Do you know your scaffold lingo? You will after you've read our introduction to the different types of scaffolding. Welcome to the specialized tasks of bucks, bakers, and pump jacks.
There are many different types of metal scaffolds available to the online shopper, handyman, or do-it-yourselfer. As with ladders, scaffolds are commonly categorized by design and purpose. These are some of the most common - and unusual - scaffold types used today.
Buck scaffolding is a common term which refers to the most basic of scaffold setups: two frames and two cross braces, which together form a set of frames known as a buck or box.
Tube and Clamp Scaffolding (aka Tube and Coupler)
A tube and clamp scaffold is exactly what its name describes: vertical and horizontal steel tubes that are connected by right-angle clamps. Tube and coupler scaffolds are strong, heavy-duty scaffolding systems. They're also very versatile, as they can support multiple platforms at a variety of heights and can be assembled in multiple directions. However, they're often more difficult to assemble than other types of scaffolding.
Most scaffolding systems use multiple rows of poles or uprights (in scaffold-speak, they're called standards). Single-pole scaffolds are the scaffold at it most minimal: as single row of standards. Because it lacks additional uprights, the single-pole scaffold must be supported by an adjacent structure.
Pump Jack Scaffolding
Pump jack scaffolds are one solution to the problem of how to easily adjust the height of a scaffold. Pump jack scaffold systems use a pump jack and moveable brackets that can be raised or lowered (think of how a jack raises or lowers a car for tire changing). The easy adjustability is a bonus, but OSHA requirements limit the working load of a pump jack scaffold to 500 pounds.
Swinging or Suspended Scaffolding
Whenever an action movie star jumps out a window or slides off a skyscraper, there's usually a swinging scaffold around to catch them. Suspended scaffolds or swing stages are typically supported by hooks or hoisting machines, and if you see someone standing on one, they'll likely be holding a squeegee: suspended scaffolds are commonly used for window washing.
Portable Bakers Scaffolding
Other scaffolds may live up to their name, but don't expect to see a flour-covered chef standing atop a bakers scaffold. The bakers scaffold is perhaps the most popular multi-purpose portable scaffold in use (see OnlyLadders.com's multipurpose scaffolding for an example). It's lightweight with locking casters, easy to assemble and disassemble, narrow enough to fit through standard doorways, and small enough to store in a garage or backyard shed.