What are the Different Types of Stepladders? Here Is a Useful Buyer’s Guide
Though most contractors are familiar with multi-purpose stepladders, there are many more types to consider. Choosing the right equipment is essential to prevent workplace related accidents associated with using incorrect or inadequate tools or equipment for working at heights. Below is a basic buying guide to help you get started in choosing the right stepladders for your operations. A stepladder is a piece of equipment used for reaching a particular height. It is normally portable and can be made from wood, aluminium, fibreglass or another type of material. The design, height, and purpose for which it has been built determine the category in which it falls.
If you need a slight lift in height, this is the best option. The small and lightweight stool provides a bit of height to reach spaces just out of reach. Instead of bringing out a stepping stool or small ladder, use the kick stool to give a slight height advantage. It features a 2-step design. The unit comes with non-slip rubber pads on the platform to ensure safe usage. In most instances, these types come with castors for moving around from one shelf to another without having to pick up the kick stool for moving. It is a useful piece of equipment for shelf organisers in retail stores.
This is the shortest of the ladders. As the name suggests, it is used instead of a stool or chair to give access to a higher area. These cost-effective units are lightweight, mostly foldable for easy storage, and sturdy enough to provide a stable platform for reaching slightly higher areas. Many units come with rubber or non-slip step surfaces to help prevent accidental slips and falls. Use these units for normal house contract work. Rather than just having the tall stepping ladder, put one of these in your vehicle to transport to projects for applications such as changing a light bulb where the ceiling is within easy reach or to get enough height to reach the upper hinges of a door to perform maintenance tasks.
Platform Stepping Ladder or Ladder Stage
If you want the convenience of height but require a platform where you can place tools, this is the best option. The platform also makes it easier to move around. It comes with guardrails for safety. This is the perfect choice for painters. Depending on the particular ladder stage, the platform can be as short as 1 m or as long as 2 m. Its reach depends on the particular model. It can, for instance, reach a height of 3,3 m when extended, giving safe access to an area at a height of 4 m. The platform provides access to more than one worker – with their tools. In this instance also, it is essential to follow manufacturer rating guidelines to ensure safe usage of the equipment.
The flexible, extension wall ladder allows for reaching heights normally not within reach. It is propped up against a solid and stable surface. Unlike the inverted V-shape stepladder, it is not an A-frame and doesn’t have two sets of legs – and thus requires a stable surface against which it can lean.
Extendible Wall Ladder
This type is used to reach very high areas. The ladder can retract for easy transportation and storage. It must lean against a stable surface. Setting it up for safe usage is essential. To this end, it can be temporarily affixed with cables or appropriate equipment to ensure stability.
This type of stepping ladder can be configured to form a horizontal platform on which the worker can stand. It is useful in situations where a low-height scaffold platform is required. It can also be folded to take up less space. The unit can be configured to be used as a normal A-frame stepping ladder without a platform or it can be propped up against a wall to act as the wall ladder. In this configuration, it can be used to reach higher areas.
Mobile Safety Ladder
It comes with rails and a step area similar to normal steps. The unit has a platform on top with rails around for safety. The unit also has castors for easier movement, as it cannot be folded. This type of ladder is used in warehouses, retail stores, and places of construction or maintenance where higher areas must be reached.
This height-adjustable ladder is made to provide access to an area at heights that are typically closer to 10 m. This makes it possible to safely work at height because it comes with a sturdy base and lockable castors. The base provides the necessary stability to prevent falling over. With this design, you don’t need to affix the ladder to a wall or rail. The platform on top has rails for safety. This type of ladder can carry a worker with their tools. It is not meant to carry more than one person at a time. The unit is made to be easily transportable. As such, it can be disassembled for easy storage and takes up less space when transported. With stabilisers at the bottom, the platform height can be safely adjusted to the necessary height.
Considerations in The Selection of The Appropriate stepladder
The load capacity, height reach, and platform type must be considered. Use the equipment only as directed by the manufacturer. Many of the extension ladders come with additional chains to affix them to stable surfaces. Also ensure that the equipment has the required sturdy steps and lockable castors where relevant. Consider the type of job that must be performed, the height at which the task must be completed, the duration of usage at a time, and the surface on which the equipment must be used.
Also consider how many workers must be able to use the platform and the types of tools to use at height. Safety features such as rails, non-slip step surfaces, and stabilisers are also important. Keep in mind that ladders are rated. Don’t use a home ladder for industrial applications. Follow instructions from the product supplier or manufacturer and use the correct setup. Buy only from a supplier that provides specifications such as materials from which the ladders are manufactured and their load capacity, height, and whether they can be disassembled.
Aluminium ladders should not be used near electric wires. Rather use fibreglass or wooden ladders for such purposes. Aluminium can only be used when the required safety gear and clothing are used by the workers. Fibreglass is well-suited for use near electric wiring. These types of ladders do not conduct electricity. The material is strong and it can be used indoors or outdoors. These ladders are only slightly more expensive than aluminium ladders. Wood is also ideal to make ladders for usage with electric wiring but, being heavier, it is less popular than fibreglass. The fibreglass types are extremely durable as well.
In summary, use a stepladder that is appropriate for the height at which you need to work and that is made from a suitable material for the particular purpose for which you want to use it. Consider mobility, stability, and space requirements as well. We are a trusted supplier of a full range of premium-quality step and mobile ladders to suit your needs.