can be used to build any of our 3T aluminium towers, complete with handy images.

How To Erect And Dismantle A Scaffolding Tower
clearing spcae to erect scaffolding

Step 1: Clear the area

When building your tower, it’s important to ensure that there’s a clear space to allow you to build it easily and safely. Any areas that are accessible by members of the public should be cordoned off to create a safe zone. This zone should either have a three-metre radius or be one metre greater than the height of the tower as a minimum. For instance, a tower that has a platform height of 1.2 metres should have a clear radius of at least 2.2 metres.

Step 2: Connect the adjustable legs

TInsert the castor into the bottom of the adjustable leg and then attach this to the base of the four-rung ladder frame, as shown above. You should allow around 75mm of extended leg so you can level the tower later on. To lock the castors, press down firmly on the braking mechanism.

illustration that shows how the castors/adjustable legs fit into the ladder frame
llustration that shows how the castors/adjustable legs fit into the ladder frame

Step 3: Attach the horizontal braces

Take one of the horizontal braces and attach it onto the vertical frame, as shown above. You should make sure that the brace hook trigger is facing outwards, away from your vertical frame.

Then, you can attach the second four-rung frame to the first one using the horizontal brace. Don’t forget to attach the castors first, as in Step 2.

The second horizontal brace should now attach with the hooks facing downwards, whereas the first brace has the hooks pointing right, as in the image above.

Step 4: Level the base of the tower

Once your wall is built, and is structurally sound, it is time to fill the space between your new wall and the top of the slope with soil to create a new level surface. To do this you can either pile in the soil taken from another part of your garden (if you are lowering a separate area) or soil you have bought in, using a shovel or a mini digger. Alternatively, you can use topsoil if the slope is not that steep. This will make planting grass to create your new level lawn much easier.

Once you have piled the soil in behind your new wall, ensure all cavities are removed by compacting it. This can be done using a roller. Once complete, check to ensure that your new lawn is level using a spirit level. If it’s not, add more soil, repeat the rolling process, and measure once again.

an illustration of the tower with a platform added in the middle.

Step 5: Attach the platform

Now your main frame is built, you can attach the first platform. The platform should sit on the second rung of the frame, and should simply hook on. Once this is done, attach two diagonal braces to the first rung of the platform and clip them onto the third rung, as shown below.

You should also add four extra horizontal braces on the third and fourth rungs, as you did on the first rung, with the hooks facing down.

Step 6: Increase the height of the tower

Add the next set of four-rung ladder frames to the tower to increase its overall height. You should also fit three diagonal braces, as shown below.

The long poles that are sticking out from the platform are known as stabilisers, because they help to keep the platform steady. These can be attached to each corner of the tower.

a tall tower with one platform in the middle and stabilisers to keep it sturdy
illustration of a tower platform and where the final four braces should go

Step 7: Attach the second platform

As you did with the first platform, attach the second platform by clipping it onto the four-rung frame.

These towers are known as 3T towers because you access them ‘Through The Trapdoor’. Climb through the trapdoor of the second platform and position yourself so you can install four horizontal guardrails onto the seventh and eighth rungs.

If you want your tower to be even taller, you can repeat the steps by adding another four-rung frame until the desired height is reached.

Once you’re happy with the height of your tower, add the toe board to the top platform, as shown below.

Are scaffold towers safe?

When built correctly within a sufficient safe zone, scaffolding towers are perfectly safe. However, as with any piece of access equipment, they have a maximum height and a maximum load. You should only build the tower as high as is recommended by the manufacturer, and not overload it with too many people or very heavy equipment.

When there’s bad weather, such as very heavy rain or strong winds, you should weigh up how safe it is to work at height and potentially postpone the task if conditions aren’t suitable or safe.

How to dismantle a scaffold tower

A scaffold tower should be dismantled in the opposite way to which it was built.

This means that you can start by removing the toe board on the top platform and the four horizontal braces. Then, remove the top platform and the tower’s stabilisers.

Next, you should remove the three diagonal braces and the second four-rung ladder frame. Once this is down, you can take out the four horizontal braces on the third and fourth rungs of the frame, followed by the two diagonal braces and the first platform.

All you should be left with is two vertical four-rung frames that are attached by two horizontal braces. Remove one brace first and then unclip one of the frames before finally removing the other horizontal brace. Unclip the castors/adjustable legs from the rungs, and that’s your tower dismantled.

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