A ladder is equipment used for climbing up to high places. It is vertical with a series of steps or bars between the two upright pieces of metal or wood. The ladder can be classified into two main types which are rigid ladder and rollable ladder. The rigid ladder can be either self-supporting or may need to lean against a rigid surface such as a wall. Rigid ladder is made of wood, metal, or fiberglass, it can be portable or permanently fixed to a building or structure. The rollable ladder is made of rope or aluminum, it may be used for hanging from the top. Choosing the right ladder for your use is very important as it can help us complete the work efficiently and safely by preventing any accidental injuries. Different types of designs of the ladders are made for best suited to certain purposes which provide us the proper safeguard. We will discuss more in detail the types, materials, functions, and applications of the ladder in this article.
The ladder can be made of different types of material such as wood, fiberglass, metal, or aluminum. A wood ladder is still popular due to its low cost, durability, and non-conductivity. However, wood ladders can be easily affected by long exposure to weather and damaged by insects such as termites. The aluminum ladder is lightweight, strong, highly resistant to weather/climate, and suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage. In contrast to the wood ladder, metal ladders are dangerous when exposing to electricity. Aluminum also tends to bend or distort easily under high pressure. Another preferred choice of the ladder is the fiberglass ladder, it is non-conductive, high resistant to insect damage, and able to expose to outdoor environment/weather. It is a perfect option for outdoor roofing works. Although fiberglass ladder will not bend easily under normal pressure like aluminum material, it may break suddenly under high stress.
Here we introduce few common types of ladders in our home and workplace.
1. Step Ladders
Step ladders are the most popular type of ladder to be used widely for indoor or home usage. It is self-supporting and portable as we can bring it anywhere we want. There are two types of step ladder which are front step ladder and twin-step ladder. The twin-step ladder has rungs/steps on both sides which evenly spaced, we can use both sides for climbing and depend on which side is more convenient. It also allows two people to climb on it simultaneously. The front step ladder only has rungs/steps on one side and the other side is designed for supporting only which not allow to be climbed on. Step ladder can be used for a maximum height of 6.1 meters.
2. Extension Ladders
As the name suggests, extension ladders are extendable and able to reach a greater height than a step ladder. It is a great choice for wall or roof painting projects. Unlike the self-supporting step ladder, an extension ladder is required to be leaned against a study surface or support such as a wall for climbing. It usually consists of two parts which are ‘base’ and ‘fly’. The base is used to firmly place on the ground while Fly is the movable part that can be extended to reach a higher height. The sliding of Fly is used together with hooks or rope. An extension ladder normally can reach a height of 15 meters.
3. Telescoping Ladders
Telescoping ladders are the variation of the extension ladder as they can also adjust the length of the ladder and reach a higher location if needed. It has overlapping sections which can slide in and out to adjust its size at a faster speed. The difference between telescoping and extension ladder is that telescoping can be shrink into a very compacted size which is very handy and easy to carry with a bag. Its greater adjustability and flexibility have made it a common ladder for industrial use.
4. Step Stools
Step stools are very handy, suitable to be used in the house for accessing higher or top shelves in the kitchen or other cabinets in the rooms. It may only include just a few steps which give an extra foot of reach. The step stool is fold-able for easy storage.
5. Platform Ladders
A platform ladder is a front step ladder that has an additional platform at the top step for the comfort of a place to stand, and together with a guard rail located at around 2 feet higher than the platform to provide extra safety when standing on it. The design of the platform ladder provides a higher level of safety and comfort when working for a long period of time. By using the platform ladder for your works, you can turn your body around and facing different directions when needed. It also allows you to work faster as you can use two hands freely and safely for your works.
6. Multi-purpose Ladders
Multi-purpose ladders combine the feature of step and extension types of the ladder. It can either self-supporting or being placed against the wall depending on the project requirements. It offers a variety of options, can be changed into many positions, and extendable to reach a higher location. Due to its versatility, it is a smart choice for contractors when working on different types of projects in the workplace or house.
7. Folding Ladders
Folding ladders are self-supporting ladder which is similar to step ladder or step stool. The key advantages are it can reach a higher location than a step stool and can be folded into a smaller size, unlike a step ladder. In this case, you can easily store it in a small space or even can fit under your bed.
8. Flexible/Rope Ladders
Rope ladders are great for using as emergency access which allows you to escape from the window of the building. It is also popular to use for outdoor activities. The rope ladder has two superior ropes with the use of metal or wood accessories to held the rungs/step on it.
Different ladders are used for different reasons, places, work, and occasions. We must choose the right ladder according to the work requirements. It is dangerous to misuse the ladder. Here we have few safety tips that we should or shouldn’t do when using the ladder. The first and most important thing is, not to overload and overreach. Every ladder has its specific range of weight and height it can support or reach, we should not use it for where has exceeded its capacity. It is the same idea that we should not have more than one person on the ladder at one time. Secondly, the work should not near openings or voids. This is to avoid any falls caused by careless behavior. In addition, if the work is at height, it is not advisable to use a ladder as it is only used for low-risk and short-distance works. The scaffolding or work platform can be used for works at height and must wear safety equipment to protect workers from a fall.
MecHero Malaysia supplies a wide range of ladders for meeting your requirements. You can always contact us at +6011-7000 7687 or email us at email@example.com for an inquiry about the ladder for industrial or home use. As a steel and online hardware store Malaysia, we also supply a wide range of steel material, general hardware, or mechanical components. Tell us your requirements now and we can advise you accordingly.
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