There are many different types of ladders with a myriad of different purposes.
Here are some, as well as, the better known brands ?Werner Ladders, Little Giant Ladder Systems, CMT Industrial, Hercules, Louisville Ladders, LB International Inc., JOMY, Cosco Telescoping Ladder, Krause Ladders, Gorilla Ladders, Precision Ladders, Century Attic Ladders, Rainbow Attic Ladders, Davidson, ABSS, and Wing.
- Extension ladders
- Attic ladders
- Single ladders
- Articulated ladders
- Combination ladders
- Extension trestle ladders
- Fixed ladders
- Job made wooden ladders
The stepladder is a self-supporting non-adjustable in length portable ladder with flat steps and a hinged design for storage ease. Step ladders are preferred choices for home use since they store effortlessly, can normally be folded and are less expensive. For undemanding activities such as reaching upper heights and small painting work, stepladders will get the job done.
Stepladders range from 3 to 20 ft. in length along the side rail. Stepladders shorter than 3 ft. are considered step stools. The highest standing level on a stepladder is slightly more than 2 ft. from the top of the ladder and is required to be noted on the specifications label on the side rail. A stepladder must not be used unless its base is spread fully open and spreaders locked.
The extension ladder is a non-self-supporting portable ladder that is adjustable in length. It consists of two or more sections that travel in guides or brackets arranged so as to permit length adjustment. The maximum extended length is dependent on the number of sections as well as the ladder抯 duty rating. The sections are held into their adjusted position by extension locking devices known as rung locks which are employ several types of designs including gravity, spring-action, rope-operated, or stationary types.
Extension ladders may be positioned against walls and scoped to achieve different heights. Usually these ladders have rounded and slim rungs for added mobility while climbing. However for specific projects such as window dusting, roof renovation, maintaining library shelves or fruit harvesting, step and extension ladders are not the best type of ladders.
When an extension ladder has previously been used as a single ladder, use care to properly reassemble the sections to ensure interlocking guides or brackets are correctly engaged before further use.
To adjust extension ladders, you should be standing at the base of the ladder to observe proper engagement of the rung locks. Unlike a stepladder that requires level support for all four of its side rails, extension ladders require only two level ground support points in addition to a top support. To avoid losing your balance and falling off an extension ladder, never step or stand higher than the step indicated on the label marking the highest standing level.
Attic ladders generally fold as in a disappearing stairway, though not always. Attic ladders get you into a storage area within a limited space allotment. Attic ladders can be steep and unstable; don抰 skimp on attic ladders.
The selection of proper single ladder size requires knowledge of the height of the top support point. Single ladders rated for light duty service do not exceed 16 feet in length; medium duty is available up to 24 feet; and heavy duty length is up to 30 feet.
If the top support point is a roof eave, the top of the single ladder must extend one to three feet above the roof eave if you want to access the roof. The ladder must also be tied to the upper access level before climbing on or off the ladder at the upper level. Be careful when getting on or off the ladder at the upper level in order to avoid tipping over the ladder sideways or causing the ladder base to slide out.
Unlike a stepladder that requires level support for all four of its side rails, single ladders require only two level ground support points in addition to a top support. Ladder levelers may be used to achieve equal rail support on uneven surfaces. The top support also allows the opportunity to secure or tie off the top of the ladder to increase stability.
An articulated ladder is a portable ladder with one or more pairs of locking hinges which allow the ladder to be set up in several configurations such as a single or extension ladder, with or without a stand-off, a stepladder, a trestle ladder, scaffold or work table. Each pair of articulated joints in the ladder can be locked in one or more positions to accommodate the various configurations.
Each articulated ladder manufacturer has a unique locking hinge design and each lock must visibly indicate whether it is locked or unlocked. Become familiar with the proper operation of the hinge and make sure all the hinges are locked before using the ladder. Do not attempt unlocking or repositioning any of the hinges while standing on the ladder. Keep the hinges lubricated.
A combination ladder is a portable ladder capable of being used as a stepladder, or as a single or extension ladder. Combination ladders may also be used as a trestle ladder or stairwell ladder. Combination ladder components may be used as single ladders and can be designed with either steps or rungs, and the inclusion of a pail shelf is optional. With steps, it抯 recommended the step surfaces be horizontal. Either spreaders or a locking device can be used to securely hold the front and rear sections in the open position.
It is important that you become familiar with the manufacturer抯 proper operation of the locking-mechanism and ensure all the joints are locked before using the combination ladder. Product labels illustrate all the acceptable uses and positions for any combination ladder. Configurations not illustrated on the label should not to be used.
Extension Trestle Ladders
The extension trestle ladder is a self-supporting portable ladder that is adjustable in length, consisting of a trestle ladder base and a vertically adjustable extension section to lock the ladders together to be used by one person.
An extension trestle ladder base section ranges in length up to 20 feet as measured along the side rail. The Extension section length may not exceed the base section length. The highest standing level on an Extension Trestle Ladder is the second step below the top of the extension section, or slightly more than 2 ft from the top of the ladder.
The fixed ladder is a non-self-supporting ladder that is non-adjustable in length and permanently attached to a structure at a pitch ranging from 60 to 90 degrees from the horizontal. The preferred pitch of a fixed ladder is between 75 and 90 degrees from the horizontal.
Fixed ladders exposed to the elements are required to be maintained with protective finishes. Fixed ladders must not be used if any bolts or welds are not secure or missing or if the joints between the rungs and the side rail are not tight.
Job Made Wooden Ladders
Job-make wooden ladders are custom-made to fit specific job situations during construction or demolition operations with the intent of providing temporary access to or egress from a work area. Job made wooden ladders are not intended to serve as workstations.