A ladder is one of the most common pieces of equipment. Almost every home owner has some kind of ladder in his attic. Depending on the kind of work you do, you may only have a small step ladder sitting around or you may own an industrial extension ladder. Chances are, if you've left your ladder upstairs in your attic for too long, you may not have the appropriate tool for the job that needs doing. For roof maintenance work, the right ladder can be the difference between a fixed roof and a broken arm. With all the different manufacturers and distributors in the market, how do you know which commercial model is safest for your work? Aluminum or wood? Scaffold or industrial? The options are endless. If you are about to enter this confusing market, you may find some of these popular ladder terms illuminating.
Extension Ladder - An industrial ladder with an extra portion that extends out of the top. These ladders are often manufactured out of aluminum so that they aren't too heavy. A good tool for high roof work.
Pull-Down Ladder - The typical wood ladder you find rolling out of your infrequently used attic door. The Pull-Down Latter is often nailed into the wall of a house and extends down when you want to climb up into an attic or loft space.
Scaffold - Industrial platform used mainly in the construction business. Generally they're made from metal.
Step Ladder - A type of aluminum ladder that has four legs that fold out from the center. Step ladders are good pieces of equipment if you have to work alone, without someone to hold the bottom for you.
Personnel Lift - A mechanical ladder with a moving, electrically powered arm that extends to lift construction workers up to high scaffolding or platforms.
Ladders, often portable frameworks featuring two long parallel structures connected by several horizontal rungs, are necessary for climbing up or down tall buildings. They can be made from a variety of materials, most notably wood or aluminum. They may feature extensions or rolling mechanisms that allows for easy use. Some are pull-downs, such as those for attic stairs. Ladders are often used in construction, house painting, and roofing. Related structures include scaffolding and platforms, which you'll often see used in construction sites. Contractors who need to purchase ladders in bulk may turn to inexpensive ladder providers for their commercial needs. Residential home owners may also buy from these ladder suppliers and distributors if they need a few at once. Generally, manufacturers offer a bulk discount for products purchased in large quantities. Ladders are also used by fire fighters. These are usually quite long, portable, and adjustable to reach windows in tall buildings. Often, they are affixed to fire trucks for mobility. Speaking of fire, industrial strength ladders are used on fire escapes to help people get out of burning buildings. First invented in 1878 by Joseph Winters, these types of ladders have a long history. Safe, heavy fire escape ladders began as a fire escape solution primarily in high rise buildings. Soon after, home owners began to put them on their property, and apartment complexes installed them as well. Ladder manufacturers may sell a range of ladders, from step and extension to attic and loft. Some may specialize in scaffolding for construction sites, for example, while others may offer tripod, wooden, or aluminum ladders. Some will even make custom step or extension ladders for your individual work or personal needs.