Unknown Ladder/Scaffold

Logos

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Nov 28, 2006
Location
Launceston Tasmania
Well, It's called a Tallescope. Not being in the US I have no idea where you can buy one but in Aus they are no longer used often. I suspect they might no longer fulfill safety requirements in this country.
 

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Nov 24, 2005
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Saratoga Springs, NY
Those are what I have called cherry pickers in the past, though my personal definition for a cherry picker is a bucket on a bucket truck. Those can still be found, but most were modified genie buckets put on an A frame type base. I don't know where you could even find one anymore. Call your local genie company or give BMI/your theatrical house of choice and see what they can do for ya. I haven't been in one for a good amount of time.
 

drawstuf99

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Feb 5, 2006
Our community theatre has an older, smaller one thats similar but made of wood. It's actually kinda fun to work with if you know what you're doing. It can work well with odd positions for lighting focuses.

Still, I haven't seen them for purchase anywhere in a looong time.
 

gafftaper

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I've heard them called all kinds of things from "Cherry Picker" to "Dinosaur". I would check your phone book for a scaffold company and give them a call.

Also go to www.grainger.com and search for ladders and scaffolds. You won't find the product you are looking for but you'll find a lot of interesting alternatives.
 

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They were essentially made to make A-Frames look a bit safer, though I always felt more secure on an A Frame with my legs wrapped around it then in a cherry picker's bucket simply due to the bow in the ladder and the amount of play in it.
 

Edrick

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Mar 20, 2007
Location
Boston, MA
I for one wouldn't want to be on that straight up.
 

Logos

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Nov 28, 2006
Location
Launceston Tasmania
I used one a lot in the UK. I'm close to or slightly over the rated weight of 120Kg and didn't feel unsafe until they got up to about 5 meters. Call it 16-17 feet.
 

soundlight

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Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
I'd take an A-frame over a Cherry Picker (that's what we called it) any day. That thing was scary. Didn't help that ours was really old and had no maintenance calls, so it was...wobbly. But I just don't like those things in general. And it takes FOREVER to set up if you're using it to move between aisles of seats, as in to access an FOH position. And then it doesn't go low enough to be able to work on the fixed overhead electrics in my HS. I have a strong prejudice against them, and I would recommend an A-frame before a Cherry Picker any day. And a genie over either of the two.
 
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DarSax

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May 3, 2006
Location
Bethesda MD
Actually, this is good timing. I saw this crazy thing for the first time the other day--a combination between the two, it seems. It was a vertical extension ladder (adjustable height) in the center of an A-Frame. Looked like the picture below. While I suppose it'd be safe, sure spooked me just looking at it.
 

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soundlight

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Oct 27, 2005
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NJ & NYC
That's what I call an A-frame...they're really useful, because you can lock your legs around the top. Much more comfortable then working on an extension ladder, much easier than balancing on the top of a standard ladder, and a heckuva lot nicer than a Cherry Picker/Tallescope to me. And the bases on those things are usually about three feet across, and have a really big spread. That thing saves us for Blackbox light rigs.
 
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gafftaper

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Actually, this is good timing. I saw this crazy thing for the first time the other day--a combination between the two, it seems. It was a vertical extension ladder (adjustable height) in the center of an A-Frame. Looked like the picture below. While I suppose it'd be safe, sure spooked me just looking at it.
We had one of those when I was in college. It was absolutely frightening to get up there and swing your leg over the top. It looked like it was 100 years old and made out of wood that was way too light weight. Us young guys would all stand around making up excuses for why we didn't want to go up. Then the 60 year old T.D. would call us a few choice words and climb the thing in his cowboy boots. It's been over 15 years since I first saw that ladder. I was there recently and they still are using it. I applied for a job there at one point and told them that a condition of my taking the job would be to give me $1000 to buy a safe scaffold.
 

stantonsound

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Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Location
Charlotte
We had one in college as well. We called the vertical part "the stick". The trick was to climb on top of it, stratteling the top, and lock your legs in. Ours had wheels and when you got into position, it was rolled from light to light for focus. It was not a fun experience.

This goes to the safety issues in theatre discussion on the stage management forum, but it was my first time working in the theatre and everyone said that this was normal. Today, there is no way in heck that I would get on it again.
 

icewolf08

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Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
Actually, this is good timing. I saw this crazy thing for the first time the other day--a combination between the two, it seems. It was a vertical extension ladder (adjustable height) in the center of an A-Frame. Looked like the picture below. While I suppose it'd be safe, sure spooked me just looking at it.
We have an aluminum A-Frame Extension ladder at our theatre, and we use it all the time. I never loved extension ladders and especially A-frames, but ut soon became second nature to run up it, throw a leg over and sit there for however long it took to focus an entire batten. It is a useful tool and it is very safe if you know what you are doing and you be safe. I would be less likely to get in one of these "Cherrypicker" ladders especially because it looks like it puts all of your weight to one side of the stick which doesn't seem too great especially if you are going to be moved around.
 

jwl868

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Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I haven’t had the time to check, but I am 99% sure that this equipment is regulated under US OSHA either as an aerial lift (as opposed to certain “scissors” lifts that are regulated under the OSHA Scaffolding regs) or as a ladder. Under either regulation, one is not to move the equipment while it is occupied.

http://www.osha.gov/


Joe
 

fredthe

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Location
Maryland
I learned to focus lights on a center-extension a-frame ladder (what we called them). It felt safe once you locked your legs over the top, as was said you could sit there for a long time. (There's actually a picure of me on one in my High School yearbook.) There was one that I used that was about 30' tall, and had enough play in the top section that you could move yourself several feet along a batten.... plus it had wheels. A bit scary, but very efficient.

When looking at currently available ladders for a newly renovated theater, it appears that the only thing that is OSHA approved is either a scaffold, or a Genie lift (or other brand...). They still make what look like center extension a-frame ladders, but they are now called "trestle ladders"... they are designed to support scaffold planks on the extension sections (using two of them.) According to the manufacturer, they are explicitly not to be used as we used to. This is making it very hard to get anything that the school will approve of for the new theater... powered lifts are too expensive (and they won't let students use them anyway), and they're not used to buying scaffolding. So, at the moment, we put a 16' ladder on some 4' platforms to focus:rolleyes: (We used to have a Tallescope, but it was pretty trashed, and was junked as part of the renovation.)
 

jklak

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Location
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
I've spent a lot of time in cherry pickers over the years. Like anything, they are only dangerous if they aren't used properly. The only major accident I have ever been in involved a cherry picker. A student set it up for me and I didn't check to see that it was locked down at the base and when I got to the top, it came down. I could have been killed but I lucked out with a broken left arm, a severely bruised right arm and stitches in my head where it hit the floor. All that aside, I would still use a cherry picker. I just make sure everything is locked down before I climb on it.