Even though scaffold manufacturers have developed several new platform systems for masonry construction, a majority of contractors we talked to say conventional tubular frame scaffolds meet their needs well for most jobs. In an informal survey, we interviewed contractors across the country about their use of scaffolding and why they use the types they do. We asked each contractor which of these types of scaffold systems he had used: tubular frame, tower scaffolds, mast-climbing work platforms, swing stages, and heavy-duty masons' suspended scaffolds. TUBULAR FRAME SCAFFOLDS The only scaffold type all the contractors had used were tubular frames. Most cited economy and adaptability to a wide range of job conditions as their main reasons for using tubular frames. SUSPENDED SCAFFOLDS We talked to seven contractors who had used heavy-duty mason's suspended scaffolds at least once. All but one found them to be efficient. None of the contractors owned the equipment (which is virtually always rented from and usually erected by a supplier). SWING STAGES Those who had used swing-stage scaffolds viewed them as a good way to handle cleaning, repair, and repointing jobs. Their main drawback is the limited weight they can carry. TOWER SCAFFOLDS Among contractors who use a tower scaffold, most cite improved productivity as its most important benefit. They say that keeping masons at their most comfortable working height allows them to work faster and reduces fatigue. Most of those who had not used tower scaffolds cited cost as the main reason. They felt the benefits that might be derived would not justify the initial expense. SCAFFOLD PLANK We also asked contractors about their use of scaffold plank. With only two exceptions, solid-sawn wood plank was the contractors' first choice. Here again, initial cost was the most important factor. Most felt that 2x10 scaffold grade plank works well, is reasonably durable, and offers good value.