For some people, the very idea of stepping up onto a ladder is intimidating but there are many scenarios where only a ladder will do. However, having the right ladder can change an intimidating job into a simple one, done with confidence and ease. So here are some basic tips to help you choose the right ladder.
Heavy Duty Aluminium Ladders – Your Choices
The five things to think about when selecting a ladder are normally stated to be:
- The right type
- The right height and reach
- The right weight capacity
- The right amount of manoeuvrability
- Safety aspects
- Type of ladder
There are five main types of ladder currently available. The most basic of these is the single section ladder, the type that has been around for generations and is where the top of the ladder is leaned against the wall, for example. These ladders are lightweight and ideal for small jobs that are at the height around the top of the ladder.
Step ladders come in a single section with built in legs to stabilise them so they don’t need to lean against something to be used. These legs normally fold up for storage and the ladders come in wood, aluminium and fibreglass.
Extension ladders have a series of sections that can be extended one in front of another to reach different heights. These ladders don’t need too much storage space as fold up on themselves and two section models are the most common. There are standard and compact styles that are available in fibreglass and good while heavy duty aluminium ladders of this style are great for higher level jobs such as guttering or repainting.
Telescopic and multi-function ladders are the two remaining categories and are the newer styles. Telescopic ladders have rungs that collapse inside to make them easier to store but are otherwise much like extension ladders while multi-function ladders combine a number of the features of the others.
Length and Weight Capacity
The length of the ladder needed is dictated by the job you are going to do but isn’t calculated just by the vertical height. Remember to take into account overlap in ladder sections and that the top four rungs of a ladder are not suitable to stand on, so this lower point needs to be high enough for the job in question.
Ladders also come with a rating as to how much weight they can bear. Remember that this amount isn’t just what you weight but also the weight of the gear you need to take up the ladder with you. Check the ladder is going to be able to withstand this total weight before purchasing.
Remembering basic ladder safety can quite literally be a lifesaver, particularly when working with greater heights. Read up on ladder safety before starting a job, to refresh your memory and never use the top section of the ladder to stand on, as this isn’t safe. Make sure the ground under the ladder is firm and level and be certain all locks are in place before stepping on to it.