What is a combination ladder?
Simply put a combination ladder is a ladder with several sections that can be assembled in several different ways depending on the job at hand. Often a job or set of jobs will call for the use of a number of different types of ladder, whether it is gardening, home renovations, decorating or routine home maintenance. Sometimes the use of a free standing stair ladder can be inconvenient or dangerous, for example pruning tall hedges or decorating a deep stairwell. In these situations, a combination ladder is the ideal choice, making the whole procedure simpler and safer for the worker.
Types of combination ladder
There are four main reasons why a combination ladder is the best choice if you are planning to embark on a project that would otherwise require a variety of types of ladder.
Having to stop and start a job to retrieve and assemble different types of ladders is time consuming and inconvenient. This is particularly true if you are working alone and can make a job seem more daunting and demanding than it needs to be. Nobody wants to make extra work for themselves and the use of one piece of equipment that can be adapted to a variety of different roles is a simple and efficient answer in these cases. There are also models of combination ladders with a platform that can be attached to provide space for tools during work to make the job even easier.
Cost – Purchasing –
A number of different ladders can be very costly, especially for a homeowner on a limited budget. Even for a professional, avoiding needless expense is always preferable. Paying for unnecessary equipment when one piece will do the job makes no sense and drives up your budget for no reason.
Storage and transport –
Not many homeowners have the luxury of space to store multiple pieces of equipment permanently. Transporting one ladder rather than many, whether from site to site or just from storage can be time consuming and tiring, or just impossible in one trip if only a car or small van is available. Ladders by their nature are large pieces of equipment but combination ladders are designed to fold up and retract when not in use to take up the minimum space.
Safe use of ladders is paramount and traditional one piece ladders can be unstable or may need to be secured by tying to prevent falling and putting the user at risk. As combination ladders have more points of contact with the ground and braces fitted for added security, they are far more stable and therefore safer for the user.
Types of combination ladder
There are four main types of combination ladders we will discuss here. Each has different features to consider ensuring the best combination ladder for the project to be undertaken.
These consist of three sliding sections to give a compact, easy to store ladder. When these are retracted it can be used as a short single ladder or the sections can be extended to make a two or three section extension ladder. These lock in place to give three different heights depending on the job at hand and the locking clamps ensure a far more rigid structure. The addition of a wide stabiliser bar at the base gives a wider footprint and extra stability when in use. When retracted, the lower section can also be folded back and secured with a steel brace and restraint straps to form a double sided stepladder. If a higher free standing ladder is needed, the top section can then be extended to give a higher reach while retaining the stability of the stepladder base. This is particularly useful for pruning trees or hedges where a traditional ladder would have no solid place to lean against or decorating jobs as there is no need to lean the ladder on the surface you are decorating.
These have two long sections with a pivot mechanism in the centre that can be locked in place with a steel location arm and strong nylon leashes to make an extra tall double sided stepladder. This allows working at height but with the stability of a stepladder, further enhanced by a wide stabiliser bar at the base. The arm and leashes also ensure the ladder is always erected at the correct angle for extra safety. Along with the increased height this also gives a free standing structure with all the versality this brings. The two sections can also be extended and locked in place to form a large extension ladder for jobs such as gutter cleaning or fascia repairs. With a ladder of this size it is always worth checking that the model used has a safety stopper to prevent over extension. This ensures a safe level of overlap between sections for optimum strength and stability.
These have a very similar design to the first model and come in two or three section designs. As a result, they can be used as an extension ladder, stepladder or free standing ladder but in the free standing configuration they have an additional unique feature. The shorter section of the inverted ‘y’ shape can be adjusted so that the base of the extended section can be placed on a staircase and the base of the shorter section paced on a lower stair. The whole structure is then locked in place giving a stable free standing ladder that stands on two different levels at once. This makes them the ideal ladders for decorating stairs and landings, especially those with particularly high stairwells. The stabiliser bar and non-slip rubber feet give added stability and the free standing construction allows 360 degree reach without having to lean on the surface being decorated. This type of model is also useful for external jobs where stairs would otherwise cause difficulty.
These are a smaller model of adjustable ladders for stairs. While similar in design to the previous model, they are a similar size to a domestic stepladder and best suited to jobs that require stair ladders with less need for height. As these are designed as domestic stair ladders for decorating, they are narrower to fit smaller steps and do not include the stabiliser bar seen on other models that could be too wide for the staircase. Instead, they have splayed feet at the base and non-slip rubber grips to provide the same level of stability for a smaller footprint. They can also be used as stepladders or extension ladders but due to their compact size are more suited to minor jobs around the home.
At BPS Access Solutions we provide a superior range of combination ladders and accessories for any job you have in mind. All are manufactured from hardwearing, lightweight aluminium, making them easy to transport and use and ensuring strength and long life. Our combination ladders are all tested and certified to the latest EN131 safety standard and are delivered free the next day with a lifetime guarantee. For further information please visit our website or call our friendly, helpful staff who will be happy to give any advice or recommendations you need.
Telephone: 0333 006 9776
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