Aluminium Scaffold Tower Shimming

29 Aug 2011
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United Kingdom
I wasn't too careful and ended up with a scaffold tower with castor legs that are not finely adjustable. They are adjusted by sticking pins into holes. The distance between the different level holes could be a little too wide. So, what is the best way to add shims to go below the castors, and what can I use for shims? I saw a scaffold video that said using planks was a bad idea because it could shift. I was thinking maybe using stacks of old news paper, or stacks of plastic wraps. Potentially I need to shim 3 of the 4 legs because the ground is so uneven. The tower does come with outriggers.

Another point. Are there any regulations for using a tower for DIY inside the confines of a property, where the front of which is accessible by anyone, such as the postman and leaflet droppers? Theoretically, they could walk into or trip over by the outriggers
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Timber sole plates are standard. Ignore that video.

You owe anyone using your property the same duty to prevent them being injured by your actions or inactions. This includes burglars and others who are uninvited, and is not specific to tower scaffolds.
Sole plates would be good for soft ground. But for fine levelling of the legs, thinner material would be needed. The legs are adjustable in 10-15mm steps. Perhaps I need stacks of thin steel plates?

I got myself a, so called, trade tower. Perhaps people in trade don't get this problem because they only work on industrial grade flat concrete ground?

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LOL at the height - that will give you the shakes, literally and for the rest of your life if you survive- and illegally extended past the height of the building at that .... in a sales video. WTF?

That's a poxy tower if it can't be finely adjusted. The instructions mention levelling, but don't state how this is done, says it has "adjustable" legs but does not mention how adjustable.

If you can't fine tune the levels, not only does a small discrepancy in level mean a much bigger one in plumb at the top, but it throws the four corners out and the whole tower will be twisted!

I can't believe they expect the user to have a collection of various sized packers.

Get in touch with the suppliers, as the regulations for towers state that they should be assembled in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, and yet the instructions are as crap as the legs!
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I think they are the manufacturers. So, their instructions are all you get.

I tested it today going up to the 1st storey to put a repaired window on. An assistant passed the window out to me. It worked ok. The wobbliness couldn't be felt while I climbed it given all parts of my body was moving. I was using the short outriggers, and that helped. I only need the tower to go to 2nd storey and the long outriggers will compensate accordingly.

Most DIY/low-cost towers are not great in leg adjustment. I don't think this one is especially unusual. I used a couple of stacks of 25mm MDF and that gave me a perfect plumb on the base. This was pure luck though. I don't think I am that heavy and I am a small guy, but the platform plywood didn't give me a solid feel.
No way to know if they are compatible unless willing to gamble. I can think of no other solution, so I will likely to use a stack of paper or something non-slippery. I will continue to search for a solution until next summer when I will seriously use the tower. Today was just a test and did something useful with it. Hanging the window took a couple of minutes instead of, may be 30 minutes.

One theoretical solution I have is to use a steel box with sand in it. Then a steel plate on top of the sand. This will allow me to finely adjust a leg.
It's not like there are many manufacturers of alloy tube.
While the couplings and length of components may be make dependant, the tubes won't be.
Just a decent measure and you should be fine.

Most suppliers can advise anyway
OK, I have measured it. The tubular part of the steel leg is 440mm length x 36.2mm diameter. The hole closest to the castor is solid metal inside. The other holes are in a tube. The diameter feels a bit non-standard. The ribbed aluminium frame is 40mm outside diameter. Any ideas on a compatible replacement? I only need 3 replacement legs while using 1 original.

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