Maintaining your Portable StagingPortStage
Staging maintenance, for your portable staging!
One of the key considerations in buying a portable stage, other than the obvious, price, quality and suitability, is ongoing maintenance.
Its also one of the most overlooked factors by people buying staging. In today’s economic climate, the emphasis on getting the best price is so great, buyers are overlooking the fact they will spend in some cases,a further 50% of the purchase cost, on ongoing staging maintenance, replacing locks, keys and fasteners.
This is pretty scary, but there are so many users out there suffering these rising costs, after buying the cheapest option on the market, only to find that they need to spend further money on spares and parts to keep the staging working each time they come to use it.
What goes wrong with staging then?
Locks – One of the top faults with some staging brands, is the locks. Locks are only designed to work for a set lifetime, and that’s in the best of conditions. Another point is to realise that locks are built into the staging itself, so they are often difficult if not impossible to replace. Stage deck platform locks are built into the frames, and render the platform useless, once all the locks fail. Some staging manufacturers only offer and “return to base – refurbishment” option, in short, only the factory that made them, can repair them. NexGen removed locks on its deck platforms and added velour carpet to give lifetime value.
Tubes – Riser leg tubes can become damaged when in use or in storage, this can happen with all brands of staging, but measures should be taken to store the riser legs in a sufficient manner, that they are protected against knocks. Make sure you get storage boxes provided with your staging order. Replacing riser rods and blocks can be a simple DIY task, but the staging maintenance costs start to build up over the life of the staging.
Valance fasteners – These are truly the biggest maintenance pain on any staging package. The cloth valance skirting becomes very expensive over its lifespan, and in some cases, schools have a bi-monthly order for new fasteners. Completely crazy, but true. Kiddies don’t just un-pop the valance from the side of the portable stage, they pull the valance, this dis-lodges the fasteners in the cloth, and they need replacing. It leaves the skirting valance looking very tatty, and instead of giving a professional finish it actually gives the opposite effect for performances. Hardboard valance lasts much longer, is actually less expensive, gives a clean, modern and professional finish and has almost zero maintenance costs.
You will be spending £1000s on your portable stage, and you want it to work well for many years, the last thing you want is an ongoing expense you had not planned for. Be sure to check the warranty and guarantees included within the staging purchase. Further, ask questions of the suppliers you have short-listed. How long will the locks last? for instance. If you consider there are up to 8 locks in some staging deck platforms, at a cost of £3 to £10 per lock to replace. Those deck platforms can become pretty expensive over their usable life.