Trestle Scaffolding System: What is it used for?

Also known as painters’ and builders’ scaffolding, trestle scaffolds are erected using tripod-like stands at the base. A platform is added at the top part of each ladder or tripod stand, and this is going to be the platform that workers step on or place their equipment. 

This scaffolding is made of wood or aluminium, depending on the preferred material. For easy movement, wheels can be installed at the base of the scaffold. They are commonly used for lightweight work as they cannot carry a heavy load.

Homeowners and builders use trestle scaffolding to save money instead of erecting proper aluminium scaffolding in an effort to save money.  

Unlike other types of scaffolding, their height limit is 5-12 feet, making them best for indoor tasks such as painting or window cleaning. Nevertheless, people do use them when building porches, sheds and small outbuildings.

Features of a trestle scaffolding

Some of the essential features of trestle scaffolding include the following:

  • Handrails
  • Trestle stay
  • Plank locking device

Handrails are safety mechanisms erected on the sides of trestles more than 2m above the ground. They are used to prevent workers from falling off the platform. 

The trestle stay is positioned at different scaffold heights, giving it more stability. 

A plank locking device locks the platform’s planks together to avoid any movement that stands as a safety hazard.  

How to erect a trestle scaffolding

A trestle scaffold is easy to erect and dismantle. Before erecting, it is vital to ensure that the ground is flat and clear of any waste or obstacles that might make it unstable. 

Open the tripod legs to the desired width, determined mainly by the working height needed. The minimum width of an open tripod is 780mm

Ensure the base of the trestle is mounted securely. If you’re not using a trestle stand, you can secure the base on the surface to ensure stability.

Mount the platform that will be used as a surface. Use plank-locking devices if you are using scaffolding planks on the surface. 

Ensure all parts that need to be secured are fastened tightly. If your scaffold is above 2 meters, the safety standards recommend using guard rails

Once you’re done, you can fold the scaffolding or dismantle it. The dismantling process is much like the assembly but in reverse. It is advisable to start from the top to the bottom to disassemble. For example, start with the guard rails; if you have installed them, then the planks. 

Trestle scaffolding, aka painters scaffolding, will be the best option if your project does not involve heavy work. They are lightweight and easy to assemble and dismantle, even independently.