FAQs

Please see below the most common questions we usually get asked about the Alto access products.

If we still haven't answered your questions here, please get in touch and our sales team will assist you.

  • Why would I use or buy a scaffold tower?

     

  • Can I build a tower on stairs?

  • What makes an Alto HD tower better than the others?

  • If Alto HD towers are so good - why do you make other towers?

  • What is a ladderspan tower?

    Ladderspan towers became popular around 20-30 years ago as an alternative to the original stair tower which incorporated a stair unit between platform levels.

    Originally a lot of the impetus for this was a cost saving exercise as stair units could be eliminated and some manufacturers also eliminated almost all of the intermediate platforms. The consequence of this is of course the greatly increased risk of a serious injury in the event of an operative falling from the ladder due to the greater distances involved.

    This advantage has been significantly reduced by the improvement in standards and regulations over the years which mean that there is much less scope for omitting intermediate platforms.

    Now users are broadly left with a ladder access - which is not terribly convenient compared to a staircase and a series of hatches to negotiate - also a needless inconvenience.

    Scaffolders are being strongly encouraged to move from ladder to stair access on the grounds of the substantial safety benefits - we think there should be a similar move for tower users too. The benefits are fairly obvious as far as we can see.

  • What is a stair tower?

    When towers were first deployed, they were all stair towers. As the name suggests, they use staircases to gaine access to various levels rather than ladders either built or clipped into the frames of the tower.

    Ladderspan towers became more popular around 20-30 years ago as they involve a few less components and are consequently a little simpler to erect and are cheaper for hire companies to buy.

    However, a ladder is intrinsically a riskier thing to use than a staircase - all other factors being the same. It is certainly pretty difficult to safely carry any tools or materials up a ladder in a tower and negotiate the hatch opening safely.

    Scaffolders are being strongly encouraged to move from ladder to stair access on the grounds of the substantial safety benefits - we think there should be a similar move for tower users too. The benefits are fairly obvious as far as we can see.

  • What is a 3T tower?

  • What is an AGR tower?

  • What is the relevance of EN 1004?

  • What is BS1139 part 6?

    This standard governs structures made from mobile access tower components in non-standard configurations - in other words anything other than a straight up and down tower.

    Examples of such structures would include:

    Linked towers - also referred to as facade runs;

    Towers incorporating bridges or high clearance frames;

    Cantilever towers;

    Towers built to over 12 metre platform height - and, oddly towers built to less than 2.5 metres platform height.

    These are advanced tower applications and it is vital that anyone considering using a tower in such a form has a design approved by the manufacturer either as a "standard" variant or as a bespoke design.

    This is because the loads on the towers in these applications can be considerably greater than in normal builds - and with the exception of Alto HD towers none of the other towers currently available can safely cope with the loads of some of these structures without additional strengthening components.

  • Should you use the smallest end frames at the top or bottom of a mobile tower?

  • Do I need to be trained to use a tower?

  • Why do I need the manufacturer's instructions?

  • Do I need to fit stabilisers to my tower?

  • When should mobile towers be inspected?

  • Should you use a safety harness and lanyard as fall protection when working on a mobile tower?

  • Why should I buy an Alto tower?

  • Why should I demand an Alto Tower off my hire company?

  • I don't have wheels for my tower - can I still build it?

  • Can I build a tower on the pavement?

  • What is a cantilever tower?

  • What is a facade tower?

  • What is a universal stair unit and why is it necessary?

  • What is the Alto Scaffmate?

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