28 Jan 2019
Ladders are the mainstay of any industry – warehouses, trades, even the DIY handyman all need a ladder at some point. Much of our lives would not be the same if not for our venerable ladder. But what kind of ladder is right for you or your workplace? There’s no shortage of configurations and variations to choose from. So how do you choose the right one? Here’s a step by step guide to help you make a sound decision.
Where is it going, and what will you use it for?
Before diving straight into buying a ladder, you need to ask the very simple question – where is it going to be used, and what type of jobs will it help you with? A two-step ladder will prove useless for painters reaching ceilings, and an extension ladder to reach something off the top shelf will be overkill. The best way to go about it is to figure out if it will impede traffic around you – an extension ladder is good for saving space compared to a stepladder, however a stepladder offers more stability. If you need a ladder for use as a platform to support more than one person, you also have to take this into consideration.
Pictured: STURGO® Fibreglass Platform Ladder
It’s All About Height
When it comes to ladders, its about extending your own height above what you can physically reach. The ideal way to measure for an extension ladder is that it should be two to three metres above the contact point, be it a wall or roof line. As for step ladders, if you can’t reach what you need with ease on the third-highest rung, it is too short. The top two rungs are too unstable for normal use. In any case, you should only need to reach a maximum of one metre for whatever application you have in mind.
Pictured: Navigator Mobile Warehouse Ladder
Duty rating and loads
There are only two types of duty ratings for ladders – domestic and industrial. If it’s for work, you choose the latter. However, a load rating is different – it tells you how much weight the ladder can hold. This is important when considering taking tools up a ladder, or paints, or using an extension ladder as a shelf. You need to your own weight and that of tools.
Materials – is it safe for your worksite?
The two main variants of ladders for industrial use are aluminium or fibreglass ladders. Aluminium are an “all rounder” good for most environments, while fibreglass ladders are built for use around conductive material and electricity. Fibreglass is also more resistant to heat and warping. However, they do cost more. For more information, check out our in-depth discussion on aluminium vs fibreglass, ladders in our previous blog post: Aluminium vs Fibreglass Ladders - Which Should You Choose?
Pictured: STURGO® Aluminium Platform Ladder
Want to find your perfect ladder? Look no further than our huge range of ladders for all applications. Get started, contact Backsafe Australia today.
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