If you're looking for an access solution, it's important to do your research and find a provider that meets your needs. There are many different providers out there, so it can be difficult to know what to look for.
That's why we've put together this list of things to keep in mind when choosing a mast climber provider. So, whether you're just starting your search or you've already narrowed down your options, read on for tips on what to look for in a mast climber provider.
Mast Climber Safety Checks
Every mast climber should go through a number of safety inspections before delivery and upon return. It’s important to make sure an inspection is in place.
But not a lot of contractors ask for this. Steve McEwan of BFT told us, “not a lot [of people] ask for the evidence of the work we do in the yard, but we at ‘BFT’ track everything that we do on all machines, before, during and after use.’
By asking about safety checks you understand how your supplier approaches safety. Are they perfunctory, or thorough? If the answer to your question is “sure, sure sure” or “of course”, then they’re likely trying to avoid the question. If they go into further detail about what the safety check entails, it’s likely they take safety checks seriously.
Every machine that has been involved with a project should go through the same process. It should be stripped down for a thorough inspection that follows a comprehensive servicing procedure as per BFT’s quality overhaul manual.
Objective Advice For Your Access Solutions
Mast climber providers should be clear about not only the benefits but the drawbacks of mast climbers. They should give you a straight answer about their limitations. For instance, if a project is shorter than five stories, you might want to consider scaffolding, because it might be cheaper.
But anything above 6 stories would be ideal for mast climbers. Find someone who is willing to give you an objective perspective, not a relentless sales pitch. A consultative-led approach should be able to provide you with different mast climber layout options from the cheapest method to the most productive for your program and consider the requirements of your different trades.
They should also be honest about the benefits of mast climbers. Often, mast climbers are undersold, because they are not used as widely as scaffolding. Suppliers lack confidence in their own product. The truth is, mast climbers are often the undisputable best choice for working at height. They are cheaper, efficient, easy to work from, and safer. Safer both for operators and residents for whom scaffolding presents safety, security, and well-being concerns.
Mast climber safety is paramount. The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is focused on improving the safety of powered access. They publish annual reports that track the number of injuries across industries, countries, and equipment types. They also train access equipment operators. The IPAF certification is critical.
Their training is certified by TÜV as conforming to ISO 18878.
IPAF training centres train issue more than 140,000 powered access licenses (PAL cards) per year.
Make sure mast climber providers are certified through IPAF and offer training services to operators. Operating a mast climber is straightforward, but it needs the proper training and thoroughness to guarantee safety.
The machines themselves all require CE certification as well and must conform to the new BS EN1495 standards as per the recent HSE alert from this year. You should ask your provider to demonstrate how their machines conform particularly in relation to the additional relay that is now a mandatory requirement which prevents the platform from moving should there be a differential in the current being drawn by the two motors within the drive unit.
Mast Climber Training
Make sure your mast climber provider is committed to training operators themselves, not just getting the bare minimum credentials.
Why is this important? You want a partner who is invested in the mast climber industry. Not just someone who wants you to hire a piece of equipment.
It also indicates a higher level of competency on behalf of the provider. You want to find not only a good supplier, but on a good teacher. Someone who is committed to passing on mast climber safety knowledge to their operators.
For this purpose, BFT built a £500,000 training centre that provides state-of-the-art training for staff.
We converted 1,200 square metres of warehouse space into a training facility and workshop.
There are seven engineering bays for maintenance servicing, one hoist maintenance bay, one inspection and weight test bay and an electrical area for control unit repairs.
This investment helps to provide the safest mast climbing services for the construction industry in the UK and beyond.
When you’re evaluating a mast climber provider, keep these four things in mind: safety checks, objective advice, certifications, and training.
By taking the time to find a provider that excels in all of these areas, you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible service – and avoiding potential accidents. If you want to learn more about how to select a mast climber provider, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Mast Climbers. It’s packed with essential information that will help you make the right choice for your business.