THE VERSATILITY OF GANTRIES & GANTRY SCAFFOLDING

Gantry scaffolding structures are used when customers need a bridge, platform or loading area that will span a path, lower roof or any other relevant area on site.

A Gantry Structure in Hammersmith

Their purpose is often associated with giving access to workers or the public where it would otherwise be impossible, both on residential and commercial sites.

Some examples of how gantry scaffolding can deliver during construction or renovation are:

  • Giving access to glazed areas of shopping centres while ensuring that the public can still enter and exit easily.
  • Stacking of portacabin site offices off pavement level.
  • Allowing workers to install signs or undertake repairs above car park entrances.
  • Ensuring that homeowners can still drive their cars out of their garages while renovation work is being done on their properties.
  • Spanning of railways or bridges to facilitate repairs or the installation of handrails, etc
  • Forming of temporary paths or bridges while permanent constructions are repaired.

Local authorities are especially interested in the appropriate and safe use of gantries & scaffolding on shops, public buildings and offices.  These allow important refurbishment work to be undertaken without blocking pavement and street access.  Indeed, many businesses can’t withstand closure while improvements are ongoing so a gantry scaffolding allows customers to enter and exit their shops safely.

This type of work is very demanding, as councils have strict rules that need to be followed at all times.  These often include kerb edge limits, lighting at night, use of platform hoists and warning signs.  As we have a lot of experience of obtaining pavement licences and providing gantries, we have the experience needed to meet these exacting requirements so that the job can be completed quickly.

Like many other types of scaffold structures, gantries range from light to heavy duty.  Light duty frameworks are built using alloy beams with a width between 450mm and 750mm and a length of up to 15 metres.  They are usually joined together using spigots and quick release pins, meaning that they can be constructed and dismantled in a relatively short period of time.  Support scaffolds constructed on each side will help to take a load of between 0.75 and 1kn per square metre.

Where greater spans or load bearing capacities are required, steel unit beams with a span as much as 30 metres are used, leaving a considerable area below obstruction free.  This type of beam is 780mm deep and can bear very large loads of up to 30kn per square metre, assuming that a full scaffold design with loading calculations is put in place.  These heavy duty gantry beams are generally 4 metres long to keep the weight of the structure down and are secured together with studs and nuts.

When we are devising a heavy duty gantries, it’s essential that we select the right beams for the job.  Different types of unit beams for gantries have a different number of joining holes and their use can be more appropriate on some scaffold structures more than others.  Very heavy duty unit beams are joined with six bolts in total, three on the top and three on the bottom.

However, gantry scaffolding isn’t just about giving access.  The beams can also be used to lift materials up to a working platform or area, with a block and tackle or powered hoist attached.  This really does add versatility on construction sites, where both access and the handling of heavy materials are equally important.

Of course, our teams are fully trained in assembling gantries and devising the right framework for each site’s needs.  Furthermore, our scaffold supervisors are also on hand to undertake the relevant risk assessments, load calculations and method statements that will allow any project manager to meet their working at height obligations and health and safety regulations.

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