Types of Ladders
The very first thing you must decide before actually using a ladder is which type of ladder will work the best for the job at hand. Understanding the different types of ladders and their functions will allow you to make an informed decision and you will then be able to complete your task more efficiently and safely. Ladders have come a long way since originally being invented, and today there are multiple types of ladders; each made with a specific function and task in mind.
- Step Ladders: Step ladders are the most commonly used ladder in the industry. In contrast to extension ladders; step ladders are self-supportable meaning they do not need to be leaned against any type of support to be used. As this is the case, they may be used in the middle of the room, underneath a tree for trimming or a variety of other locations where support is not available for an extension ladder. There are two major varieties of step ladders; the first is a simple front step ladder. On the front step ladder you will find rungs on one side of the ladder and the other side is desinged only for support and is not to be climbed on. The more popular variety is the twin step ladder which provides rungs on either side of the ladder allowing you to climb up whichever side is more convienent and allows you and a friend to climb the ladder simultaneously.
- Extension Ladders: Extension or "straight" ladders are normally the first type that comes to mind when you think of a ladder. This type is used to reach high places and most be leaned against some type of support; such as a house, wall, or tree before it can be used. Most extension ladders consist of two parts; the main piece is called the "base" and should always being firmly placed on the ground. The second part is called the "fly" and it is a moveable piece that can extend above the bed to allow the extension ladder to reach higher. Usually this sliding is done by use of a rope or hooks. This means most extension ladders have the ability to reach higher than you may first think when you see it "out of the box".
- Platform Ladders: A platform ladder is a front step ladder with a platform as its top step. A top rail guard is usually around two feet higher then the platform to provide safety while you are working. Platform ladders provide that higher level of comfort you look for while standing on a ladder for any amount of time. You won’t be killing the bottom of your feet or your shins when you stand on the platform. This ladder allows you to work on any project that requires you to use two hands as safely as if you were on the ground itself. Being able to rotate around and work in which ever direction you need helps you to work safer and faster.
- Step Stools: A step stool is great to have for any room of the house. In the kitchen a step stool safely allows you to reach the top shelves of your cabinet. In the pantry you can reach any shelf you need. In the laundry room you are able to reach the overhead cabinets. Keeping one in your closet helps you to grab your clothes you have stored above your hanging shirts. Many step stools are designed to fold down almost flat which makes it a cinch to slid in between your washer and dryer.
- Multi-purpose Ladders: Any ladder that is able to accomplish the tasks of two or more of the other types of ladders can be considered a multi-purpose ladder. The original multi-purpose ladder was manufactured by Little Giant but today there are multiple manufacturers offering their version of this ladder. People find this type of ladder attractive due to the fact that it is able to change into so many positions; giving the user a variety of options when completing different tasks around the house or on the job. Multi-purpose ladders are able to be opened into a step ladder position in order to be climbable and fully self-supportable. They can also be fully opened into an extended position allowing them to reach higher locations; but just like with your normal extended ladder you must have some support to lean the ladder against. One of the most convienent things with a multi-purpose ladder is the ability to use one ladder and make scaffolding for your planks or platforms. Finally, the multi-purpose ladder can be completely closed when not in use into a storage position which makes storing it easy and efficient.
- Telescoping Ladders: A telescoping ladder is simply a ladder that is able to slide in and out to adjust in size and does so by the use of overlapping sections. There are a large variety of telescoping ladders in the industry today, the most popular of which is the ladder produced by Telesteps. Like many of the telescoping ladders avaiable, the Telesteps ladder has the ability to fully extend into a useable extension ladder as while as shrink into a very compact, easy-to-carry ladder. Other types of telescoping ladders include multipurpose ladders and some step ladders.
- Folding Ladders: These ladders get their name from their ability to fold up when not in use for extremely easy storage. Folding ladders are normally used for smaller inside tasks. Folding ladders have large steps rather than the skinny rungs found on step or extension ladders. These ladders make great additions to every home, small business or motor home. If you often find yourself climbing on chairs or other objects that weren't meant to be climbed on, you need to look into some type of a folding ladder. When completely closed, most folding ladders will fit in small places such as under the bed or in a closet completely out of sight. They are light weight and easy to use, making them that much more convienent and safe around the house.