Buyers have two general options for buying secondhand scaffolding: purchasing from a private seller or purchasing from a dealer. If the buyer chooses to buy secondhand scaffolding from a private seller, he or she is likely to pay less, but it will be necessary to do a more thorough inspection of each unit to ensure it is safe and usable. Buying from a dealer gives the buyer peace of mind concerning the overall usability and condition of each unit, though the price of the scaffolding is likely to be higher.
Start choosing the best secondhand scaffolding by determining your specific needs. For some builders, a small, portable scaffolding tower with casters is a perfect structure in both size and function. This is a great option for working on residential homes and smaller structures, but it will be inadequate for working on larger structures that require more height from the secondhand scaffolding. Be sure the pipes of the scaffolding are not rusted through; some rust is likely to occur, and this is fine as long as it is only superficial. Any holes, cracks, or openings will begin to rust and eventually compromise the integrity of the structure.
Make sure important accessories are included with the cost of the secondhand scaffolding. Items like platforms are often missing from scaffolding sets, and these components are vital to the stability and function of the overall structure. While it is possible to simply use wooden boards instead, the platforms are much safer because they are specifically designed to work in conjunction with transoms that support the boards. Look for other important accessories, including ladders and stairs, tool buckets or bins, hoist systems, and so on. Caster wheels are also useful for smaller scaffolding structures, though they are unlikely to be used on much larger structures.
The key to any secondhand scaffolding purchase is the inspection of the couplers. These devices are used to connect the pipes that form the overall structure, and several couplers will need to be included with the purchase. Be sure to find out how many of each type of coupler are included with the purchase, and make sure swivel couplers are included as well. These convenient devices allow pipes to be oriented at various angles in relation to each other, and they can then be locked down in place for stability. Like the pipes, the couplers will need to be inspected for obvious signs of wear, damage, and rust.