I recently got a call from a prospective client.  He needed the exterior of his house painted and needed some rotting trim to be replaced.  He warned me that the house had lots of glass and angles.  “No problem,” I assured him.  When I arrived to do the estimate, this is what I saw:

He wasn’t kidding!

Multistory exteriors can be challenging, not only logistically, but also safety-wise.  My company uses a 60-foot man-lift to work on hard-to-reach areas.  Not only is it more safe than the alternatives (ladders or scaffolding), but it increases our productivity.  There is very little on-site set up required and the lift can quickly be moved from one location on an exterior to another.

Utilizing the man-lift does require extra responsibilities.  Regular maintenance is needed to protect our painters and our clients’ property.  Just like a vehicle, it needs to be inspected once a year.  There is also an annual training session lead by the inspection company; the crew gets licensed to use the equipment and everyone learns about proper safety precautions.

When bidding a job, there are several things that should be factored into the equipment cost for a job that will require the man-lift.  You will need to factor the time it takes to inspect the machine each day that it will be used.  You also need to factor the fuel it will consume.  You may need extra material – heavy-duty plywood – to protect soft ground and support the man-lift.  And you’ll have to factor in the cost of ownership or the rental fee (keep in mind that you might have a rainy day where you cannot use the man-lift but you’ll still have to pay for the rental).

This is the man-lift we use.  Safe painting everyone!