Extension ladders – what are they and who uses them?

Extension ladders – what are they and who uses them?

The addition of an extending mechanism to the conventional ladder was a revolutionary idea, making way for many of the most popular ladder types in use today. If you have even the slightest bit of experience using ladders, chances are you will have come across an extension ladder at some point. Just in case you haven’t, we’ll give a brief rundown of how they work, what they’re good at and a few of the different types that are available.

What are extension ladders?

Fundamentally, extension ladders are much the same as standard fixed ladders, except they have two sections which slide past each other and lock in place to provide additional length. It’s a simple concept, but it revolutionized the standard ladder, making it possible to transport a ladder with longer reach in a much smaller package.

From the standard extension ladder, a number of different ladder designs emerged which also make use of the extension mechanism. Combination ladders, for example, take the four-legged frame of a step ladder, and combine it with the extending mechanism of an extension ladder to provide the user with additional height.

Then there’s the triple extension ladder, which is exactly like a normal extension ladder, except it has three sliding sections to provide even more height. But the telescopic extension ladder has the most sections of all. Instead of sections with multiple rungs, each rung on a telescopic extension ladder has its own extension mechanism. This means that when the ladder is folded down, it takes up a fraction of the size of a normal ladder.

Who uses extension ladders?

Because extension ladders fold away, allowing them to occupy the same amount of space a ladder half their height usually would, they are a popular choice for all sorts of users. Being able to fit a long ladder into a small space is a massive selling point but, when it comes to tradesmen, extension ladders are most useful for workers who frequently have to work at height.

For example, extension ladders are often used by professionals in the tree care and maintenance industry to provide the height needed to carry out their jobs. Standard extension ladders, as opposed to combination ladders, are most useful in this case because they can be secured upright against the tree. In indoor applications, such as interior decoration, combination ladders are much more suitable because they can stand on their own four feet without having to be tied to another structure.

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