What size and type of poles will I need?


1.  What size of poles will I need?

This depends entirely on the type and height of work you carry out. General points to bear in mind are that whilst poles are made of lightweight materials they are still relatively heavy to carry and operate for long periods of time. Therefore, it is always advisable to use the right sized pole for the job you are doing. Using too long or heavy a pole for low level work will be more tiring and will be harder to clean the window effectively. Over-reaching with too short a pole, whilst saving you having to return to your vehicle for a longer pole or purchasing a longer pole, can lead to excessive muscle strain or even injury. You also run the risk of losing control of your pole which can lead to damage of property. The above points are why professional window cleaners carry a selection of poles including lightweight ones for ground and first floor work. On average, you will use your shorter poles up to three times more than your longer poles.

Below is a rough idea of what size poles will reach what floors:

14ft / 4.25m - this will reach ground and most first floor windows - low 2 storey pole

18ft / 5.3m - this will reach all first floor windows, some very low second floor windows - 2 storey pole

22ft / 6.5m - this will reach all first floor windows and some low second floor windows - 2-3 storey pole

25ft / 7.6m - this will reach most second floor windows - 3 storey pole

30ft / 9m - this will easily reach all second floor windows and some low third floor windows - 3-4 storey pole

35ft / 10.4m - this will reach modern and traditional third floor windows - 4 storey pole

40ft / 12m - this will reach some very low fourth floor windows - 4-5 storey pole

45ft /  13.5m - this will reach fourth floor windows - 5 storey pole

47ft / 14.2m - this will reach fourth floor windows - 5 storey pole

50ft / 15m - this will reach fourth floor and some fifth floor windows - 5-6 storey pole

53ft / 15.7m - this will reach fifth floor windows - 6 storey pole

59ft / 17.3m - this will reach fifth floor windows and some sixth floor- 6-7 storey pole

We always fit a pole control valve to our own poles as this allows us to accurately control flow rate and shut off of the water supply whilst working. This is a small metal valve which we insert towards the bottom of the pole hose. Please note that poles do not come with this as standard, it has to be purchased as an optional extra.

 

2.  What type of poles are available?

There are several types of poles available and all have their advantages and disadvantages. Below is a guide to the different types of pole available on the WFP Market:

 

Glass Fibre Telescopic Poles

This type of pole has almost become obsolete due to their increased weight and lack of rigidity.  We no longer supply fibre glass telescopic poles for window cleaning for these reasons. These poles are available in sizes from just 2ft long right up to 40ft long.

The only advantage of this type of pole are that they are usually cheap to buy and are simple to use, generally having quick release clamps. They are usually compatible with a wide range of brushes and are available at some WFP outlets.

The disadvantages of this type of pole are that they have a lot more flexibility than carbon fibre poles, they are usually heavier and are prone to surface wear.

Work Suitability Rating: (out of 10)

Domestic 5

Commercial 4

High Level 0

 

Aluminium Telescopic Poles

These were the first type of poles used for WFP window cleaning (introduced by Tucker in the US in the 1950’s). This type of pole is available in sizes from 4ft right up to 83ft (special order from Tucker in the US which is a three man pole with anchorman on roof!)

The advantages of this type of pole are that they have robust sections which resist surface wear.  Some employers prefer this type of pole for their Staff as they can often handle more abuse.

The disadvantages of this type of pole are that they have more flexibility than carbon fibre poles and they are heavier. Some brands have difficult to operate twist clamps.

Work Suitability Rating: (out of 10)

Domestic 6

Commercial 5

High Level 4

 

Hybrid Poles (Carbon Fibre and Glass Fibre Mix, such as our CLX™ range)

These are some of the most popular poles available for WFP window cleaning due to their relative lightweight and rigidity at a lower cost than full carbon. This type of pole is available in sizes from 4ft  up to 35ft.

The advantages of this type of pole are that they are usually well built with stiffer and lighter sections than on Glass Fibre or Aluminium poles. They are cheaper to buy than full carbon poles.  They are simple to use, generally having quick release clamps.

The disadvantages of this type of pole are that they are more expensive to buy than aluminium or fibre glass and the sections can wear out quicker than aluminium or full carbon.

Work Suitability Rating: (out of 10)

Domestic 7

Commercial 6

High Level 3

 

Carbon Fibre Telescopic Poles (Standard to Medium Modulus Carbon, such as our SLX™ and Super Max™ range)

These are some of the best poles available for WFP window cleaning. These types of pole are available in sizes from 18ft right up to 65ft.

The advantages of this type of pole are that they are usually well built with stiffer sections than on hybrid or aluminium poles. They are usually lighter as well. They are simple to use, generally having quick release clamps.

The disadvantages of this type of pole are that they are usually more expensive to buy, the sections can wear out quicker than aluminium and on some brands’ taller poles (45-65ft) the sections can be too long to reach for the average worker. Some brands’ poles come with 8-12ft long sections making them unwieldy to use.

Work Suitability Rating: (out of 10)

Domestic 10

Commercial 10

High Level 7

 

Hi-Modulus Carbon Fibre Telescopic Poles (such as our 3K Super Max™ and Ultimate™ range)

These are some of the most robust and rigid poles available for WFP window cleaning. These types of pole are available in sizes from 18ft right up to 78ft.

The advantage of this type of pole is that they are high quality carbon with stiffer sections than on standard carbon fibre poles. They generally have greater longevity than standard carbon fibre poles.

The disadvantage of this type of pole is that they are more expensive to buy.

Work Suitability Rating: (out of 10)

Domestic 8

Commercial 10

High Level 10

 

Lightweight Hi-Modulus Carbon Fibre Telescopic Poles (such as our X3 Xtreme™ range)

These are some of the best poles available for WFP window cleaning. This type of pole is available in sizes from 18ft right up to 78ft.

The advantage of this type of pole is that they are high quality carbon with stiffer sections than on standard carbon fibre poles. They are much lighter and easier to use. Particularly suited if you have had a previous work-related injury.

The disadvantages of this type of pole are that they are more expensive to buy and the sections can wear out more quickly than a standard wall thickness carbon pole.  Because of this they need more meticulous cleaning and maintenance. After 53ft, this pole also needs modular extensions to get to 77ft which means the hose would need to be used externally. 

Work Suitability Rating: (out of 10)

Domestic 9

Commercial 9

High Level 9

 

Lightweight Push-Fit Modular Poles (such as our Super-Lite® modular pole range)

These poles offer a 'one pole for every job' type approach for WFP window cleaning. This type of pole is available in sizes from 6ft right up to 60ft.

The advantage of this type of pole is that they are very light and stiff to use. The pole can easily be added to after purchase with extra sections to increase reach.  It is easy to reach the joints to take sections off even at 60ft. You only ever work with the weight of pole you actually need for the height.

The disadvantage of this pole is that they are not telescopic and need to be used in accordance with the approved operating method.  They are more fragile than any of the telescopic poles.

Work Suitability Rating: (out of 10)

Domestic 1

Commercial 8

High Level 8

 

For any other questions or enquiries, please give one of our advisors a call on 01726 66400 during office hours (Monday - Friday, 9am - 4.45pm) or email on sales@gardinerpolesystems.co.uk