Ladder jack scaffolding systems are commonly used by professionals in the construction business because they are portable, easy to set up, cost-effective, and fit in narrow spaces.
What is a Ladder Jack Scaffold?
Ladder jacks are brackets that are triangular that you attach to the rungs and rails of a ladder.
How to Set Up a Ladder Jack Scaffolding System
There are two main types of ladder jacks: side rail jacks and rung ladder jacks. Side rails are attached to the railings and rungs of a ladder.
Rung ladder jacks are attached to the rungs of a ladder. And depending on the style of the ladder jack, you can attach it to two or three ladder rungs.
The ladder jacks allow a plank to be placed between two or three ladders to be used as a work platform. So in essence, you would need to attach the brackets to the rungs of the ladders and then place the plank on top of the brackets.
With that said, here is a step by step guide on how to go about setting up a ladder jack scaffolding system.
If you are using two ladders, make sure you set up the ladders first and check to see that they are steady.
If you are using extension ladders, make sure the locking systems are engaged. The other thing you need to check is the distance between the two ladders.
They should not be too far or too near each other. To know which is the ideal distance, each of the plank’s ends should not extend more than 1 foot or less from the jacks.
Once you have set up the ladders and they are stable, attach the jacks on one ladder first before moving on to the second ladder. Make sure that the jacks are secured properly and both jacks are on set on equal height.
Place the plank onto the jacks on both ladders to create a working platform. And make sure that it is secure. You may need a second person to help you with the plank as it is easier done by two people than one.
And once the plank is securely placed, you are good to go.
How to Use a Ladder Jack Scaffold
There are appropriate ways to use a ladder jack scaffold to avoid serious injury.
So here are some safe ways to use a ladder jack scaffold:
- Do not separate an extension ladder to create two ladders for your scaffolding system
- Make sure that there are no obstacles or people near the ladders to prevent falls or accidents
- Place the ladders on level ground and ensure they are stable and steady
- Do not place the ladders on a slippery surface unless the legs of the ladders are fitted with non-slip feet
- Do not set up the ladders near electrical wires or power lines, particular if the ladders are made of aluminum as it conducts electricity
- Not more than one person should be on the plank
- Don’t overload the ladders or the platform
- Make sure that the ladders can support your weight as well as that of your materials or tools
Safety Tips When Setting Up a Ladder Jack Scaffolding System
It’s not easy to set up a ladder jack scaffolding system. To be honest, its a two-man job and you also need to know exactly what you are doing.
So it’s important you follow the instruction manual to the tee to avoid setting it improperly.
Here are some dos and don’ts when setting up a ladder jack scaffolding system:
- Do not use bent, damaged ladders or scaffold parts
- If the ladders have locking systems, make sure the locks are secure
- If you are using rung ladder jacks, make sure to attach them to the rungs of the ladders as per the manufacturer’s instructions
- If you are using a wooden plank, make sure that the minimum width of the platform is 18 inches
- Do not place ladder jacks on the second rung from the top of the ladder
- Ensure that all rivets, nuts, bolts, and joints are secured tightly
- If one of the ladders or scaffold parts has some minor damages, do not attempt to repair the damages
- Do not set up the ladders near power lines or electrical wires
- Avoid setting up the scaffolding system alone
- Do not place a plank 20 feet above the base of the ladders
- Do not use ladders with wooden rungs
- Do not set up the system if the weather condition is not conducive
How Long Does It Take to Set Up a Ladder Jack Scaffold System?
This depends on the size of the system depending on the job you are doing. You can create a two or three ladder jack scaffold system. How long it takes depends on the number of people setting up the system.
Do I Need to Wear Protective Gear Before Using a Scaffold System?
It is not advisable to wear shoes that have muddy or dirty soles when climbing up a ladder to avoid falling off.
Ladder jack scaffold systems are inexpensive and easy to set up. But you also need to exercise caution when setting up and using a ladder jack scaffold.
If you set up the system improperly, it may cause serious injury. If you use the system improperly or overload the platform, you could fall off and get seriously injured.
So it’s extremely important that you take all the necessary safety precautions and measures to avoid accidents.
Also, do not attempt to set up a scaffolding system by yourself as that may also increase your risk of accidents or injuries. Get one or two people to help you with the setup.