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  1. #1
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    Default Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    I know there are lots of ladder threads however this question may be slightly different. I currently have two multi-purpose locking ratchet type ladders, one is a Werner Brand and one is Little Giant. Both great ladders from proven designs. I saw an apartment maintenance man using a telescopic ladder. He said he used it because it was easier to carry down the hallways of the apartment building. I sometimes wish I had a ladder that was easier to carry and I have wanted a telescopic but have heard the stories about the ladder collapsing, etc. I wonder if the issues with telescopic ladders are more about the user? or is the design inherently flawed ? If the issues are pilot-error, then I might be inclined to purchase one. but if the issues are design, then I likely won't.

    I noticed Werner and Little Giant don't offer a telescopic ladder. I wonder if there is a message in that they don't offer the telescopic ladder.

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  2. #2
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    I use my LG most of the time, but I have (and use) a Telesteps for those hard to navigate closet hatches that occasionally pop up. You know the ones, very cramped, full of clothes, can't set an "A" frame ladder in there properly. I like it, it works great when I need it.

    For exterior or roof access, it's the LG. For those 12 foot garage scuttles, it's the LG.

    Dom.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    I have an Xtend & Climb. Usually twice a week on average for 10 years? Only problem is the release is broken/missing from the lowest rung so cant open all the way or will never close. Been limping along fine for a decade. Cant justify $200 for a new one.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    I don't have telescopic ladder but have read the horror stories of ladder failure which has kept me away.
    But here is food for thought; basically every multipurpose ladder has two hinge latches which are redundant, two or four extension locks (depending on use) which are readily visible and over engineered in addition to be redundant.
    From my admitted sheltered view the telescopic ladders all have multiple latches, two on every step which in my mind are hidden and do not appear to be redundant.
    So by my math, a telescopic ladder of moderate height, say 10 steps giving a 11' length has 20 hidden potential failure points vs 3 (assuming the redundancy factor) or over 6.6 times the potential failure.

    "I" would rather watch fewer failure points and trust the heavier ladder even if it is a little less handy.

    If I ever decided to step out on faith and use one Brand name and history would be of utmost importance with price being of the least importance.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    I have an Xtend & Climb. Usually twice a week on average for 10 years? Only problem is the release is broken/missing from the lowest rung so cant open all the way or will never close. Been limping along fine for a decade. Cant justify $200 for a new one.
    I have had a few X&C's and have never had an issue. It is my go to ladder. I also have a few LG and one Gorilla .


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  6. #6

    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    I have used all of the above and prefer the LG.
    The telescoping ladder latches doe not feel secure but i use one occasionally when conditions dictate.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    Bought a Telesteps 11 years ago, still good. I've kept it clean for interior work only, so seldom goes over 8 feet above the floor. Also I'm a lightweight, 170 lbs or so.
    Occasionally I've gone out on a top floor balcony with the Telesteps to reach the roof of an apartment building. Would you do that with an LG? Maybe, lug it up the stairs or into the elevator.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    I referred to my Telesteps ladder as a "wet noodle" ... and I only went up that wet noodle 3-4 times when I finally said enough was enough.

    The LG was the ladder to use, 17 footer and 26 footer.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    I'm with JP. I find the telescoping ladders flex too much for my liking. I want something solid under me when I am risking my neck and getting on a roof.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  10. #10
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    High Springs, Florida
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    Well ! Have the Xtend & Climb Type 1A 300 lbs and it doesn't flex any more than my Gorilla or Little Giants do.
    And I'm 6'1" and 235 lbs.
    All my ladders are 1A type 300 lbs.


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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    Thanks, Roy.
    X&C ladders have a very secure latching system. One thing the Telesteps has is the feature where you can collapse the whole ladder by releasing the bottom 2 latches, one each side, plop, the ladder collapses. I have faith in mine, but can see that a flaw would be catastrophic.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    It was not the latches I was commenting on.

    I didn't have a problem with the latches.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Mar 2017
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    I have used all of the above and prefer the LG.
    The telescoping ladder latches doe not feel secure but i use one occasionally when conditions dictate.
    So, most of you like the LG? Not intending to hijack this thread, but I am going to be investing in ladders for the very first time soon and you guys have already done all the work trying them out so of course I have some questions.
    Should I automaticly assume that the more expensive the ladder the better quality it will be?
    I will probably need more than one type of ladder, so I need to buy good safe ladders at reasonable prices. I will need an extention ladder and a ladder that can be made into a kind of scaffold step ladder for inside as well, is that correct?

    Do you guys have any suggestions for this not-even-a-newb-yet who just finished book training and is going to apprentice next......hopefull future Home Inspector?
    Or perhaps I should just shut up and search this form for old ladder threads?


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    Welcome, Elizabeth. This is a good group to get info from, no doubt. It helps to have thick skin, maybe, just in case a discussion goes sideways.

    Yes, the LG ladders are everywhere, very popular with home inspectors. They are a mite on the heavy side. Ladders are graded, 1 being the lighter and 3 being the heaviest. You probably won't want a grade 3 ladder rated for 300+ lbs. Too heavy.

    You want it to fit inside your vehicle so it stays clean and dry and doesn't go missing. So find one that folds down to 6 feet or less. In my Ford Escape, the back space is only 5 feet long, so to pack my Jaws ladder, I rest the front up on a plastic tote. My Jaws extends to 22', good for 99% of the roofs here. Another advantage of my Jaws is I can easily remove the upper section. With only 3 sections in action, it is a wonderful 17 footer. Cheers and good luck.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  15. #15
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    Mar 2007
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    Anacortes, Washington
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    Default Re: Different type of ladder. User issues? or design flaw?

    Late to the party on this one. I did an article for the ASHI reporter several years ago looking at several different ladders. http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInsp...dder-Test/2462

    I compared the Telesteps and the Extend and Climb. The E&C had a much more reliable latching system and could not collapse on you as I had the Telesteps do several times. I could not recommend the Telesteps for that reason. Regarding being flimsy - yes if you bought the E&C lightweight version and had it fully extended, it had a lot of flex. I was a firefighter for 42 years and all ladders flex when they are fully extended. Ask anyone who climbed a 100' ladder straight up what the last 15' was like :0

    5 years after that article my go to ladder is the Xtend & Climb Type 1A 300 lbs. At all but the full 15.5' length it feels solid. You do have to clean the beams every 6 weeks or so or it will bind. For greater heights I have a Little Giant that goes to 22' but for 90% of what I do the E&C works. Clients love this ladder and my advice is "assume the ladder want to kill you and show it a lot of respect".

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

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