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Ladders Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know
No matter whether you are a renovating homeowner, a professional contractor or an industrial worker, ladders can be a must-have tool. But with so many different types of ladders available on the market, it is not easy to choose the best one for your needs. This comprehensive buying guide provides everything you need to know about ladders: from basic ladder safety and purchasing tips to advanced features and accessories for various applications. Whether you’re looking for standard stepladders or specialized equipment such as fiberglass extension ladders, this guide will help make your shopping experience easier and more efficient.
What is the difference between step ladders and extension ladders?
Step ladders are tall, foldable devices with a wide base for stability and flat steps for standing. They range in height from about two to five feet and usually come in aluminum or fiberglass, although some wooden models exist. Extension ladders offer greater reach than step ladders by utilizing a pair of telescoping sections that can be adjusted to the desired length. The top section is equipped with rungs for climbing while the bottom portion has an extended base for stability as well as rubber ends to protect surfaces when setting up.
What are the safety considerations when using ladders?
When using any type of ladder, it’s important to take certain safety precautions such as checking the ladder for stability and damage before climbing, ensuring it’s firmly planted on the ground or against a solid surface and never carrying items while standing on the ladder. For step ladders, always set up the wide base of the ladder first, using both feet to stand evenly on the steps. Extension ladders should be extended at least three rungs beyond the top contact point with a stable structure and should never be used with one-hand holding both sections together.
What factors should I consider when buying a ladder?
When shopping for a new ladder, there are several factors to take into account such as weight capacity, reach height (for extension ladders), material type and cost. Depending on your specific project requirements and budget, you may want to opt for a sturdier yet more expensive fiberglass model or an aluminum one that is cheaper but has lower load capacity. It’s also important to determine whether your application requires a specialized type of ladder such as those designed for window washing, masonry work or electrical jobs.
How do I calculate the reach height of an extension ladder?
The reach height of an extension ladder is determined by subtracting the actual length of the ladder with its overlap between sections plus 12 inches (the average distance between two steps). For example, if you have a 24-foot extension ladder with three feet of overlap, the total reach height is calculated as 24 feet (actual length) – 3 feet (overlap) + 12 inches (distance between steps) = 27.5 feet.
What ladder accessories are available on the market?
Many different types of accessories can be added to ladders for enhanced functionality, safety and convenience. Structural platforms, tool trays, stabilizers and stand-offs are some of the most common types of add-ons available to increase stability and load capacity. Other popular accessories include anti-skid pads, mobility kits and even electric winches for use with extension ladders.
What types of ladders are available for industrial use?
When it comes to industrial applications, there are several different types of ladders available on the market such as platform, extension and articulating models. Platform ladders provide a wide base for stability as well as a raised working area, making them ideal for warehouse and factory settings. Extension ladders can be adjusted to accommodate various heights while articulating ladders feature several joints that allow them to be used in hard-to-reach areas or around obstacles. Safety cages and adjustable bases are also commonly used in industrial environments to increase user protection.
How do I properly store my ladder?
Whether you have a stepladder, platform ladder or extension ladder, it’s important to store them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Before storing your ladder, make sure to inspect it for any damage or wear that may need repair before using again. Additionally, ladders should also be cleared of dirt and debris prior to storage as this can affect its condition over time.
What safety features should I look for when buying a ladder?
When shopping for ladders, the two most important safety features to consider are load capacity and ANSI rating. Load capacity specifies how much weight the ladder is capable of supporting without breaking whereas ANSI rating determines whether the model meets the safety standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Look for ladders that have a higher load capacity and ANSI rating to ensure they are safe and reliable to use.
When it comes to choosing the right ladder, there is no one-size-fits-all option. With so many different types of ladders available on the market, it’s important to carefully consider all your needs before making a purchase. Make sure you understand the safety features, associated costs and proper storage requirements before buying any model. This guide provides an overview of some of the most popular ladders used in industrial applications today and hopefully will help you make an informed decision when shopping for ladders.
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