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Adjusting a large extension ladder alone

GeorgeP's picture


I have a 40  foot extension ladder.  I hate using this ladder because it is very heavy and a real pain to raise, which I usually do alone.  I’m painting my house and I need to use it. I can get the ladder raised but the problems start when I want to extend it or move the bottom in closer to the house.  Thats when the ladder end pads catch on the bottom of the clapboards and prevent the ladder from going up. I end up bouncing the ladder trying to get it over the edge of the clapboard, probably not the safest thing. I can raise it with the rope if the bottom of the ladder Is close enough to the house (at a steeper angle that is not save to climb) but I can’t get the ladder closer to the house because the top is caught on the edge of the clapboard.

Anyone else run into this? How do you handle it?  Am I missing something on how to properly adjust a ladder?



I generally just balance the (post #215939, reply #1 of 2)

I generally just balance the ladder vertically and use the rope.

But consider getting a shorter ladder.  If you don't really need a 40 then a 32 or whatever is a lot easier to handle.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

ladder (post #215939, reply #2 of 2)

To stand and lay down long extension ladders, I put the feet against the house foundation, go to the end of the ladder away from the house, then walk it up.

Once vertical, I'll lift the ladder up and move it away from the house. I use teh rope to raise anf lower the ladder by tilting it slightly towards the house. When I pull on the rope, it offsets the lean. 

I don't let the pads at the top of the ladder ride against the house when adjusting height. I always stand it near vertical, adjust, then lean it agains the house.

If somehow the top pads got wedged against the butt of a clapboard, I'd kick the legs out away from teh house a bit to allow the pads to lower. Then I'd stand it up, set it as I need it, and lean it agasint the house.

Hope all that makes sense.

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