Author Topic: Thoughts on new extension ladder  (Read 2928 times)

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Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3554
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2017, 01:38 PM »
Just for context, the flex on a Little Giant aluminum folding ladder is 10 times the flex on a fiberglass extension ladder. I've never been able to use my 22' Revolution at full extension. The fiberglass ladder (32' in my case) retracted is rock solid. Almost like climbing a staircase. At around half extension, you will notice the flex. It's minimal and doesn't prevent me from climbing to to the top. Extending further will cause me to really question the need to climb. I then use ropes to anchor the top, or park a car at the bottom to prevent kick out if the terrain is soft.

Everyone has different comfort levels. This happens to be mine.

I Was 19 and just getting acquainted with the mason trade.  At that point, i was strictly a "helper" or a "gofer".  We were building a high chimney that required18x24 flue liners. I don't know how much they weighed, but they were considerably more than i can lift now at the ripe old age of 39.  When we got to about 30 feet I decided he ladder had too much flex in the ladder.  Of course, i was probably plenty strong to carry my 100 #'s, but those darned flue liners kinda shook me.  I took a  16 foot 2x6 from the lumber pile and  lashed it to a wrung somewhere  as  close to the center of the ladder  as possible. I hoisted a flue ontmy shoulder and stardted climbing. About the time I  got to the end of that 2x6, the ladder had no flex >>> up and down that is.   he darned thing  just started to sway back and forth in an ever  increasing arc. I was about to fling the flue dinnerinto space  when I heard below, "Let igt  go.  I'll catch it."

I yelled, "Get the ---- out of there." I could just imagine  what would happen if the guy actually caught it.  We would have a pancake.  besides, since it was the property owner who was volunteering his body, i probably figured nobody would pay us for the job if he got squashed. I started down the  ladder at an ever increasing speed. The owner  kept shouting he would catch it.  i kept shouting to get out of there.  Evidently, we  had a situation where both people were either crazy or stubborn.

I ended up on top of the owner with the flue liner on top of me. I was not very polite when I finally got to my feet. We both cooled down and both laughed  and joked with each other afterwards.

I have braced ladders since, but always using two planks spread out in opposite directions at the bottom so they  did not sway.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

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Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2017, 03:22 PM »
One of the things I didn't like was one of the answers to the question about using the ladder with ladder jacks/plank on the Home Depot site.  The answer was the HyperLite hadn't been tested with jacks/planks so it wasn't recommended.  I don't know if its unsafe or just a cautious answer t avoid liability.  @sgt_rjp if you talk with the rep how about you ask him about jacks and planks.

I called their upport line.   The answer I got was slightly different:  They didn’t recommend against using jacks, but rather they couldn’t recommend or guarantee their use.  The recommendation was the same for this as well as my questions about ladder flex/bounce and use of other third party accessories:  try the ladder for thirty days and return it for a full refund if not satisfiied.

Online Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3020
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2017, 04:22 PM »
You have to wonder how they reduce the weight and still satisfy the 1A or 1AA ratings.
Or, do other manufacturers maintain a higher safety factor?
I'm guessing the use additional equipment comes down to the strength of an individual rung.
If the ratings are legit you should be able use the extra equipment.

Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 78
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2017, 04:59 PM »
Many thanks for the great discussion!

I have recently transitioned to working on my own.  I own only a 6 foot fiberglass step ladder at this point and wonder what to get next, especially an extension ladder.  My mentor suggested a 22 foot ladder.  One school of thought is to get the ladder (tool) I need for the job at hand and not to acquire it until the job requires it.  That works for the most part but it is better to be prepared with the right gear to begin with or at least to not acquire a tool that has short comings that are not readily apparent. 

This thread gives me lots of insight, personal experience, and well reasoned recommendations.  Thanks! 
Semper Fi,
Jeff

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Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 362
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2017, 07:05 PM »
One of the things I didn't like was one of the answers to the question about using the ladder with ladder jacks/plank on the Home Depot site.  The answer was the HyperLite hadn't been tested with jacks/planks so it wasn't recommended.  I don't know if its unsafe or just a cautious answer t avoid liability.  @sgt_rjp if you talk with the rep how about you ask him about jacks and planks.

I called their upport line.   The answer I got was slightly different:  They didn’t recommend against using jacks, but rather they couldn’t recommend or guarantee their use.  The recommendation was the same for this as well as my questions about ladder flex/bounce and use of other third party accessories:  try the ladder for thirty days and return it for a full refund if not satisfiied.
I’m wondering if we will see the end of jacks and planks soon?  Personally, I love the combination when properly used, but I’ve seen a lot of situations where people don’t use the combination properly.  Couple that with Uncle OSHA’s requirements and one never knows.
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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2017, 07:33 PM »
You have to wonder how they reduce the weight and still satisfy the 1A or 1AA ratings.
Or, do other manufacturers maintain a higher safety factor?
I'm guessing the use additional equipment comes down to the strength of an individual rung.
If the ratings are legit you should be able use the extra equipment.

You rise some good questions.  I find it hard to believe the HyperLite's rating isn't legit because of the liability it would open LG up to.  The thing that comes to mind is if other manufacturers have a higher safety factor, compared to the HyperLite, would any of these ladders have a lower rating?  What I mean is wouldn't all of these over-built ladders have the highest 1AA rating?  We know that isn't the case because there are ladders with different ratings.
   
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Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2017, 09:14 PM »
You have to wonder how they reduce the weight and still satisfy the 1A or 1AA ratings.
Or, do other manufacturers maintain a higher safety factor?
I'm guessing the use additional equipment comes down to the strength of an individual rung.
If the ratings are legit you should be able use the extra equipment.

Little giant says it’s their resin-fiberglass that reduces the weight, but there are some other noticeable differences.   The ladder is over 2 inches narrower than some ladders, mainly due to shorter rungs.  Done on a normal ladder, this would present a couple of issues.   It would reduce lateral stability as well as crowd your feet with the fly lanyard.   These aren’t issues for the sumostance with the rope moved to the side and the outriggers. The rungs are also triangular rather than round or d-shape.  I don’t know if that makes it any lighter, but at 1.36”, the treads are wider than many.   

I was curious about exactly what the ladder standards cover.  Here’s an excerpt:
“It does not cover special-purpose ladders that do not meet the general requirements of this standard, nor does it cover ladder accessories, including, but not limited to, ladder levelers, ladder stabilizers or stand-off devices, ladder jacks, or ladder straps or hooks, that may be installed on or used in conjunction with ladders.”

So they are meeting the standards but not opening themselves to more liability by saying you can use any random third party accessory with their ladders.  Nor will they say that those accessories won’t work.   

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3554
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2017, 05:05 AM »
No matter what ladder, or stabilizing device one uses, it still boils down to "the most important tool to use is the one above, and attached to, your neck."
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker