Combination ladders for stairs
Combination ladders possess many features that make them an ideal choice for the homeowner or DIYer with a list of projects at hand. Whether decorating the interior of the home or external repairs, the multiple configurations of a combination ladder allow the user to complete several tasks in one go without the need for transporting multiple pieces of equipment or the lengthy process of retrieving, erecting and dismantling equipment each time a new job presents itself. One of the major bonuses of combination ladders is the ability to set them up to stand on differing levels of ground surface, whether this is sloped or uneven floor surfaces or stairs.
Working at height on stairs presents a number of inherent difficulties, not least of which is the need to be able to work safely. While a fall from a ladder is dangerous at the best of times, a fall from height onto the hard, uneven surface of a staircase can have dire consequences. In addition to this, there are a couple of other factors to take into consideration when working on stairs:
Uneven floor surface
If only a standard ‘A’ frame stepladder is available, it can be tempting to balance it on two different levels ‘just this once’. However, all work on ladders should be performed at a seventy degree angle for optimum stability and safety. As normal stepladders are designed to open at this angle when properly erected, balancing them on differing levels, in this case different steps on the staircase, immediately puts them at a dangerous angle and increases the chances of the user falling. Even the minimal ‘bounce’ when ascending the ladder can increase the chance of falling or minor movements and reaching out at the top of the ladder can cause the ladder itself to tip over. The taller the stepladder the greater the chance of this happening.
Interior staircases are usually narrow, confined spaces, making work awkward. While it is possible to situate the base of a straight ladder on a step and brace it against the opposing wall for stability, this then means that one of the surfaces to be decorated has the ladder itself leaning against it. While the ladder can be moved from side to side to expose the surface of the wall, the user will have to wait for the paint or wallpaper paste to dry before moving it back to complete the job, slowing work considerably and potentially damaging the decorated surface by leaning the ladder against it.
With these factors in mind, it is worth viewing the different types of combination ladders for stairs to decide which would be most suitable. There are four main types ladders we will consider here, each of which has its own particular strengths and merits depending on the job, or series of jobs, in hand.
Two section stair combination ladder
At first glance these seem to be a standard two section extension ladder, with an outer section and an inner extending section. While they can be used as a normal extension ladder, the two sections can open out to form a double sided stepladder as well. This already makes them a versatile model, but when erected in this way, the narrower section can be released and extended upwards, then locked to form an inverted ‘y’ shape with the bottom of each section at a different height. This can then be placed on a staircase to give a stable ladder with a foot on two different levels and a safe angle for work. In addition, the lower section also has a wide stabiliser bar at the base to increase stability even further, making this a great choice of stair ladder for decorating or carrying out repairs.
Three section stair combination ladder
These have a similar design to the previous model, but also have a third extension. They can be erected in the same configurations as the two section model, but when erected as a stair ladder, the third section can be extended as well to give even greater height and reach. They are also equipped with a wide stabiliser bar for added stability due to increased contact with the ground. This makes them ideal for work in especially tall stairwells or external repair or decorating work on upper stories where stairs are present.
This is a smaller type of ladder, ideal for most minor internal decorating jobs or external work not requiring great height. They most resemble a domestic double sided stepladder, but again when they are erected as such one section can be extended then locked in place to allow them to be erected on different levels of stairs. This section can be extended further to give an extension ladder with a height of up to 2.46m, and while this type of ladder does not have a stabiliser bar, they have wide splayed feet at the base of each section with large rubber gripping feet for added stability. The smaller design makes them ideal for narrow internal staircases and this is a perfect choice for the user on a limited budget with only minor jobs to complete.
Multi purpose ladder
Whilst not strictly speaking a combination ladder, this model also deserves a mention as it can be erected in a number of ways that make it ideal as a stair ladder. It consists of four sections, each connected by two rotating joints that can be locked at several point in their rotation. This allows it to be erected in up to fourteen different configurations, from a straight ladder to a stepladder, stair ladder and even a platform ladder. It is equipped with two stabiliser bars for maximum stability and a solid metal platform for safety and comfort when working at height for extended periods and to store tools and materials during work.
At BPS Access Solutions we stock all the ladders discussed here and more. All our combination ladders are made from hardwearing Aluminium, making them strong and long lasting without the risk of corrosion or decay common to steel or timber ladders. This makes them suitable for all interior and exterior work and all our ladders are rigorously tested to conform to the latest EN 141 safety standards. All our products come with a no quibble life time guarantee and we offer free next day delivery to anywhere in the UK. We also stock a wide range of accessories to ensure that whatever job your combination ladder is used for, we can provide everything you need. If you have any further queries, please contact us today. Our friendly, expert staff will be glad to help.
Telephone: 0333 006 9776
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