System Scaffolding Is Here for Good: Ease Your Transition into It   

Scaffolds are generally quite unassuming. When people walked past the construction of Burj Khalifa, we doubt they were admiring the mighty scaffolds that made it possible. However, we must not confuse subtlety with rigidity or stagnancy.

Scaffold designers are constantly innovating for better safety, flexibility, and accessibility. This is why we have seen the evolution of scaffolds from wooden/bamboo scaffolds to the “Improved Universal Coupler” by Daniel Palmer-Jones in the early 1900s (that is still used by the industry right now) to the system scaffolding that is all the rage today.

While there are already plenty of resources out there extolling the virtues of system scaffolding, they haven’t really addressed the logistical challenges of adopting it. If you’re still hesitant about system scaffolding despite its many benefits, it’s probably because of this reason.

Let us walk you through some of the more common challenges with adoption and how you can resolve them to enjoy the benefits of system scaffolding with none of the downsides!

Challenge #1: Maintaining the Quality of Your System Scaffolding Designs

One main concern about using system scaffolds is whether or not their design can be as sound as tried-and-tested tube and fitting scaffolds. After all, traditional tube and fitting scaffolds are well-known for their flexible configuration and adaptability to a wide range of specific site requirements.

Meanwhile, the soundness of a design based on system scaffolds is dependent on their catalog of available components to overcome possible geometric obstacles they might face.

If your company has been working solely with tube and fitting scaffolds for the past 10 years, you might think that the risk of trying out system scaffolds is not worth the potential cost savings. Why try to fix what’s not broken?

Fortunately, you can mitigate your risks by harnessing the power of 3D technology and scaffold-specific design software. As long as it is perfectly compatible with all systems scaffold manufacturers, you can start designing right away without worrying about availability. One such program you can do that with is Avontus Designer®, an award-winning product that was released in 2013. All you need to do is import a building plan, drag and drop the system scaffolds (a wide range of manufacturer catalogs are available) into place, and go through it in 3D once more to identify critical issues.

Challenge #2: Maximizing the Use of System Scaffolds

Another often-mentioned roadblock to widespread adoption of system scaffolds is the fact that some companies aren’t confident that they can optimize their use of system scaffolds. While the catalog of available system scaffold components can basically cover every geometric obstacle you can think of, certain costly components have very specific use-cases. Why would a scaffolding company invest so much in equipment that might only get used once or twice?

One way to address this issue is to only rent the specific components you need from hire and sales companies instead. While this does reduce your upfront costs, you must still be mindful of your inventory to avoid them being lost/stolen and to avoid renting more/less than you need, which can lead to cost overruns.

For such a purpose, having the right inventory management system that can do the following in place is crucial:

  1. Give you complete visibility into your stock levels, which provides you the data you need to optimize your scaffold rentals
  1. Clearly track the movement of your scaffold components from the moment they leave your warehouse until they are returned to avoid lost/stolen inventory.

Challenge #3: Getting Buy-In from Your Workers

As humans, we tend to fall back on what we know best when the going gets tough. Scaffolders are no exception. In this case, scaffolders often revert to tubes and fittings whenever problems arise due to a lack of system scaffold flexibility.

For example, most popular system scaffolds are manufactured using the same external diameter as the tubes used within tube and fitting scaffolds, which easily allow tube and fitting modifications when required. In the end, they might install so many tubes and fittings to solve their problems that they might have been better off using tubes and fittings in the first place.

There are two ways you can go about addressing this. You can make sure that you have the right amount of system scaffolding to execute your design plans as well as to cover any potential problems that might arise. You can also be constantly upskilling your workers. A well-known certification for scaffolders in the UK is the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS), which covers both tube and fitting scaffolds as well as system scaffolds. With the right knowledge and expertise, your workers are better equipped to resolve any system scaffolding-related problems without resorting to tube and fittings.

System Scaffolding Can Work For You

The benefits of system scaffolding are undeniable. While there certainly are some challenges as mentioned above, you can absolutely leave your competitors in the dust with the right solutions in hand, such as quality scaffold design and inventory management software.