Overview of different types of ladders

Overview of different types of ladders

Ladders are intended for working at height. You can choose them from a variety of options. Ladders come in a wide range of different designs and materials to meet all kinds of requirements.

General information about ladders

Ladders are frequently used not only to perform domestic tasks at home or in the garden but also to carry out various operations for businesses. Ladders are a practical option to gain access to an elevated level that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach. They are particularly useful in warehouses, workshops, offices, archival facilities, industrial premises or crafts centres.

The use of ladders goes back to ancient times. The trunks of various trees or palm trees with steps cut out in them are considered to be the forerunners of the modern-day ladders. It is believed that the use of wooden ladders has its origin in the 3rd millennium BC. Later, string ladders and ladders made of other materials emerged. Today, the use of wood in the production of ladders is less frequent. It has given way to such durable materials as plastic, aluminum or steel. Different types of ladders are designed for different applications and purposes.

Description of different types of ladders

There are different types of ladders available. They can be classified as follows:

  • folding steps,
  • machine steps,
  • A-frame stepladders,
  • A-frame rung ladders,
  • telescopic ladders,
  • upright ladders for shelves,
  • leaning ladders,
  • multi-purpose ladders,
  • platform ladders,
  • working platforms with steps,
  • steps,

The standing height on the so-called folding steps is usually 1 meter. Such type of height equipment has several wide steps. The steps need to be set up in an extended position when in use. Folding steps take up little space thus they make an excellent space-saving solution. They are suitable for occasional tasks or when working at a low height. Folding steps are available in heavy duty options which have a higher load capacity.

Machine steps are similar to folding steps, except the grooved surface of their steps ensures a particularly safe standing position. Machine steps usually have anti-slip foot and provide a very high level of stability.

A-frame stepladders are used very widely. Such ladders come in a variety of heights and can have a varying number of steps. A-frame stepladders are articulated into an A shape and placed on the floor. You can use one or both sides of the ladder for climbing, depending on the ladder design. The A-frame stepladder can be collapsed to save space when not in use. Some A-frame stepladders have a top safety anchoring device which provides additional support on the top step of the ladder. A-frame stepladders made of aluminium are very lightweight and easy to transport. There are also rolling A-frame stepladders for easy mobility. Some A-frame stepladders are equipped with a bucket hook, anchor-shaped holders and trays making your work tools easily accessible. A-frame stepladders have wide steps, whereas A-frame rung ladders are slimmer and have narrower rungs. Transverse beams, safety extension chains, strong strap belts or stretching cables ensure a stable position of A-frame stepladders or A-frame rung ladders while they are in an operative position. Depending on specific requirements, you can choose A-frame ladders with extra wide steps or a very high load capacity.

Telescopic ladders can be free-standing or can be leaned against a vertical surface. These ladders are designed for working at great heights. Telescopic ladders have a rather low standing height but, if necessary, they can be extended to considerably increase their standing height.

Leaning ladders (as the name suggests) are leaned against a wall and are used from one side only. These ladders come in a variety of lengths and can have steps or rungs of varying widths or lengths. One specific type of leaning ladders are upright ladders for shelves designed for accessing shelves. They are also leaned against a vertical surface of a shelving unit but they can be directly anchored to the shelf using a hook for optimum safety.

Multi-purpose ladders can be used for various purposes and they can combine multiple functions. They can be used as leaning ladders, free-standing ladders or free-standing stepladders. They can serve multiple purposes and they can be positioned in multiple ways, depending on specific needs. The desired working height is adjusted by changing the spaces between rungs. Multi-purpose ladders can be collapsed to save space during transportation or storage.

In terms of their structural design, the so-called platform ladders are similar to A-frame stepladders or A-frame rung ladders except they have a platform in place of the top step, which greatly increases their standing area. The platform is often equipped with trays for placing tools or small components, as well as with security features, such as guardrails on both sides with or without vertical members. Platform ladders can allow access on one or both sides, depending on their design.

Working platforms with steps are structurally similar to platform ladders. The top of the ladder is fitted with a platform which ensures a safe standing position. The platform is usually enclosed with guardrails allowing to perform tasks safely. Telescopic working platforms with steps can also be used to change the working height. There are also mobile working platforms with steps available. A lower working platform with steps can allow access on one or both sides or it can be mobile.

Scaffolds are classified as specific type of ladders. Scaffolds combine the steps of the classical ladder with an aerial working platform. Rolling scaffolds for mobile use are also available. Collapsible scaffolds can be stored compactly as they take up little space. Scaffolds on wheels and with integrated steps allow you to easily climb up or down the scaffold.