Mast Climbers Versus the Other Guys
MCAA member Dick Porter, G. Porter & Co., St. Charles, Ill., says he has never experienced an accident on a job site with his mast climbers. "There has been a huge drop in accidents ever since I've been using mast climbers. On average, with tubular or crank-up, we have from four to five serious injuries per year versus none with Hydro Mobile mast climbers." He defines "serious injuries" as jammed knees, sprained wrists (crank-up), or crewmembers walking off the frame of the scaffold during set-up or tear-down. In Porter's opinion, mast climbers are safer than any other access equipment.
According to Porter, based on a 100-linear-foot by 30-foot-high job, mast climbers are more economical in time and money. "In comparing set-up time ? based on my labor costs ? tubes are four times more expensive than mast climbers, and crank-type scaffolding is twice as expensive. In comparing tear-down time, tubes are eight times more expensive, and crank-up is four times more expensive than mast climbers."
As for productivity the difference is mainly seen in the number of masons and laborers used to complete the job. According to Hydro Mobile of Qu?bec, Canada, estimates indicate a contractor can save approximately $3,479.35 in three days with a mast climber versus tubes, or $1,515.75 with a mast climber versus crank-type scaffolding.
Porter has over 25 mast climbers from Hydro Mobile in his yard, which is a fairly large investment. He based his purchase decision on the safety factor provided by mast climbers, as his interest lies in providing a safe work environment for his crew. Production increased immediately, and labor savings just seem to follow, due in a large part to the easy set-up and high level of comfort on the platform.
"When workers feel safe, the productivity increases immediately," says Porter. "In comparison, a mason who has to work on wobbly access equipment won't be as productive."
About the Author
Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at www.masonrymagazine.com.