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Access Platform

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larry phelan 131/12/2018 12:01:17
435 forum posts
11 photos

I, want to make a mobile access platform to use for cutting my hedges and reaching my gutters [single story house ]

I am considering using semi bright box tubing to make up four frames, each frame being welded up as a separate unit,so that it could be taken apart for storage,and bolted together as required.

The size I have in mind is something about 8 or ten feet long x 2 ft wide x 4 ft high. I think I may need struts to brace it on the outer side.

Having looked up to see what is available,I found two sizes which might suit :

50 x 25 x1.5 or x 2mm

40 x 40 x 1.5 or x 2 mm

Anything bigger would be too difficult to move even though the unit will be fitted with wheels at one end and handles at the other.

Any advice, suggestions,comments,good,bad,or indifferent,welcome !

It it is considered to be a No-No,feel free to say so,it,s just that ladders and I ,do not see eye-eye anymore.

Thanks for any ideas,

Larry.

Farmboy31/12/2018 12:20:06
112 forum posts
8 photos

If you are not averse to buying one rather than making, it might be worth looking at this site:

**LINK**

I don't get on with normal ladders these day but I found these very stable and infinitely adjustable for uneven ground as well. I have the 'Junior' size which should reach the gutters on a bungalow. They aren't lightweight but they do fold flat easily for storage.

Someone better qualified than me will no doubt advise on your actual question wink 2

Mike.

Sam Longley 131/12/2018 12:39:48
712 forum posts
26 photos

Make a couple of 4 ft square towers of the required height but make them so one will fit on top of the other for double height so you have a tower . ( you could just buy a small tower & use it in 2 halves - they are fairly light & easy to store away) then get a 10,12, or15ft Youngmans with a handrail fitted one side.Plonk the Youngmans on the 2 towers & you have a nice long stable platform.which is safe & easy to move around You can get a 12 aluminium staging( Youngmans) for around £100 & stick your own uprights on one side with a handrail so you do not step back to admire your work & break your neck

 

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 31/12/2018 12:44:54

DMB31/12/2018 12:59:30
889 forum posts

Go and look, carefully note what scaffolding companies do and copy them for safety. One example not mentioned so far, is the use of a builders plank secured horizontally to form a kick board so you don't go down feet first between platform and handrail. Health n Safety requirement.

larry phelan 131/12/2018 13:24:58
435 forum posts
11 photos

Much useful info there,but does anyone know what size section I should use,even if I go for two towers,rather than one unit ? I,m thinking about moving this alone,on grass,that,s the reason for the wheels.

Bazyle31/12/2018 13:58:10
avatar
4585 forum posts
185 photos

You haven't said how high you want your feet to be off the ground. I have a hobbyist level steel tube sectional platform that is made from about 1 1/2 in tube about 1.5mm wall thickness. It is meant to go up about 15 ft but it is so wobbly by bad design that I only go up 5ft and then only when it is attached to something firm like some proper scaffolding. Proper sectional towers are better thicker, heavier, safer, and expensive.
My best buy ever was a £1200 kit of real scaffolding with a selection of tubes up to 21ft planks and clips designed to do one side of a typical terrace house with handrails etc too. It is like big meccano. Incredible fun. Totally adaptable to any sloping ground, making benches, long or high towers with lots of scope for props out sideways so I feel safe. Plus I can leave it up for ages at no more cost. I have some up the chimney at the moment, and also making a lean-to shelter for the winter. Storing the 21 ft poles is a bit of a nuisance so I should cut some down. Stangdard lengths are 5, 8, 13 all being subsections of 21ft. BTW 21ft weighs 61lb so over the recommended single man lift but doable until I am 70.

When building the Men's shed we used some extendable trestles. I think Axminster have a selection of designs that also can be used for other things like saw horses etc. Another option might be multiple step ladders so they can be strapped together to brace each other. They too have multiple other uses instead of having to be stored for use once a year.

Another thing that is very helpful for doing gutters is a brace that clips to the top of a ladder to hold it away from the wall by a foot or so.

Howard Lewis31/12/2018 15:45:42
2047 forum posts
2 photos

If you want to buy, you could consider one the four way folding ladders. (Ladder, steps or staging).

Depending on where you buy it the price will vary between £60 (LIDL or ALDI) and £100.(Catalogues).

Aluminium, with wider feet for stability.,Weight about 25Kg. Folded about 45 inches high, 12" deep, About 15 Inches wide, plus feet bringing overall width to about 2 feet.

Most, maybe not all, come with steel platforms to fit when configured as staging.

In staging mode, about 5 feet long and 45 Inches high.

So useful that tend to be used for almost all jobs, (longer than small aluminium stels, and easier to move that the extending Aluminium ladder stored on the garage wall.

Howard

FMES31/12/2018 16:23:26
585 forum posts
2 photos

Why not just hire a platform when you want it?

No problem with storage, certification, or wasted construction time.

Regards

Barnaby Wilde31/12/2018 16:42:39
347 forum posts
1 photos

There are many bespoke solutions on the market to suit your needs, I guess you've taken the time to look at a few.

To create a working platform at 4ft high isn't really all that difficult, by far the simplest & cheapest way to do this would be to purchase steel builders trestles & span them with suitable boards. I specifically didn't mention fabricating your own because the market for steel builders trestles is so competetive that it would be difficult to make them cheaper DIY.

If you're looking for a handrail system then this is where fabricating something yourself might pay off. You can buy 'L' shaped brackets that attach to the boards, which you can then attach tubing to create your barrier, but these are often sold at a premium that bears little relation to their actual £cost.

Having worked in the access industry for many years, & jointly responsible for most of those H&S laws that changed it beyond recognition, I would suggest that if you feel the need for a handrail system on a 4ft high platform then you are probably too infirm to be assembling it, using it, then dissassembling it for storage.

Why not just 'get a man in' to do the job? It can't possibly be £cost justifiable if all you need is the occasional gutter maintenance & hedge trim. That is unless you on a mission to discover a new way to do it.

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