Commonly asked questions
Do my employees need training to set up the equipment?
No. When you rent equipment from Skyline, we do it all for you. We set it up, test it, and ensure that everything is safe, meets code and addresses any environmental concerns. That means you don't need to worry about any down time. It's on site, on time, ready to go.
What if a part needs replacing?
This is unlikely, due to our strict equipment maintenance procedures. However, in the event that a part needs to be replaced, we can have it on site in as little time as it takes to drive it there. We stock extra equipment and replacement parts on hand, because, like you, we want to make down time a thing of the past.
I have heard of some terrible swing stage incidents. Why do they happen?
Every year in Canada, there are several incidents that result in death, injury, and near misses. Often, shortcuts have been taken. Such incidents are avoidable if safety is truly the priority.
I have heard of window cleaners or scaffolding companies that have an extra swing stage they rent. Why should we use a specialist?
Rigging suspended access equipment is a highly specialized field. It is comparable to installing an elevator, but with conditions and needs that differ much more drastically from one building or project to another. Be cautious of “drop and run” companies that have limited, old product lines and little or no service capability.
Some questions to ask:
- What is the condition of their equipment?
- If it breaks down, how long will my crew be waiting until it is operational again?
- Do they even service their equipment?
- Is this a 'drop & run' arrangement where we will have to figure out everything ourselves?
- Is that what I want my crew to be spending their time on?
What training is required to operate the swing stage?
Even where a worker is not rigging suspended access equipment, training is required for operation and daily inspection. An operator must have documented training in (1) fall protection by a “competent person” (2) Safe Work Procedures, and (3) swing stage operation and inspection. This is best performed by the manufacturer's authorized agent who can offer training specific to their line of equipment and share their real life, practical experience. Therefore, we offer a one-day Hazard Awareness for Operator course that includes classroom instruction and an orientation in our shop setting.
Will you rent the equipment and allow our people to perform the rigging?
Yes, we are happy to provide a straight rental. However, in the standard Rental Agreement you must sign to indicate that you have a properly trained and experienced crew and are willing to accept all the liability involved in rigging suspended access equipment.
Should a contractor expect to save money by performing their own rigging?
In a word – NO. This is not work for do-it-yourselfers.
We have performed hundreds of set-ups. Some of them appear relatively straightforward, while others are very complex. In either situation, when our experienced team does the rigging, we look after less obvious but critical things like:
- facilitating the acquisition of the permit
- design of the set-up utilizing our extensive range of innovative components that will allow you to work with the greatest efficiencies, and safely!
- Supply of all miscellaneous hardware, fasteners, plywood, shoring, and incidentals necessary to meet or exceed code, protect the site, and protect your workers.
Experience has shown that where riggers are not truly well trained and experienced, (1) extensive consultation is required, (2) end costs are higher, and (3) accidents (“incidents”) happen. As the old adage goes — you can pay now, or you can pay later.
What is my best option: scaffolding, a swing stage or some sort of a mobile lift?
We are pleased to refer clients to reputable scaffolding and lift companies that we work with. In assessing your needs, some considerations are:
- Scaffolding offers the advantage of being able to work on multiple levels at one time. Properly erected, it will support much more weight than a swing stage, and can be hoarded for protection from the elements. The disadvantages become apparent when repeated trips up and down for workers and/or materials lead to inefficiencies as well as worker fatigue and other safety concerns. Costs for scaffolding erection and dismantling can be prohibitively high. If platform stability and lack of rooftop access are concerns, a mast climber may be used instead. (Our mast climber is assembled without forklift or crane and has a very small footprint.)
- A scissorlift or articulating (“boom” or “basket”) lift can offer quick access to locations on the lower building levels, typically two to five stories. Set up costs are minimal. Landscaping and parking difficulties should be considered, as well as limited space on the work platform. Many require recharging each night.
- A swing stage typically has a working load limit of 750 to 2,000 lbs and a platform length of one to 15 meters (3 to 50 feet). It is most efficient on buildings over 5 stories and where workers will make several trips up and down on each elevation.
Can you give me a quote without making a site visit?
No. We will inevitably see possibilities and/or limitations that even a client with much experience will not see. There is no “one size fits all” approach. We are constantly analyzing new products and methodology to find the best way to solve unique building designs and access needs. Even where the client believes they know what equipment they need, the cost of rigging is often much greater than the cost of the equipment rental and is impossible to estimate without making a site visit.
Can you give me “budget” pricing for a tender we are submitting?
Pricing for rental and installation can vary greatly. Some considerations that we look at include:
- At how many locations will the platform be set up? (The cost per location decreases with the number of locations. Why? Setting up the initial location always involves much more than subsequent moves; also tear-down and delivery charges are a flat price.)
- Are the moves lateral or around corners? Adjacent or far apart? Over landings at different levels?
- What is involved in getting the equipment to the roof?
- Do anchors for the stage tie-backs or fall arrest have to be installed?
- Must the outriggers rest on shoring towers to clear the parapet?
- Will parapet clamps, extended outriggers, or exceptional counterweight be used?
- Will tag line attendants be needed to help the stage clear lower roofs or other obstacles?
- Will the set up or movements of the stage be complicated by excessive length, “L” shaped platforms, or variations in the platform length from location to location?
- What are the conditions with respect to landscaping, ground level obstacles, public walkways, entrances?
- Is there a 220V outlet readily available?
- How cooperative is building management? What restrictions will they impose on the work?
- Where is the site location? Local, out of town, or remote?
- When is the work to be performed? Will the weather be a factor?
What is the cost to purchase a swing stage?
There are many variables, one of which is the components required. Prices for a complete assembly typically start at $20,000 - $30,000.
Are we better off renting or purchasing the equipment?
Purchasing is an attractive option in the rare situation where the equipment will be used at one site only as part of a permanent or semi-permanent installation. It guarantees the client of availability when they need it and may be relatively simple to set-up and rig. Regular inspections and servicing by qualified technicians will still be required.
Renting provides the client with job-specific equipment and eliminates storage, servicing, financing, and depreciation issues. As in most industries, in the end it is more cost efficient to leave it to a company that benefits from specialization and economies of scale.
We have already rented a swing stage from another company and now they are unable to provide us with the additional accessories/services we need. Can you help us?
No. We sympathize with contractors who find themselves in this situation. However, due to liability and other practical reasons, we do not offer our components or labour for use with stages that we have not provided. We have invested considerably to ensure that our clients have access to items such as extra platform modules, replacement hoists and wire rope, non-marking bumper rollers, pendant controls, walk-through stirrups, corner adaptors, etc.