Traditionally, scaffolding has been the go-to method for accessing elevated areas in construction projects, with many trades relying on this form of access. However, the construction industry is evolving, and the need for cost-effectiveness and efficiency is driving the exploration of alternative methods. 


Mast climbers are suited to 85% of construction projects (brickwork included), and they present numerous advantages that improve productivity, safety, and cost-efficiency on construction sites. The choice between mast climbers and scaffolding is not always a binary one. Both methods can be valid options depending on the size, scope, and logistics of the construction project. 


Brickworkers often recommend mast climbers for any project exceeding four stories. However, it’s important to be well-informed about all the available options and to choose the most suitable approach for each of your brickwork projects to achieve the best possible outcome. 


Mast Climbers vs Traditional Scaffolding For Bricklayers 


Mast climbers outperform scaffolding in brickwork projects in several ways, let’s take a look at these in more detail.  


Efficiency and Time-Saving 

Consider a construction project involving a 20-story building. When traditional scaffolding is utilised, the construction team faces considerable delays and inefficiencies. Setting up and adjusting the scaffolding to match the building's different elevations can take several weeks, even stretching to months.  


Often, bricklayers must wait for the scaffolders to return to make adjustments, such as adding hop-ups or building the next section of scaffolding. These delays not only impede progress but also strain labour and resource allocation unnecessarily.  


On the other hand, with mast climbers, the process is more streamlined. As soon as the first few floors are completed, the mast climbers can be installed at ground level and then progressively raised along with the building's construction.  


This eliminates the need for extensive upfront scaffolding work, leading to significant time savings and an earlier start to the bricklaying phase. Mast climbers also offer height adjustability on the fly. The platform can be easily raised or lowered to match the construction progress, providing flexibility and adaptability as the building rises, without interrupting the bricklaying process. 

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Optimum Working Height 

A bricklayer working on a traditional scaffold may find themselves frequently reaching up or bending down to access the bricks and mortar. This overreaching and awkward bending can cause discomfort and strain on their bodies, leading to potential health issues like musculoskeletal disorders and decreased productivity. 


With a mast climber, workers can be easily adjusted to the precise height needed. It allows bricklayers to work faster at an optimum working height with less strain on their arms and backs, resulting in improved efficiency and better-quality brickwork. Mast climbers also have a larger load capacity, helping reduce the number of trips up and down needed to transport materials.  


Better Quality and Workmanship 

On a large-scale construction project, maintaining consistent quality across all areas of brickwork can be challenging, especially when working at varying heights and on different scaffold configurations. This inconsistency may lead to crooked lines, misalignments, and other defects like bellying of the bricks. 


Mast climbers provide a level and stable working platform, allowing bricklayers to work with precision and accuracy. The clear sightlines and ease of access to all areas of the building ensure that bricklayers can closely monitor their work, resulting in higher quality and more uniform bricklaying throughout the project. 


Enhanced Safety 

Working on scaffoldings can be hazardous, particularly when bricklayers need to overreach or stretch to access certain areas. Such actions increase the risk of accidents, such as falls or materials being dropped from a height. 


According to the NASC's 2021 report, there were 81 reported incidents on scaffolding, which highlights the safety concerns. Bricklayers on scaffolding need to stay vigilant constantly and watch out for potential hazards like cross braces, loose boards, or missing components, to ensure safety. 


In contrast, mast climbers provide a more stable working platform and reduce the likelihood of accidents due to overreaching or falling by offering bricklayers optimal working positions at work.  


Easy Material Handling 

When using traditional scaffoldings, material handling can be time-consuming and labour-intensive. The need to hoist materials to different levels and coordinate loading bays can lead to delays and inefficiencies. 


Mast climbers simplify material handling as materials can be loaded onto the platform at ground level and easily transported to the required working height. This reduces downtime and ensures a smooth flow of materials, contributing to increased productivity. 

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Mast Climbers 



Streamlined process with shorter setup time and height adjustability 

Longer setup time, more complex with limited adjustability 

Working Height 

Easily adjustable for comfort and efficiency 

Requires frequent overreaching and bending 

Quality Of Work  

Stable platform for precise and uniform work 

Potential for inconsistent quality and defects 


Secure working environment with safety features 

Higher risk of fall 

Ease Of Material Handling 

Simplified material transport and improved workflow 

Requires more labour-intensive hoisting and coordination 


Should You Use Mast Climbers For Your Bricklaying Project? 

When compared to scaffolding, mast climbers typically provide faster setup and dismantle times, higher project efficiency, precise working heights, improved safety, and simplified material handling, making them a preferable choice for many brickwork projects.  


However, it's important to note that mast climbers come in various configurations. To fully comprehend how mast climbers can benefit your trade and the overall project, it's advisable to consult with a mast climber expert. They can help develop a customised mast climbing solution that suits your project's specific requirements, ensuring optimal effectiveness and seamless integration with your trade's needs. 


With over 1,600 machines in our rapidly expanding fleet, BFT holds the UK's largest mast climber collection. All BFT mast climbers comply with Work at Height, Manual Handling, and Health & Safety regulations, ready to deploy from two national distribution centres in Bedfordshire and Manchester.   


Have a project at hand? Speak with one of our MCWP experts today and find out how mast climbers can help with your next project.  

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