Combination ladders – what are they and who uses them?
Combination ladders take the best features of extension ladders and step ladders, making the ultimate multi-purpose ladder for use in a variety of different situations. Because of their adaptability, combination ladders are the ladder of choice for tradespeople working in a number of different industries. In case you’re not familiar with combination ladders, here’s a rundown of their features and ideal use scenarios.
Different types of combination ladder
There are two main types of combination ladder – the two way combination ladder and the three way combination ladder. Two way combination ladders are effectively step ladders which can be folded flat to serve as a standard, fixed two-legged ladder. Meanwhile, three way combination ladders are step ladders with an extension mechanism on the climbing section which can be extended either up or down. This can provide additional height or allow the ladder to be used on stairs.
How do combination ladders work?
Combination ladders take the extension mechanism found on the extension ladder and the foldable, four-legged frame of the step ladder and combine them to create a ladder whose primary focus is versatility. The extension mechanism, which makes use of two ladder sections which can slide past each other and lock into place, allows combination ladders to provide additional height in a much smaller frame. At the same time, the four-legged frame borrowed from the standard step ladder means that combination ladders can stand entirely on their own, away from walls or other structures.
Not only are combination ladders versatile, they are also very easy to set up. With a few simple actions a combination ladder can be unfolded, the legs locked into place and the climbing section extended ready for use.
Who uses combination ladders?
While extension ladders are versatile, combination ladders are even more so, thanks to their four-legged frame. Their additional height and standalone capability allow combination ladders to be used in circumstances where smaller scaffold towers are also used. While a combination ladder cannot provide as strong a working platform as a scaffold tower, and they also cannot as easily facilitate two-handed working, they do provide the height and four-legged base necessary to work at height. Because combination ladders generally do not have adjustable legs, they aren’t suitable for work on uneven surfaces, meaning they are mainly limited to indoor use.
These attributes make combination ladders a popular choice with tradesmen who generally work indoors, such as painters & decorators or plasterers etc. Thanks to their versatility, combination ladders are also a popular choice with home users, who find they can be used for many different tasks.
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