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LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to nunya

Re: Extension Ladder Question - How big?

God, I'd love a fibreglass ladder at work...

A 35' NFPA rated aluminum ladder tips out at about 150 lbs... But it's got a working load rating of 750# with (i believe) a 4x safety factor - so that's your trade off; it's not exactly a featherweight to throw around.


nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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reply to robbin
All of my ladders (except Little Giant) get "needles" because they are outdoors most of the time (on top of a truck).
First, inspect the ladder every time you use it. Yes, I do this. It's not that hard.
Any abrasions get UV poly right away.
Semi-annually, I use Johnson floor paste-wax on the rails.
Annually, I knock down the burs with Scothcbrite and coat with lacquer.
I used to use brush on lacquer, but now I use spray on.
Way back, I used to use varnish. I found out this is wrong. It didn't last nearly as long as lacquer either.

I have a Little Giant fiberglass 1AA ladder that does not seem to have the same "needle" issues as my Louisvilles or Werners. It must be made differently. It rides on top too.

Newer ladders, made in the last 20 years or so, seem to have waaaaay better UV stability.

FYI, both Louisville and Werner will mail you replacement labels for cheap if you need them (OSHA).
All of my ladders are so old, they are "made in USA".
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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reply to LazMan
Don't wish too hard. Fiberglass ladders weigh a lot more than aluminum of the same rating.

Fiberglass ladders "deflect" quite a bit when it's 100 degrees out, I couldn't imagine near a fire. It would probably turn into a U.

I'm just glad wooden ladders went away. I hated lugging those fuckers around. They were dangerous too.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
We still use a lot of wooden ones in the telco world (my 'other' job)... My company still has an in-house wood shop to maintain them, even.

And there are a few companies making fire rated fibreglass ladders, but they weigh a TON, and are very expensive, from what I understand.


nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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The last place I used a wooden ladder was Ma Bell. I think they still had them into the 90's for 6' step ladders. Thankfully the 28' wooden ladders had been removed from service long ago.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

What's wrong with you pussies? I've been carrying ladders since I was 17. I'm old and can still carry a 32ft 1A fiberglass ALONE with no major issues.
As John Galt mentioned, the key is balance. Find the balance point on the ladder and mark it.

If you can't carry a fiberglass, get an aluminum and just stay away from power. But as far as I'm concerned, they should paint aluminum ladders pink and put flower & princess stickers on the rails. Maybe use them as props in douche commercials.

(I'm just mad because I've always had to carry fiberglass ladders!)

I wouldn't dick around with anything rated less than a 1A unless you can genuinely say you'll be under the weight rating while in use (this includes tools and equipment!). I'm a little heavier @ 230#. I only buy 1AA ladders any more.

Fiberglass is fine unless climbing up or down a hill or on uneven ground.
A wood ladder like one poster said unless made of balsa wood forget it. My father had an old wooden extension ladder and that thing weighs way more than any fiberglass ladder I have carried.

iLearn

join:2013-01-16
canada
reply to iLearn
For those of your heroes who have no problems carrying a 100 ft ladder on their shoulders and have been doing this since age 5 - its not so much about 'carrying' and 'setting up', its actually keeping them stable.

So what do you do when you are half way up (50 ft in the air) and wind starts to blow? Do you try to reach the top asap, tie a bungee cord to the spikes in the gutter and hope wind stop blowing before you do anything? OR try to get down before you fall and break your back? OR carry a parachute on you all the time so you can bail out any minute?

Keeping it stable, being able to use it safely without any help is the issue for me.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
If it's at an angle that isn't stable, the ladder isn't long enough, or the ground is uneven...

Easy way to check the angle of a ladder is to set it up, with your feet flat on the ground at the butt (base of the ladder); arms straight out at shoulder height, fingertips should just touch the rails.

If it's a steeper angle then that, it's too short...


nunya
LXI 483
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1 recommendation

reply to iLearn
No. You use something called "common sense". It seems to be in short supply these days.
Simple things that should go without saying:
If it's too windy, don't work aloft.
Set your ladder up so it's stable (according to directions).
Don't use a ladder which is not sized for the job.

If your gut says "hey this doesn't fell right", then it probably isn't.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
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reply to iLearn
said by iLearn:

So what do you do when you are half way up (50 ft in the air) and wind starts to blow?

You secure the ladder before you go up (tie it to something). That's the way we were taught but even that doesn't always work. I had it happen twice and both times I just road the ladder down. Again, my ladder career was only until I got out of college. I'm sure the pros here have had similar experiences.

The thing is, if you don't like heights, you don't like heights. Nothing wrong with that.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"Omne ignotum pro magnifico."

iLearn

join:2013-01-16
canada
reply to iLearn
This dude is my hero. I bet hes got balls of steel.

This is scary stuff - at least for me.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=uif2uQjU7F0


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to robbin
said by robbin:

You might try that once with the ladder that's been on the rack of my van for the last ten years, but you would probably do it differently the next time.

No, I only do it one way, on the shoulder. As for fiberglass never carry a fiberglass ladder, or any ladder without work gloves on.

Now getting it erected is a different matter!

That's really not that tough of a job, remember it is carried base forward, once you approach the point to where it will be raised tip the ladder forward and down, spike the lower rung to the ground, raise the ladder off of the shoulder and while holding both rails, bring the other rung to the ground and now you should have a ladder with the fly section facing you, walk the ladder to a vertical position and if possible lean it against what it will be raised on, to raise the fly section.


SparkChaser
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reply to iLearn
said by iLearn:

This dude is my hero. I bet hes got balls of steel.

Maybe he just doesn't have any sense

I had no trouble going up a ladder but hated to fly. It took years of flying to get to the point that I hate the airport and can't wait to get in the plane.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"Omne ignotum pro magnifico."


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 edit
reply to nunya


said by nunya:

I used to use brush on lacquer, but now I use spray on.

Ever considered using two part Gelcoat?

I have been using it on ladders for along time now and the advantages of it are, being a marine finish it is highly UV resistant and it is from the same family of polyester resins that the ladder was constructed from to begin with, so once the ladder has been cleaned it adheres very well.

With outside stored ladders, I get about 3 years out of a clear recoat.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to iLearn
said by iLearn:

This dude is my hero. I bet hes got balls of steel.

And no brains to match, heck he doesn't even maintain three points on that ladder, what a jerk!!!


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to iLearn
said by iLearn:

So what do you do when you are half way up (50 ft in the air) and wind starts to blow?

If halfway is 50 feet you need a lift not a ladder in which case the weight of the base and or outriggers will keep it stable in moderate winds.

Keeping it stable, being able to use it safely without any help is the issue for me.

With or without help, you get a hand-line (rope) over the roof, (toss a string whatever), then with the ladder on the ground with the base facing the building and the fly section up, take the end of the hand-line and thread it between the fly section and the main section and tie it off to the third or fourth rung from the top of the fly section, flip the ladder over and raise it into place with at least three or four rungs above the edge of the roof and the with hand-line just above the edge of the roof.

Go around the other side of the home and secure the other end of the hand-line to something that will not move, a post, a tree anything that will hold that line taught.

Now this method will not prevent some ladder movement, if you lean second shoulder past the rail or get nailed with a good gust of wind the ladder may move, but as the hand-line tightens up it will stop it.

The difference being, with a tied off hand-line you will be given the option of climbing down and locating clean underwear versus pushing up tulips.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to iLearn

iLearn

join:2013-01-16
canada
reply to 54067323
said by 54067323:

said by iLearn:

This dude is my hero. I bet hes got balls of steel.

And no brains to match, heck he doesn't even maintain three points on that ladder, what a jerk!!!

It almost seems like whatever agency came up with this 3 points on the ladder rule did this because they could not go any more than 3 points - its the max. Like if it was 4 points then how would you climb the ladder?

I mean at, say 15-20 feet off the ground, it doest really matter if you are following the 3 point rule or if you are an octopus with 8 legs/hands and giving your full at 7 point rule - if you fall, you are going down - nothing with save you

This dude on the video above proves my point


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
If you need to work with your hands free on a ladder; you need to learn the leg lock... Google it. Lol

Seriously though, it's a technique firefighters use to stay secured on a ladder while working with our hands. Takes a bit of practice to get good at, but very effective.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to LazMan
said by LazMan:

If you need to work with your hands free on a ladder; you need to learn the leg lock... Google it. Lol

Seriously though, it's a technique firefighters use to stay secured on a ladder while working with our hands. Takes a bit of practice to get good at, but very effective.

You learned that very quick using the wooden "A" frame ladders common with Electrical Construction and Repair before power lifts came on scene.

With the center straight section extended all the way up and straddling the top rung with one leg on each side was an experience.
Not only that they were very heavy.




John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
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join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
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Reviews:
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·ooma
reply to iLearn
I'm so glad I have a single-story home now. A 17' Little Giant is all I need.

That video of the 60' ladder horrifies me.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

If it's too windy, don't work aloft.

If say telco so long as the ladder is tied to the pole you should be fine.
I do remember a pole on the edge of a cliff. Very windy and besides the pole height looking down the cliff also. Sort of fun.