Mast Climbing Work Platforms vs. System Scaffolding: Which is right for your project?

Choosing the right access equipment can be the key to success in a construction project.

It's like finding the perfect tool for the job, ensuring efficiency, safety, and overall project excellence.

So are Mast Climbing Work Platforms or System Scaffolding a better fit for your project? Read on to gain the insights you need to make an informed decision for your next construction project.

What Are Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs)?

Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs) are vertical access equipment with a platform attached to a mast, powered by motorized drive units for controlled ascent and descent. They offer adjustable and modular configurations to meet project needs.

What is System Scaffolding?

System scaffolding is a type of scaffold comprised of modularised, pre-engineered components that do not require the use of traditional steel fittings to fix each piece to one another.

Examples of popular types of system scaffolding include Ringlock scaffolding, Cuplock scaffolding, and Kwikstage scaffolding.

The Problem With System Scaffolding

Some companies find system scaffolding appealing due to its rapid installation time and the use of large modular components that don’t require nuts and bolts for tightening. However, one of the biggest challenges with System Scaffolding lies in the investment required to deploy and utilize the extensive range of components. While larger companies can afford to make such investments, small to medium-sized companies may not have the resources to invest in the full range of components needed for complex projects, resulting in delays and additional costs. In such cases, workers often have to resort to using traditional Tube and Fittings scaffolding (T&F) to overcome challenges encountered on-site.

The need to incorporate additional T&F components to make the System Scaffold compliant can sometimes outweigh the benefits of using system scaffolding in the first place, resulting in wasted time and effort. Even though system scaffolding is indeed an efficient option on straight runs, the issue scaffolders often face with system scaffolding is the abundance of ties required for proper installation. This means, to do the job properly with system scaffolding, can actually incur additional time and potentially slow the job down. The excessive time required for proper setup and adjustments would ultimately defeat the purpose of efficiency and productivity. The constant need for adaptation during the setup process also poses a continuous challenge for scaffolders.

MCWPs vs System Scaffolding

MCWPs have gained a lot of popularity in the industry for many reasons. In contrast to the challenges posed by System Scaffolding, MCWPs are almost always the best solution for construction projects whenever possible.

Cost Effectiveness

MCWPs require fewer components overall, which could result in cost savings without compromising functionality.

Ease Of Use

MCWPs are designed for easy setup and boast efficient assembly and dismantling times. This contributes to streamlined project timelines, allowing for faster project completion.

Worker-Friendly Operation

MCWPs prioritize worker convenience and productivity. The ease of operation and minimal need for constant adaptation make mast climbers more worker-friendly, allowing them to focus on their tasks without unnecessary delays or complications.


Considering the shorter assembly and dismantle time as the only significant advantage of System Scaffolding over traditional Tube and Fittings scaffolding, MCWPs surpass both options by offering comparable or superior setup and dismantle times while providing easier operation and reduced need for constant adaptation. It’s become clear why it’s important to consider scaffolding alternative solutions like MCWPs and find the right access solution that can truly benefit your project and the workers on site.

Have a project at hand? Speak with one of our MCWP experts today, and let us help you come up with the right mast climbing solution tailored to maximize safety and efficiency on your worksite.

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