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Thread: Ladder size

  1. #1
    Mike Bonacci's Avatar
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    Question Ladder size

    New to the business and looking to purchase a ladder. I have a 28' aluminum extension ladder but looking to purchase something easier to manuver and more versitile. Looking at the 19' Little Giant....do I need something bigger?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Looking for something instead of the 28, or in addition to it?
    Varies by area, but around here you can't away with anything smaller than a 28.
    I have a 28 fiberglass and a folding 12 footer.
    Lots of guys in my area carry a 32.

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  3. #3
    Doug Haglund's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I just use a 19' Little Giant (Love it) if I can't get on the roof with that it is to unsafe in my eyes. Also I got a 6' step ladder for Attics.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I use the 17' LG and have a 22' LG but don't use it much since its pretty heavy.

    I didn't know LG made a 19' ladder.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    When I went to school , the Instructor said he had been inspecting for years and If a 17 foot wont do it, then it shouldnt be done. Inspect from ladder or with glass eyes 00 binoculars.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Get a 7' step ladder. 8' is too tall for 8' ceilings and 6' is too short to get into 10' scuttle.


  7. #7
    Mike Bonacci's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Thanks for the feedback! I was referring to the LG 22 in my post, but it only extends out 19'.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I carry the largest LG Model 26 ("6.5' folded") and a smaller Werner MT22 (5.5' folded) multipurpose.
    I rarely take the LG off the truck due to weight and the smaller Werner will reach all but the tallest 2-story roofs.
    I have never carried a step ladder since buying the Werner since either the Werner multipurpose or LG will do anything and more than two or three conventional ladders and it is much more sturdy.
    If I had to start from scratch at this point I would get the next size smaller Werner MT17 or LG for portability and stay with the largest LG for maximum reach.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I like the Jaws. I think it's a 22, that's 19' stretched out.
    I usually use it with the top section removed, weighs only 30 lbs and reaches about 14 feet. That works for 80-90% of my jobs.
    I rarely get off the ladder in a situation like this pic, not enough handle showing above the gutter. I look at pics of the house before the inspection, should have had my 28' here. .

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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I think the size ladder you need depends upon your area. Around here, you need either a 28' or 32' or you won't be able to get on the roofs of half the houses you inspect. My 32' has barely been enough on some houses but by and large it gets me where I need to go. A 17' ladder might get me to the 2nd story windows so it would be almost useless. And a flat roof can't be inspected with binoculars. Anybody who has seen the things John and I post knows why we need to be able to get up on roofs.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 04-06-2010 at 01:04 PM. Reason: typo

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Nick is right about geographical differences. In my part of So CA, I didn't have many 2 story houses, and a 12 foot ladder was fine.
    IN my part of East TN, a 17 footer is fine for about 95% of the houses. I have had to drag a ladder to the garage roof to get to the upper main roof, and about once a year I need to take my extension ladder. I used to carry my 22ft LG in my truck, but didn't need it for almost a year.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Had the serious ladder on the rack for this morning's job....

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I have a werner 22' and I'm very pleased with it. Werner is also cheaper in price than the LG. I make every to get on every roof. There is nothing like being up close on the roof.If the roof is too high or too steep only then do I use my binoculars.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Had the serious ladder on the rack for this morning's job....
    I think you should have a sign that says "Sign Extends Past Ladder", in case someone hits their head on the sign.
    Insert emoticon/smiley face of your choice here.

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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    MB: Don't waste your money on a 2-ton Little Giant. Want a real ladder? Buy a Jaws. I've had all 4 of mine for over a dozen years with no problems.
    The Little Giant 17' (LG-17) weighs in at 37lbs. It is about the only ladder I use. Yes, it is a pound heaver than the "Jaws" ladder that is a little smaller.

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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    MB: Don't waste your money on a 2-ton Little Giant. Want a real ladder? Buy a Jaws. I've had all 4 of mine for over a dozen years with no problems.
    Never hear of Jaws, I wish I had checked them out before buying my LG, 50 lbs vs 54 lbs on the large model would make a substantial difference when trying to stand it up by yourself.
    I rarely use the LG but man, it is a beast to try and handle. Good and solid but the weight combined with the length makes for tough sledding and I'm no light weight.

    Jim Luttrall
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  17. #17
    Bob White's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I'm too cheap to spring for LG or Jaws.

    Bought the 22' Werner, 17' COSCO, and a little Xtend & Climb.

    Two years of bursitis of shoulder (one year each shoulder) moved the
    Werner out of the rotation and replaced with the old reliable 24' extension ladder.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I too use a 24' extension ladder. Works good 90% of the time.

    Last edited by James Duffin; 04-06-2010 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Changed length of ladder from 24" to 24'

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I have a gorilla ladder that I bought years ago from home depot. I decided last year to purchase a Little Giant. I got the Type 1A Revolution XE - Model 22, weighs 35 lbs the manufacturer claim its 20% lighter than any competing multi-use ladder on the market-Max extension height: 19.
    It gets me on most roof and works great. I'm very happy with this ladder so far.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I have a 24' extension that I rarely use. I get to most roof's with my 16' extension but find just a little short at times, an 18 footer would be better.
    I also pack a 6' and 4' ladder for interiors.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I am a new inspector trying to get started. There are a lot of 2 story colonials here. what size ladder will be necessary? 26-28?. Also can they be handled properly by one person? I have a jeep liberty that may be about 14' long bumper to bumper.
    Can any of you tell me what happens when you tell someone that a 2 story is not safe to go up on as I saw some comments that 17' is all they are willing to do.

    Gratefull for any advise.
    thanks,
    chris


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by chris gallo View Post
    I am a new inspector trying to get started. There are a lot of 2 story colonials here. what size ladder will be necessary? 26-28?. Also can they be handled properly by one person? I have a jeep liberty that may be about 14' long bumper to bumper.
    Can any of you tell me what happens when you tell someone that a 2 story is not safe to go up on as I saw some comments that 17' is all they are willing to do.

    Gratefull for any advise.
    thanks,
    chris
    I would say a 28', minimum (it's what I carry). I strap it to the factory rack on my Subaru Outback, which is also about 14' long. If you're in reasonably good shape you should be able to handle a 28. There are plenty of inspectors around here who carry a 32'.

    Most people are understanding if I can't get up onto the roof. Usually it's because it's too steep to be safe. I'll still put the ladder up, usually in multiple locations, and go up to the eave to get as close a look as I can.

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    thanks, I met a local inspector and he had said you need to modify the pull rope and move it to the right side as you cant extend it and hold it at the same time when it is in the center of the ladder. This was most likely a safety feature I would assume. At this point i dont have a ladder this large and dont know myself.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by chris gallo View Post
    thanks, I met a local inspector and he had said you need to modify the pull rope and move it to the right side as you cant extend it and hold it at the same time when it is in the center of the ladder. This was most likely a safety feature I would assume. At this point i dont have a ladder this large and dont know myself.
    I honestly don't know what he's talking about. I have no problem extending the 28' without making any modifications. I'm 6 feet tall and in pretty good shape, but I'm also 58 years old.

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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel nantell View Post
    When I went to school , the Instructor said he had been inspecting for years and If a 17 foot wont do it, then it shouldnt be done. Inspect from ladder or with glass eyes 00 binoculars.
    I second this. I'm afraid of heights.

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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel nantell View Post
    When I went to school , the Instructor said he had been inspecting for years and If a 17 foot wont do it, then it shouldnt be done. Inspect from ladder or with glass eyes 00 binoculars.
    By the same reasoning, going over 6 feet shouldn't be done. Then 3 feet. And you never go onto a roof.

    Had discussion with two HI that basically never go on roofs anymore. They just can not handle the ladders is what I think. They do all roofs from ground with binoc. and within SOP as they list how they viewed roof in the report. When questioned as to quality of their findings the answer is that they follow the SOP and meet the min (standard) requirements.

    Don't take that instructor at any value. Gorilla 17', 28' ext, 36' ext. & I run a truck w/ cap & rack.

    Take caution on what you secure the ladders to and how that rack is secured also. If you hit something the ladders will rip off you rack as they fly like spears ahead of you. I had some pull out on me and was able to only take off their front end. I had altered the rack and reinforce it because of worries of such an incident occurring. Had seen accident that material tided to car roof rack ended in front seat of other car (rack went with load). Just think what your load might do.

    Think about weight and your ability to handle the ladder and not in terms of maxing out you ability for weight. Know the max and then look for less weight. Time will take its toll on you. Have worn one shoulder out (surgery to correct) doing ok now. Did not think about weight and time when I was younger.

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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Thanks all to the great information here about ladders. I had essentially the same question as the one posted. I'm deciding what size extension ladder (28' or 32') would be good to have in addition to a 22' little giant and 14' telesteps. Sounds like others here can handle a 32' by themselves. Any specific tips about carrying or setting up a tall extension ladder?


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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Gould View Post
    Thanks all to the great information here about ladders. I had essentially the same question as the one posted. I'm deciding what size extension ladder (28' or 32') would be good to have in addition to a 22' little giant and 14' telesteps. Sounds like others here can handle a 32' by themselves. Any specific tips about carrying or setting up a tall extension ladder?
    I guess nobody has an answer for you here.
    I pack a 28', which extends to about 25'. That is as tall as I ever need, good for a 2 storey hardiplank hacienda on a tiny lot.
    I have the center rungs marked so that I always pick it up balanced, and I tend to carry it high above my head so my back is straight. I park it straight up at the right distance from the wall, raise the extension, and hold the feet down with one of my feet to slowly lower it against the gutter. Try to have 3 rungs up above the gutter if you plan to walk the roof. I bring a bungy cord up with me so I can strap the ladder to the gutter.
    A couple of mos ago, I was on a 2 storey flat top house with metal trim, built in roof drains. There was nothing there to hook a bungy to, and it didn't seem necessary. The ladder was on flat ground. While I was up there walking around, a gust of wind came up and blew my ladder sideways. Nobody home. Just lucky, it caught on the corner and I was able to grab the end before she dropped.

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  29. #29

    Default Re: Ladder size

    I just use a 19' Little Giant if I can't get on the roof with that it is to unsafe in my eyes.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Michael,
    Do you have a disability that prevents you from going to the roof?


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Little Giant makes an 11' ladder which I use for indoor use only - kinda like having a pair of indoor shoes to wear. I also have a LG 22' and can't remember when I last used it - the 17' works just fine. With a couple of homemade wood racks and two bungee cords the ladders can be securely and easily stacked inside the truck with no rattling.

    Phil - One of the reasons I stay out of Chicago is because of some of those roof heights and how close the homes are to one another. Often you just can't get a good unobstructed view from the ground so a really long ladder becomes a necessity.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Phil - One of the reasons I stay out of Chicago is because of some of those roof heights and how close the homes are to one another. Often you just can't get a good unobstructed view from the ground so a really long ladder becomes a necessity.
    Eric, you've nailed the dilemma. I hope to get on any roof if I can safely do it, especially if the houses are close together. However in walking around my neighborhood (Edgewater/Andersonville) and thinking how I'd get on some of these roofs, a 28' doesn't seem tall enough, and 32' or longer may be too unwieldy for me to handle by myself. I'm considering renting one or two different sizes as a test.

    John, thanks for the procedure tips including marking the center. Very helpful.


  33. #33
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    The Little Giant 17' and a 6foot step the only ladders I need.

    Best

    Ron


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    This subject comes up once in awhile amongst the locals here, it's been my personal decision to walk most every roof, and I regularly find all sorts of defects I'm nearly certain I wouldn't have seen laddering against the home or with binocs. But, it's a decision that bears upon your background, experience and personal decisions.

    I run across some steep one's once in awhile.. but steep here is much different than that of the 12/12's you guys run into. If I walk anything close to that, I feel it in my 40 something ankles

    I would guess some good advice is, carry a ladder a bit taller than you think you need, and if you're not comfortable doing something, don't and state why as well as what you did.

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  35. #35
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    Cool Re: Ladder size

    Tim, I hope you wrote up that illegal chimney shroud. Note the soot stains on the chase top. This design is a known fire hazard and must be removed.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Ladder size

    I carry a 15.5 ft xtend and climb. I can get to all 1 and 1.5 story roofs. 2 story roofs can be accessed by lower porch roofs or from ground with binoculars. This gives me view of all but the tallest roofs, and low pitched roofs on the narrowest, sloping lots. Maybe once every few months I'll come across a roof that I don't have good visibility of the rear of the roof. In this case, I write that access was limited here and check extra well in the attic for leaks. In the few cases that there was no view of a portion of the roof I usually can spot a defect in the visible portion of the roof and call for a roofer anyway, or if the roof is very new and installed in a professional manor on the front, and there are no leaks found in the attic, the likelihood that there are major concerns is very low.

    I used to carry a 21' Gorilla but its no use here. Most of the homes are on crawlspaces so when you add two stories on a raised foundation of 2-5 ft, it doesn't reach the eaves anyway. It was also a bear to set up in full extension mode.

    I also use the xtend and climb for attic scuttles inside the home. There has never been an attic to date that I haven't been able to enter due to my ladder limitations.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Ladder size - 32 ft

    I'm new to the business but am looking at ladders too. Was admiring the telestep and plan to buy the 10 ftr for getting into attics. Thanks to previous posters for the heads up on the rung locking issue.

    I have a 32 ft Al. extension ladder from when I did painting and window washing, which I will use for the higher homes. I am 5'0" and female and have learned how to handle the 32' ladder - brace the bottom on a firm ledge, get under the other end and walk it up. With the rope properly in place extending is easy when vertical. Better to be slightly tilted towards the house close to where you want to climb and not facing a window or wire. Wind makes it more dangerous. Tight spaces can make it very awkward trying to maneuver but it can usually be done. Once leaning on the house it can be shimmied sideways if necessary by lifting slightly up and away and shoving over. Brace the bottom rung with your leg. I try not to drag it over the siding or trough, just a light touch down. Good if you can wrap the upper ends with a cloth to avoid scratching things, or have some kind of stand off.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Like Matt, the Xtend n Climb works just fine, prefer it over my LG. What the heck, if it is good enough for Mike Holmes to use...


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I carry 3 ladders. A Werner MT-22 22 Ft Telescoping Multi Ladder, a 6 Ft Step Ladder, and then the Big Boy, my Werner 32 Ft Extension Ladder. The 32 Ft rarely leaves the rack of my truck, I mostly use the Multi Ladder, it reaches all the places I need to reach. Occasionally, I have used the 32 footer for some 2 story homes with no lower roof. Mostly.... it looks really good riding on top of my truck!

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  40. #40
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    I use a LG 22 and a Werner 10 foot (like a LG, folds to 3 feet). I can get into most attics with the werner. I also have a two step stool for those inside reaches that don't need a ladder (furnace filters, etc.).

    I bought a 15.5 extend and climb after reading this thread. I thought it would replace my werner. Used it one day and returned it to Amazon. First, if you open the top you have a very high step at the bottom. Second, if you extend from the bottom (so you don't have a high step) it is hard to adjust and very top heavy. Third, maybe mine was defective, but it was extremely hard to release the bottom two sections. I'm 6 foot and in good shape. I can handle my LG 22 type 1 with no problem (although I admit it has gained a little weight the last few years). But I had to lay the extend and climb on the living room floor to get it to retract.

    Fourth and most important, it can't be used as a step ladder for the things I can't quite reach off my step stool. The werner makes a 5' step ladder. So I will still have to carry the werner, or use the LG 22 every time I need a step ladder more than two feet.

    Of course I realized this before I bought it, and if not for the first three items I would have tried it for a while and if I liked it I would have bought a 3 step stool. Thought about exchanging it for a 10 or 12 foot, but they would have the same problems. I'll keep what I have and upgrade to jaws when this LG wears out.

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  41. #41
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    Default Re: Ladder size

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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    That's a heavy sucker. Shipping wt is over 40 lbs. But you can pull the top section off and have a nifty little 12 footer.

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  43. #43
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    Default Re: Ladder size

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    That's a heavy sucker. Shipping wt is over 40 lbs. But you can pull the top section off and have a nifty little 12 footer.
    They also make an aluminum model rated at 225 lbs. for you runway models.

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