Almost everyone has used a ladder at some point, whether it’s to change a light bulb, clean the gutters, paint an upstairs room, or prune a bush. But unless you use a ladder as part of your job, chances are you haven’t thought too much about the safest and most efficient ways to transport a ladder. To help you out, we’ve created this little guide. It’ll get you up to speed on the best ways to get from here to there with a ladder in your vehicle or on foot.
The Basics: Carrying a Ladder
Proper technique should be followed when carrying a ladder to avoid injuries or damage. Be aware of obstacles in your surroundings when you carry a ladder. Move slowly, especially if you’re not used to using a ladder, and follow these steps.
- Place the ladder sideways on the ground with the rungs facing you. The top of the ladder should be to your left and bottom to your right.
- Stand next to the rung that is about one-third up the ladder from the bottom end. The longer the ladder, the closer you’ll have to stand to the middle rung in order to maintain balance.
- Turn your body left so it’s at a right angle to the ladder facing toward the top end. Bend at the knees and grab the outside rail with your right hand. If the ladder is too heavy to carry with one hand, grab the inside rail with your left hand at the same time.
- Lift the ladder using your knees, not your back. If it feels like too much weight is tipping toward the front or back, set the ladder down and move a little closer to the end that feels more weighted before trying to lift again. Keep your arms fully extended while carrying.
- Use your feet to turn, not your waist, and always check for obstacles at each end before making your turn.
Don’t Strain Yourself
Don’t carry an extension ladder more than 5 metres in section length or weighing more than 18 kilograms by yourself. Basically, if you don’t feel comfortable carrying it by yourself, get help – there’s no sense in potentially injuring your back. If you do carry a ladder with another person, make sure you’re both in the same side to avoid accidents.
Ladders on Wheels
Ladders with wheels on them are a terrible idea, but driving places with a ladder is very useful. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be all set:
Tie It Down
You’ve probably made a sizeable investment in your ladder and understandably want to keep it and your vehicle free from damage while transporting it. Your extension ladder or step ladder can be tied down using any type of strong rope or ratchet set, stretch strap, or locking ladder holder.
Create a Buffer
If you don’t have roof racks or a trailer of any kind, you’ll want to cushion and protect your car’s roof. Put pillows, foam, or a thick blanket between your ladder and the car before you tie it on to protect your paint job.
Double Check and Make It Secure
Whether you use the bed of a truck or the roof of your car, make sure the ladder is secured and laying flat. Whether it is an old wood ladder, or a new aluminium or fibreglass ladder, make sure all sides are tied and secured before moving the vehicle.