Mast climbers are less obtrusive and offer higher security over traditional methods of access.

The mast climbing work platform is an automated access system that provides fast, efficient movement of men and materials to their place of work. Mast climbers are less obtrusive and offer higher security over traditional methods of access. An ergonomic platform allows for the easy lifting of men and materials to their ideal working height, which greatly increases the speed and efficiency of work without the risk of injury when lifting and positioning materials. This, of course, reduces the need of bending and stretching in order to bypass obstructions. Moreover, where material feeding is efficiently coordinated and fully planned, production boosts of up to three times that of conventional methods can be enjoyed.

A checklist of benefits

Mast climbing platforms can be erected and dismantled typically in 30 percent of the time required to erect a conventional scaffold. Once placed into position on the site, the three-phase electric motors raise and lower the platform via a rack-and-pinion system. Erecting the mast can be done from the platform itself, making it independent of all other contractors’ demands on site for crane and hoist time for material movement.

Increased efficiency is another benefit. Providing a working platform that can easily be moved into the correct position not only means less strains and injuries, it also equates to more efficient working. A man working on the fourth floor would typically take five to eight minutes to reach his work place. If he has to carry his tools and equipment, he is tired before he has begun his work. Compare this to a platform that at the touch of a button can climb vertically to the exact position required at 30 feet per minute—11⁄2 minutes to the fourth floor. Now, he arrives relaxed, refreshed, he has all his materials and equipment with him ready for a days’ work. Multiply this for each shift, lunch break, etc., and the increased productivity is obvious.

Again, being independent of site equipment, such as cranes for material movement and hoists for personnel movement, means that the mast climber can again avoid that wasted time spent waiting for the hoist to show or the crane to be free and, again, the mast climber provides increased productivity.

It also allows for the working platform to come down to the ground for restocking. Trades that require materials to be replaced can either come back down to the ground to collect materials or, through the use of a forklift, materials can be placed onto the platform ready for work, continuing to provide an independent working platform.

Be careful up there

Not only does the mast climber offer savings and efficiencies over traditional methods of access (often in excess of 35 percent), the platform also offers a safe environment for the workers to complete their tasks. Mast climbing platforms are one of the latest advancements in construction technology. Over the past 20 years, the manufacturers have worked with numerous safety organizations around the world to make sure that workers are protected at all times. All models offer safety and convenience features, which have proven to cut labor costs in excess of 30 percent. They also reduce injuries and shorten production time.

Mast climbers also offer technical advantages. High freestanding untied machines can work up to 70 feet without being fixed to the building. Heights are no problem with some projects reaching more than 800 feet.

They can handle high payloads—single-masted capacities up to and more than 10,000 pounds and twin masted of more than 20,000 pounds.

Many machines are built to a modular design, enabling the machine to be built to suit the project, offering single or multiple masts, self-propelled mobile chassis or ground frame, railings, wall anchoring, etc., giving flexibility and efficiency on stocking. Most manufacturers now use hot dip galvanizing, giving extended life on mast sections, anchors and railings.

Variable platform width offers additional flexibility. With the use of extension, the front edge of the platform can be extended to contour the face of the building. Platform lengths can be variable from 6 up to 60 feet on a single mast, providing an efficient working area. Self-propelled wheel chassis is an option offered by many manufacturers, giving the platform mobility around the site.