Ladders: what you should know

For starters, they are the handiest most innocuous looking tools around the farm and require no manuals or electricity to operate. Cool right? But as I painfully learned, they must be used appropriately for safe results. Who da thought?

Obviously I didn’t last year, when I climbed up one quicksilverlike without a second thought, only to find myself teetering like a character in some freakish cartoon, swaying and then thud, as I landed in the back of the bed of our pick up. Please don’t make me answer, or explain, or anything else. Suffice it to say that if the dadgum ladder ain’t long enough, find a longer one. The end.

P.S. What you should know about ladders, extension ladders in this case:

Extension ladders like most step ladders are made of either aluminum or fiberglass. Our preference is the less expensive aluminum as it meets our frugal pre reqs, but that alone does not equate a purchase.

Aluminum is also lighter than fiberglass and I can manage a 24 ft. extension ladder by myself if I have to. It is also weather resistant, if we need to store it outdoors. I’m not sure if a fiberglass composition ladder can hold up to the elements as well.

These three extension ladders are Aluminum and are rated for weight load.

Type lll/200lbs

Type ll/225lbs.
Type l/ 250lbs.

From there it goes lA, lAA, for higher weight loads. If you consider the work load which might include more than the worker but say a worker routinely climbing with a bundle of roof shingles helps in determining ladder choice.

The ease in extending the ladder is facilitated by the cord and pulley. Oh how I love this feature because with our old ladder, I would lay it on the ground, adjust the length and then prop it back into position, often multiple times to get the right height I was needing. It was time consuming. The rope and pulley allows you to adjust the ladder from an upright position much more easily.

So the winner is ladder number two, the one in the middle with the blue cord. A Werner brand, 24ft., Type l Aluminum ladder. And an additional purchase of a stabilizer. A fantastic ladder attachment I will never go without again. If only for the safety one feels when the ladder is pert near fully extended. It’s an aluminum arm like feature that snaps into place and spans out from the place where the ladder meets surface area for an oh so comforting sense of safety that can not be over emphasized. (ie, ladder and pick up fiasco), and my personal recommendation.

P P S S. A useful trick when shopping at your favorite building supply store:

There are just certain measurements not provided by the manufacturer on a lot of items in the store. And having a “measure stick” as HH would call it is a handy thing to bring a long on your shopping trip. But alas, if you are like us and forget to bring the stick. You can find one handily right there and it can be operated, with out opening the package (who would do that?!:)

One thought on “Ladders: what you should know

  1. C-ingspots says:

    Very interesting…you sure know a lot about ladders. But then, I'll just bet you've learned a little bit about a whole bunch of handy dandy building and remodelling techniques – am I right? I could sure learn a lot from you Miss Betty. When do you want to go a-walking again??

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