Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23

Thread: ladder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Forest Lake MN
    Posts
    294

    ladder

    I am finding a need occasionally to get on top of my house. I have a multi position that is great for many things but flexes a lot when used at max extension that it is rated for. I think a good extension latter may be a wise investment. Any recommendations on aluminum vs fiber glass, how much longer should I go than expected height I need, and anything else to look for?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Oakley, CA
    Posts
    314
    I have a fiberglass ladder that I use when I need to get to my second story. The only problem is that now that I am over 70 it is getting a lot heavier.

    Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    139
    As a general contractor, I keep a close eye on equipment my subs use. Safety on my sites is paramount.
    It depends on your need.
    My electricians tend to use wooden or more frequently fibreglass ladders, but it also depends on height or proximity to electrical situations.
    My painters use almost exclusively aluminum extension ladders. They DO sway, but you just get used to it. I also insist they tie off the ladder at the top.
    If you are concerned about movement, why not think of a boom lift?
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  4. #4
    Studier is not always better, but is always heavier. I have a real lightweight aluminum I can easily throw up myself. it doesn't really flex that much at all. I think its a 28'

  5. #5
    I use Werner fiberglass extension ladders and I would add these few things to keep in mind...first, the color is related to the weight rating. Mine are all red/orange looking in color. This is the heavier rated ladders {I think they are rated at 300 pounds}. Yellow is the medium rated type and green are I guess made for little animals like squirrels to climb on. Second, Werner makes some really nice stand offs that attach to the ladder to make roof entry and exit safer and also to reduce any damages to the structure you are getting on. Stand offs prevent you from leaning the ladder directly on your gutter. And third, I learned this the hard way...DO NOT allow your fiberglass ladder to sit in direct sunlight, not even for a day. Direct summer sunlight can and will warp, twist and/or crack and otherwise destroy a fiberglass ladder. The longer the ladder the more expensive and the easier it is to damage this way. If you are around any electricity you want either wood or fiberglass. After loosing one glass ladder to the sun I wish I had aluminum. They can sit or even be stored in the sun indefinitely and I am really not around any electric stuff anyways. I do believe aluminum ladders are more costly.

    Edit: I just remembered one more thing...the rungs, the cross piece that you actually stand and climb on should be "D" shaped if you will be working on the ladder or spending any time on it. These are way more comfortable to your feet than standard {also cheaper} round rungs.
    Last edited by Martin Siebert; 03-13-2019 at 1:33 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Forest Lake MN
    Posts
    294
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Rosenthal View Post
    As a general contractor, I keep a close eye on equipment my subs use. Safety on my sites is paramount.
    It depends on your need.
    My electricians tend to use wooden or more frequently fibreglass ladders, but it also depends on height or proximity to electrical situations.
    My painters use almost exclusively aluminum extension ladders. They DO sway, but you just get used to it. I also insist they tie off the ladder at the top.
    If you are concerned about movement, why not think of a boom lift?
    My understanding of a boom is that it would be well outside my price range. My hope is that a really good ladder would work well enough?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,351
    I bought a pair of fire fighter boots for ladder work. they have a steel plate in the sole so the arch of the foot is protected. Not all boots have that ladder sole.
    BillD

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,351
    I think fiberglass is overrated. if the rubber ladder feet are good that should be enough protection if they are resting on dry wood or brick. If I am working near power lines then yes fiberglass is worth the trouble

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    1,040
    I had a Louisville aluminium 36' type 1A extension ladder that was rock solid. I gave it to a friend when I moved. He likes it for the same reason. They are heavier than the usual cheap ones people like to buy but they don't flex and wobble either. I want to get a shorter one for this house.
    https://louisvilleladder.com/typefin.../laddertype/11

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    3,341
    Aluminum is lighter to handle. Fiberglass extension ladders are typically more stable. If it's only going to be used for getting up, and down off the roof, get one that will go up about three feet past the edge where you will access the roof. It's easier to get on, and off the ladder with two or three feet sticking up past the edge it's leaning against. Just don't step on a tread that is above the edge of the roof.

    If it's just going to be for that one use, put a stabilizer on it so that the stabilizer will stand against the surface of the roof, holding it off the gutter, or fascia, and allow the extra 2 or 3 feet above the stabilizer.

    Ladder duty rating should depend on your body weight. I would not go any heavier than you need, just because it will be so much easier to handle.

    Don't drop it taking it down, and keep the rope mechanism working by taking care of it. Place the feet against the house, and walk it up, if it's heavy at all.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 03-13-2019 at 4:38 PM.

  11. #11
    As a retired Fire Chief and spending much time on ladders both in my profession that began in the 70's and in personal life, my climbing began on wooden ladders (both at work and home) and progressed to aluminum. With the fire department(s) I have been on, I have regularly climbed a variety of aluminum portable straight, multi-position and extension ladders up to 35' tall, as well as our steel 75' aerial ladder truck, though I have also climbed additional ladders and ladder tower truck ladders much larger (in excess of 100') and of both steel and aluminum construction. Our ladders were also regularly tested by a certified company for safety, as well as regular in-department checks.

    While I haven't had much direct experience with fiberglass ladders, my main concern with fiberglass is the durability and not knowing if or when the fiberglass has reached a fatigue point. Also, should the ladder have been dropped or stressed in some way (particularly if used by someone else in which you wouldn't be aware of damage occurring), I would think that it would be difficult to know unless it was carefully inspected. I think that fiberglass can also be heavier than a comparable aluminium ladder, so weight may be a concern. In regard to conducting electricity, if there is a chance the ladder will come in contact with a power line, the power to the area should be shut off, plain and simple. Admittedly we would frequently find fire / rescue situations in which we were not able to secure the power before operating in an area - and would use extreme care and available precautions - for a homeowner or non-emergency situation, prudence would call for safety first.

    I have found that quality aluminum ladders provide long-lasting durability, strength, a reasonable weight and a safety factor I am comfortable with. Personally I have a couple 6' aluminum step ladders and a 17 ft Little Giant multi-position ladder that I just got for xmas and like a lot (it replaces an older multi-position ladder that was of a much different design and that I felt uncomfortable with, particularly with my body not being as capable of taking a fall as in my younger years). I also have a 24' aluminum extension ladder that is relatively light in weight and easy to move around and work on exterior projects at the house or shop - this ladder is my regular go-to ladder. My final ladder is a 40' aluminum extension ladder that is somewhat heavy to move and use (though my wife and I are capable of doing so) and is necessary to reach the higher points of both my previous home, as well as portions of my present one-story home that is built on a grade with a walk-out basement - this ladder feels quite sturdy, even at full extension, and I have had it for probably 25 - 30 years now and still feel comfortable with it.

    For a length, if you will be climbing onto a roof, it would be best for the ladder to extend at least three rungs (preferably four rungs) past the point you will be getting off and on the ladder so that you will have a point to hold onto.

    Above all - Be Safe. If it doesn't feel right, consider an alternative. You only live once and you want to do it in the best condition you can.

  12. #12
    I have a 24' fiberglass ladder (a blue Werner I think) that is real nice and sturdy to stand on. It was comfortable to lift at 30, heavy at 40, and cumbersome at nearly 50. I will probably replace it with an aluminum one, one of these days. Also, aiming a fiberglass ladder with standoffs under a gutter is rather fatiguing, at least it is for me now. I like a ladder to go at least a foot or two higher than I need it, and preferably about 4 feet. The longer the overlap of the extensions, the less bouncy (i.e. terrifying) it is to climb.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Itapevi, SP - Brazil
    Posts
    340

    High quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon SPEAKS View Post
    I am finding a need occasionally to get on top of my house. I have a multi position that is great for many things but flexes a lot when used at max extension that it is rated for. I think a good extension latter may be a wise investment. Any recommendations on aluminum vs fiber glass, how much longer should I go than expected height I need, and anything else to look for?

    Thank you
    When we construct our home I also purchased two stairs. It happened 25+ years ago.

    One of them is an extension stair reaching near 8m when completely extended and another is a fold one. The first I use externally and another internal home. Both are aluminum and they have seem serious use in those years. Both were made under special order at the same provider for the State firefighters. They were not cheap but they worth each cent.

    I think both aluminum as well fiber glass are great materials for ladders but be careful to choose good workmanship as for both materials you will find a broad range of quality and prices.
    Last edited by Osvaldo Cristo; 03-14-2019 at 12:55 AM. Reason: Typo as usual
    All the best.

    Osvaldo.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    3,341
    Get one with cast rung locks. The folded metal rung locks get bent easily, and never work right again. Cast should mean it's a better made ladder overall.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    3,589
    As builders and remodelers, myself and my crew use ladders extensively. Didn't see this mentioned yet, but keep in mind that the load rating needs to include whatever tools you are packing up the thing. 20-40# of tools up there with you is not uncommon. I think I've tried them all, and all I have now are fibreglass. Aluminum ladders are ok if you get a quality one, good rungs, good locks, heavy duty extension rope assembly. Much easier to find a good quality fibreglass. Mine get used all day, every day on some jobs, probably 150 days a year and I've never seen sun damage a good fibreglass ladder. Martin must have had a bad ladder or something. Heck, I packed one around on a ladder rack for three years with no damage, until I finally ran over it...

    I currently have a Werner orange extension that is miserable. It was engineered with too much clearance and it'll rack somehow and jam the extension up. Feet are also terrible, always in the wrong position. The other three are much better, they are a different line of Werner 1AA rated (yellow) and a Bulldog.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •