Drywall stilts are valuable tools that can improve speed and quality on the job site. However, some contractors avoid using stilts because they think they look too complicated or daunting to use. But walking with drywall stilts is much easier than it looks. For anyone interested in giving stilts a go, we’ve compiled a few tips for walking with drywall stilts for the first time. Follow this advice, and you’ll be walking and working in stilts in no time.
Check for a Secure Fit
The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure your stilts are firmly attached. Inspect the straps and the bolts before standing. The fit should be snug but comfortable.
Don’t Walk Alone
The next tip for walking with drywall stilts for the first time is to practice with a partner. The first few times you practice walking in stilts, you’ll want to have someone supervise you. Ideally, it should be someone who already has experience working with stilts, such as an experienced senior coworker. The job of the supervisor is to help you stand after you’ve secured your stilts and to keep a close eye on you as you practice.
Take Baby Steps
Learning how to walk with stilts isn’t a walk in the park. It’s a skill you need to practice and hone. Expect to be clumsy when you start out. Start by taking small steps, and then work your way up. When walking in stilts, you have to bend your legs more and lift your knees higher than you normally would. This ensures the feet of your stilt clear the ground. Since the stilts’ length and weight make them a bit cumbersome, you’ll want to walk slower than your regular pace.
Practice at Home
Until you get the hang of stilt-walking, avoid using stilts on active job sites—it’s too risky. The floor will be cluttered with tools, and your fellow contractors may be too occupied with the task at hand to monitor you and your safety. Start by practicing stilt-walking at home or in another clean, safe area. To keep yourself safe, we recommend practicing in an empty room with soft flooring to prevent tripping and to cushion your impact should you fall. When you start to feel more confident, practice during a lull (before you start work, during your lunch break, or post-cleanup) on a job site.
Practice Working, Not Just Walking
You need to practice walking in stilts, but you also need to practice working in stilts. Once you’re confident in your ability to walk, grab your tools and go through the motions of drywalling. You need to be able to move around while using tools such as jab saws, knives, and drills.
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