Ladders - A Ladder for Every Task
Ladder Types and Industry ratings
To most people, ladders may seem like a simple object with a basic intended use – you go up them, you come down them. But what many don’t realize is that nowadays, each ladder available on the market is specifically designed for a certain type of job or function.
For example, platform ladders are ideal for do-it-yourselfers as they feature a platform to rest tools and equipment on, whereas extension ladders are designed for outdoor work on large structures.
Ladders have been around in some from or other since the beginning of time, but it has been modern innovation that has seen them evolve into highly practical tools for use around the home and also in industry.
Before the 20 th century, ladders were mainly made of wood, but obvious problems came in the form of rotting and decay, as well as conductivity while wet. While wood is still used to construct various types of ladders such as attic and loft ladders, it is rarely used for ladders that are destined for outdoor work.
Aluminum ladders became the next big thing to hit. These are extremely strong and weather-resistant and can take the hard workout that often comes with commercial use. But with these great benefits came two downsides – aluminum conducts electricity, making it unsuitable for electrical work, and it also buckles and becomes unusable after it has been exposed to heat.
Fiberglass ladders are the current darling of the ladder industry. They possess all the finest qualities in one product, making them ideal for most kinds of work. They don’t conduct electricity; are lightweight; and are sturdy.
The ladder industry was taken by storm in the 1970s with the invention of the Little Giant ladder. This innovative concept meant that one single ladder could be used in 24 separate ways, eliminating the need for several ladders.
Every ladder made is subject to a rating system - Type III holds 200lbs and is designed for light duty; Type II is for medium duty, holding 225lbs; Type I has a heavy duty rating and can be used for commercial use, and is designed to hold a 250lb load. For extra heavy duty work such as roofing and construction, there is the Type IA with a 300lb rating; whereas the strongest type of ladder is the Type IIA (holding 375lbs) for special duty such as heavy industrial construction work.
Here at Guide4Home, we provide an online consumer information resource outlining the ins and outs of choosing and buying a ladder to suit your needs. This website features information on a number of different of ladders. We have a section that includes step, extension, attic, fire escape, loft, library, rolling, aluminum, folding, escape, articulated, fiberglass, telescopic, platform, and dock ladders.
This is also accompanied by a section of ladder safety tips to help with safe and proper use of ladders both in the home at in the workplace.