Is a Topside Creeper right for you?

Posted by Dallen Christensen on

In today's world, trucks are getting taller, lifts keep getting higher, and the way we work in engines compartments is getting more complicated. How do you climb up to an engine bay to change injectors? Step ladders? dusty milk crate? Here's my personal favorite, that old 5 gallon pickle bucket with a crack in the middle that makes ominous sounds as you climb on. Some great thinkers have been fed up with these primitive tools, and we now have two fantastic ideas;The  Topside Creeper and the Walkabout platform. 
  Were going to do a pro an con of each tool, and let you decide which is right for you. 

Topside Creeper

Image result for topside creeper

Topside creepers are a great idea for elevating yourself to get into the engine bay. However, if you want to buy a topside creeper because buckets and step ladders are uncomfortable will the topside creeper be any better? Having used one, I had a few complaints. Being just a small guy (5' 9", 170lbs) I haven't had any fears climbing on a 5 gallon bucket. However, looking for a vacuum leak in the engine bay for 2 hours, standing tippy-toed on a bucket gave me a sore back, but more than that my ribs were sore from laying over the top of the radiator or fender. If you climb a topside creeper, you experience the same thing.   All your weight focused on your chest, and those pesky angles at the top of the steps hit me right in the "you know where". 

Another problem I found with  ladders, buckets and topside creepers was when I was lifting an intake manifold off of my ford F150.  While doing this job I had to either climb up and down the creeper or step ladder to get different tools, or set them on the hood cowl and hope they didn't roll off. Finally, after getting the manifold off, I had  to balance it on the radiator shroud, climb off the creeper and then pick it back up again.  The topside creeper is a great tool if you are looking for an a affordable tool to do a quick job.

 Pros

Cons

Lightweight uncomfortable
adjustable awkward positions
stable  almost the same as a step ladder
limited to 1 person using topside creeper

 

Walkabout Platform 

The Walkabout platform was created by Bryan Malone, who worked as a mechanic for over 30+ years. Fed up with standing on ladders and having his fair share of sore ribs from leaning over fenders and radiators, Bryan created and patented the walkabout platform system.  The platform essentially evolved from buckets and step stools, from cheap folding stands to the topside creeper. And today from all of these ideas the Walkabout system was created.

I've since changed the vacuum system on my truck on a platform, and spent 3+ hours chasing vacuum leaks. no sore chest, and no broken back. It might be a little hard to swallow the initial purchase price, but I would never go back to climbing buckets and step ladders. Me and a buddy are able to freely move around the truck on the platform and use the integrated tool tray to hold my tools.  were also able to use the integrated lights and air tube, keeping everything neat and tidy. Lifting a 40 lb cylinder head from the engine bay on an lifted F350 is just as comfortable as changing the alternator on a Honda civic. The Platform allows for steady footing and comfortable stance allowing you to work on extended hour jobs without compromising comfort and safety. 

 

Pros

Cons

comfortable

bigger investment 
portable larger footprint than topside creeper
saves time (= more $$$) weight
allows for 2+ people to use stand

 

Ultimately, the topside creeper is a great product for quick fixes that don't require extended amount of time. I personally would never use one for a 3-4 hour job, let alone one that took me 20+ hours. Its a great tool to have, but the Walkabout is something entirely different.

Its a hardcore tool for hardcore mechanics doing long and tedious jobs.  But leave it set up and you will find you use it every day for even the smallest of jobs. Walkabout platforms allows mechanics to be more comfortable and work faster at their job making more money at the end of the day 

Today's diesels are extremely complex systems. Some jobs can take over 20+ hours of warranty time. Can you see yourself laying on your belly for 20+ hours to work on a vehicle? Me either. 

 

 

 


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  • Absolutely LOVE the Walkaboutplatforms!! What an amazing tool!!👏💙

    Connie on

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