How to Choose the Right Ladder
March 2021 marks the fifth annual Ladder Safety Month. Whether you’re a casual ladder climber or a professional who uses ladders daily, everyone can benefit from learning how to use ladders safely.
Each week of Ladder Safety Month has a theme, and this week is all about choosing your ladder. Selecting the right kind of climbing equipment can make all the difference because ladder safety starts before you even step foot on a ladder.
How to Choose the Right Ladder
You’d think that if you consistently use ladders for your work, you’d know which ladder to reach for, right? Although this is true for many tradespeople, some still find themselves selecting what is convenient over what is correct. As for homeowners and DIYers who use ladders more casually, sometimes you may find yourself having to choose whether or not the ladder in the garage is right for the task at hand. So, today, Little Giant Ladder Systems® is going over the most common ladder types and what each one can help you accomplish.
Combination ladders have had an increase in popularity over the years. A combination ladder is one that can be set up in two or three configurations. This kind of ladder is ideal for professional tradespeople, as it is lightweight, easy to use and helps you get closer to your work. For Little Giant, the most popular combination ladders include the:
King Kombo Ladder
- Sets up as a stepladder, leaning ladder and extension ladder. In the stepladder and leaning configurations, the rotating wall pad allows for use leaning on inside and outside corners, walls, poles and studs.
- Sentinel Ladder
- The Sentinel converts from stepladder to leaning ladder positions. An integrated rotating wall pad allows for use leaning on inside and outside corners, walls, poles and studs.
There can be some confusion for customers when differentiating between the combination ladders and multi-position ladders. Commonly referred to as an articulating ladder or a multipurpose ladder, the multi-position ladder was popularized by Little Giant. This ladder type converts to a wide variety of positions, including A-frame, extension, 90-degree, staircase and trestle-and-plank scaffolding. Plus, with fully adjustable rails, it can reach a variety of heights. This kind of ladder is great for anyone who doesn’t want to haul or store multiple ladders. Some popular multi-position ladders from Little Giant include:
- The Leveler Ladder
- An aluminum multi-position ladder with Little Giant’s integrated Ratchet™ leg levelers, so you can work on uneven terrain.
- The Epic Ladder
- This aluminum multi-position ladder has integrated Safety Rails. Set the rails up horizontally in the extension ladder position as a wall standoff or use them vertically as a walkthrough from the ladder to the roof and back again. The Epic is equipped with integrated Ratchet leg levelers.
- The Velocity Ladder
- A simple, lightweight, multi-position ladder that helps you get your work done quickly. It was built strong with Little Giant’s aircraft-grade aluminum and has an ANSI rating of Type IA to hold 300 lbs. in all configurations.
- The Dark Horse Ladder
- This fiberglass multi-position ladder is ideal for pro tradespeople and homeowners alike. It was engineered to be super sturdy and durable. This ladder is rated Type IA to hold 300 lbs. in all configurations.
Stepladders and A-frame ladders- whichever you like to call it, were designed to be lightweight, easy to use and super-reliable. When most people think of a ladder, this is what typically comes to mind; however, stepladders don’t have to be reminiscent of grandpa’s old ladder. The Little Giant Ladders team innovated the stepladder to be more comfortable and safer to use. With wide steps, comfortable standing platforms and convenient tool trays, these stepladders are ideal for use anywhere. Little Giant’s most popular stepladders include:
- The MightyLite Stepladder
- This ultra-lightweight fiberglass stepladder has extra-wide steps and a standing platform that supports the feet. With an innovative tool tray top cap, you can keep your equipment close to your hand.
- The XtraLite+ Stepladder
- The XtraLite+ is made from super lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum and has extra-wide steps and a standing platform that helps prevent foot fatigue. The rotating handhold and tool tray adds versatility and stability.
- The SkyScraper Stepladder
- This is the kind of ladder that reaches the highest places. If you have to access something super out of reach, the SkyScraper can help you get there. This ladder is made from durable aircraft-grade aluminum and is lighter than comparable ladders. Made stable and durable, this ladder will last you for years to come.
When you have to access high places like a roof, an extension ladder can help you get the job done. Unfortunately, many extension ladders are heavy and hard to use. When choosing your ladder, consider which kind of extension ladder can help you get the job done most safely and efficiently. Little Giant’s extension ladders were designed to be lighter than average, with easier adjustments and maneuverability. A few of Little Giant’s most popular extension ladders include:
- The HyperLite Extension Ladder
- This fiberglass extension ladder is engineered for strength and stability without excessive weight. A double-pulley operation also makes raising and lowering the ladder an effortless task.
- The SumoStance Extension Ladder
- The SumoStance has all of the HyperLite’s best features and adds adjustable outriggers, which add side-tip stability and leveling capability. Integrated bubble levels help ensure the ladder is level before you climb.
If you’re working on a project where something is just out of reach, and you don’t need a full-sized ladder, a step stool is probably the right climbing equipment for you. Although there are many cheap one-step stools that can be found at grocery stores, you have to consider if that variety of equipment is actually going to help you accomplish the tasks at hand. A pro-grade step stool levels up your project capabilities. At Little Giant, our ladders are made with the highest quality materials for a safer, sturdier and more durable climbing surface that will help you get the job done fast. Little Giant’s top step stool includes:
- The Jumbo Step
- Don’t let its small size fool you. The Jumbo Step was engineered to be small and lightweight, with a slim storage profile. Made with aircraft-grade aluminum, it is sturdy and durable, touting an ANSI duty rating of Type IAA to hold 375 lbs. The Jumbo Step also was designed with staircase steps, so it feels just like walking up and down the stairs.
Ultimately, when choosing your ladder, it is essential to be realistic. Consider the task at hand and determine what equipment will help you safely accomplish that goal. If you will have to sacrifice your safety in any way, it’s time to make a change and pick up a new ladder. Learn more about ladder safety on Little Giant Ladders’ Safety Page. Additionally, you can explore Little Giant’s collection of innovative climbing solutions here.
About Ladder Safety Month
March 2021 marks the fifth annual Ladder Safety Month. Hosted by the American Ladder Institute, Ladder Safety Month is a time to reflect on our climbing choices, learn ways to work safer and commit to change. It’s an opportunity to promote safety to those who climb ladders regularly as a part of their job.
During Ladder Safety Month, Little Giant Ladder Systems will be sharing content on social media, email and our blogs, so you can stay current on ladder safety best practices. We also will be offering live ladder safety training on our state-of-the-art broadcast studios. You’ve never seen a safety demonstration quite like this!
Learn more about Ladder Safety Month at Little Giant here.
Weekly Themes of Ladder Safety Month:
- Week One: Choosing Your Ladder
- Week Two: Safety Before the First Step (Inspection and Set-Up)
- Week Three: Safety While Climbing
- Week Four: Safety at the Top
- Week Five: Ladder Safety Misconceptions