Roger Bisby takes a closer look at two products from Youngman
Youngman is arguably the most famous name in ladders and the range seems to be growing – particlularly as it includes Boss towers. The latest product we have been sent to evaluate is the GRP steps.
If you see a pair of GRP steps on top of a van you immediately think ‘electrician’, but these days it is also plumbers and general builders who are using them. It isn’t just the fact that they are non conductive, therefore depriving the current of a route to earth, they also happen to be robust steps in their own right.
The rivets are semi-tubular to reduce lateral movement. The large platform gives you a comfortable work area and the top bar has tool storage holes. The steps are rated to a 150kg load. If you weigh more than that you probably shouldn’t be going up steps.
Youngman also has GRP quick towers, which offer a larger more stable work area, but give the same non-conductive protection against grounding.
Another Youngman product under the Boss Brand is the stair-scaffold. This product is used by decorators, tackers and plasterers to reach the ceiling and wall above the stairwell. It saves having to have boards and ladders set up and it can be dismantled and carried in a small van.
The drawback of using a stair scaffold is that it blocks the stairs, so you have to crawl through the framework. If you can organise yourself to minimise trips up and down it helps. If you set the scaffold back from the bottom treads on the stairs you can pass buckets of plaster up from the bottom.
There are also outriggers to increase stability, but I found it was sturdy without them. The important thing is to avoid the tower walking down the stairs. Fortunately, the foot plates are large and heavy and, in our test, they had no tendency to move. Another impressive feature is the swing gate at the top of the tower, which allows you to climb in from the top landing.