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Ladder Safety

1. First things First- Choosing a Ladder that is right for you
  • How much do you weigh- Choosea ladder that is capable of sufficiently carrying more than your weight. This is extremely important for us roof cleaners. Did you ever hear the term he weighs x amount of pounds soaking wet well keep that in mind because you can easily add an extra 20 lbs. no problem with a soaking wet pair of jeans, longsleave shirt bottle of H2O in the pocket, wet boots etc....oh yeah and may the hose that is hanging off your arm all the way to the ground. So choose a ladder that can hold your working load and then some to be safe.
  • Most guys like fiberglass because they are electrically non-conductive, weather resistant, don't twist which can be a big problem, they don't loose strength in heat nor do they burn you or freeze you, they are somewhat economical and tough, and a lot of us use the large step ladders for easier accessible roofs which are almost always fiberglass. Fiberglass is also very lightweight. I have heard guys say they are real nice but who can affors them and who can carry them around. This a classic misnomer if you ask me. You can go to Lowes and see that a 28 footer is only 40 bucks more for fiberglass. That is worth it! When it comes to metal ladders you are paying for weight class. In a apples to apples 300 lb ladder fiberglass to aluminum comparison there is not much difference in carrying the ladder around. Sure some of us have been doing it for a long time but this really is something you become acustom too and no matter what you will have to do. And to reiterate a 24' 275lb rated aluminum ladder and a 24' 225 lb ladder weigh totally different, so if you are buying for weight class it is going to be heavier anyway, and be safe and get the heavier one, you will be stronger and your wives will like your new big muscles inevitably making your lives safer at home as well.
  • Inspect the ladder daily, if you have an old school steel ladder or something that rusts easily, seeya bye, your now on your way to get a new one. Either spend the few hundred bucks to get a good set of  ladders now or you could risk the chance of not having an income because you fell.
  • Check your ladders daily for corrosion, cracks, bends, bolts, nuts, springs, twists, rust, and more.
To find out more on choosing a ladder check this site out at:

http://www.differencebetween.net/object/difference-between-aluminum-and-fiberglass-ladders/







-- Edited by BCRoofClean on Saturday 12th of June 2010 04:30:02 PM

-- Edited by BCRoofClean on Saturday 12th of June 2010 10:38:06 PM

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Jerry, Great advice! You can't put a price on the safety of yourself and your crew. A good quality ladder with stabilizer, levels, and a ladder stop are all important features and worth every penny.

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BCRoofClean wrote:

Ladder Safety

First things First- Choosing a Ladder that is right for you

  • How much do you weigh- Choosea ladder that is capable of sufficiently carrying more than your weight. This is extremely important for us roof cleaners. Did you ever hear the term he weighs x amount of pounds soaking wet well keep that in mind because you can easily add an extra 20 lbs. no problem with a soaking wet pair of jeans, longsleave shirt bottle of H2O in the pocket, wet boots etc....oh yeah and may the hose that is hanging off your arm all the way to the ground. So choose a ladder that can hold your working load and then some to be safe.
  • Most guys like fiberglass because they are electrically non-conductive, weather resistant, don't twist which can be a big problem, they don't loose strength in heat nor do they burn you or freeze you, they are somewhat economical and tough, and a lot of us use the large step ladders for easier accessible roofs which are almost always fiberglass. Fiberglass is also very lightweight. I have heard guys say they are real nice but who can affors them and who can carry them around. This a classic misnomer if you ask me. You can go to Lowes and see that a 28 footer is only 40 bucks more for fiberglass. That is worth it! When it comes to metal ladders you are paying for weight class. In a apples to apples 300 lb ladder fiberglass to aluminum comparison there is not much difference in carrying the ladder around. Sure some of us have been doing it for a long time but this really is something you become acustom too and no matter what you will have to do. And to reiterate a 24' 275lb rated aluminum ladder and a 24' 225 lb ladder weigh totally different, so if you are buying for weight class it is going to be heavier anyway, and be safe and get the heavier one, you will be stronger and your wives will like your new big muscles inevitably making your lives safer at home as well.
  • Inspect the ladder daily, if you have an old school steel ladder or something that rusts easily, seeya bye, your now on your way to get a new one. Either spend the few hundred bucks to get a good set of  ladders now or you could risk the chance of not having an income because you fell.
  • Check your ladders daily for corrosion, cracks, bends, bolts, nuts, springs, twists, rust, and more.
To find out more on choosing a ladder check this site out at:

http://www.differencebetween.net/object/difference-between-aluminum-and-fiberglass-ladders/






Jerry I disagree with you about fiberglass being very light weight, a fiberglass ladder is far heavier than a aluminum ladder. once you hit 24, 32. 40 footer they are to darn heavy.

and they are not a strong ladder, I wish I would of taken pictures of one I recently cut up and threw away it was all cracked due to weathering and SH.

Aluminum is the choice just becareful raising it around power lines.



 



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Most roof we clean in Tampa have underground power lines, so Aluminum is not to be feared. But when aluminum hits a power line, the result is a dead roof cleaner.
Great Posts Jerry and Walk 138394,

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I hear you Clyde, everyone has a preference.  But its actually not true they are only a few pounds difference.

Here is Werner Ladders website specs:

The 250lbs FIBERGLASS LADDER
  • 24' is 46 lbs
  • 28' is 55.5 lbs
The 250 lbs ALUMINUM LADDER
  • 24' is 40lbs
  • 28' is 50.5lbs
  • 32' is 63.5lbs
  • 36' is 77.5 lbs
  • 40' is 85.5lbs
The 300 lbs FIBERGLASS LADDER
  • 24' is 52 lbs
  • 28 is 59.5
  • 32' is 71.5lbs
  • 36' is 84.5 lbs
  • 40' is 92.5lbs
The 300 lbs ALUMINUM LADDER
  • 24' is 45 lbs
  • 28 is 56 lbs
  • 32' is 67 lbs
  • 36' is 80 lbs
  • 40' is 89.5lbs

And so on..... Some of these ladders are only 3 lbs difference. It may come as a bit of a surprise to some but none of them are even close to 10 lbs heavier when you compare apples to apples, its acually an average of about 3.5 pounds, which you can add on at lunch if your hungry/thursty.



http://www.wernerladder.com/catalog/details.php?series_id=173


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Werner has a great safety course on their site too, I just signed up.

http://go.bluevolt.com/CoBrandTemplate/home.aspx?brand=werner

Here is the ladder inspection sheet that can help out. An especially good tool for our helpers so we can get them involved in learning about safety too.

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BCRoofClean wrote:

I hear you Clyde, everyone has a preference.  But its actually not true they are only a few pounds difference.

Here is Werner Ladders website specs:

The 250lbs FIBERGLASS LADDER

  • 24' is 46 lbs
  • 28' is 55.5 lbs
The 250 lbs ALUMINUM LADDER
  • 24' is 40lbs
  • 28' is 50.5lbs
  • 32' is 63.5lbs
  • 36' is 77.5 lbs
  • 40' is 85.5lbs
The 300 lbs FIBERGLASS LADDER
  • 24' is 52 lbs
  • 28 is 59.5
  • 32' is 71.5lbs
  • 36' is 84.5 lbs
  • 40' is 92.5lbs
The 300 lbs ALUMINUM LADDER
  • 24' is 45 lbs
  • 28 is 56 lbs
  • 32' is 67 lbs
  • 36' is 80 lbs
  • 40' is 89.5lbs

And so on..... Some of these ladders are only 3 lbs difference. It may come as a bit of a surprise to some but none of them are even close to 10 lbs heavier when you compare apples to apples, its acually an average of about 3.5 pounds, which you can add on at lunch if your hungry/thursty.



http://www.wernerladder.com/catalog/details.php?series_id=173


Ok perhaps the newers ones are lighter, but the older ones certainly did feel conciderably heavier. I personally still wouldn't buy a fiberglass ladder.

 



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Don't forget that all ladders conduct electricity when wet. It's a good idea to take note of all the power lines, and other obstacles, before starting a job. 

I had a 28 foot fiberglass ladder for a month or two until my father in law backed over it one day.. I liked how solid the fiberglass was. The aluminum ladders have a certain amount of bounce to them, whereas the fiberglass was pretty rigid.


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I use a 20 ft aluminum ladder with a stabilizer bar and to me it is very lite maybe 30lbs if that. For the 2 story houses i use a 28ft fiberglass ladder again with a stabilizer bar and that thing is a beast to take off the ladder rack and set up. It has to weigh more than 60lbs and is very awkward set up. But on the flip side once it is set up i like the fact of the less bounce it has even when it is extended all the way up.

Choice of ladders just depends on the user in my opinion.

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well I will just wait and see what other's post about fiberglass and aluminum ladders. I have been in such a argumentative mood lately, I swear the Satan is trying to wear me down. lol

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WeWashWindows wrote:

Don't forget that all ladders conduct electricity when wet. It's a good idea to take note of all the power lines, and other obstacles, before starting a job.


I had a 28 foot fiberglass ladder for a month or two until my father in law backed over it one day.. I liked how solid the fiberglass was. The aluminum ladders have a certain amount of bounce to them, whereas the fiberglass was pretty rigid.

 




Shows how much your father in ;aw likes you too!!! LOL just kidding pal!



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miked wrote:

I use a 20 ft aluminum ladder with a stabilizer bar and to me it is very lite maybe 30lbs if that. For the 2 story houses i use a 28ft fiberglass ladder again with a stabilizer bar and that thing is a beast to take off the ladder rack and set up. It has to weigh more than 60lbs and is very awkward set up. But on the flip side once it is set up i like the fact of the less bounce it has even when it is extended all the way up.

Choice of ladders just depends on the user in my opinion.




Do you guys use the quick connect stabilizer, we love it so easy. I totally agree about the personal preference thing but when it comes to safety you can't argue.



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Walk wrote:

well I will just wait and see what other's post about fiberglass and aluminum ladders. I have been in such a argumentative mood lately, I swear the Satan is trying to wear me down. lol




Thats when he get you the worst, when your at your worst!lol

I do hear ya on the weight Clyde they had to come up with a new formula or something the new ones are feathers compared to what they used to be. But heck if they are going to rate it for 300lbs and make it with less material I am all for it.



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BCRoofClean wrote:

Walk wrote:

well I will just wait and see what other's post about fiberglass and aluminum ladders. I have been in such a argumentative mood lately, I swear the Satan is trying to wear me down. lol




Thats when he get you the worst, when your at your worst!lol

I do hear ya on the weight Clyde they had to come up with a new formula or something the new ones are feathers compared to what they used to be. But heck if they are going to rate it for 300lbs and make it with less material I am all for it.



so they did use to be heavier? I haven't had a fiberglass ladder for a while, maybe I will try one it you think it's better.

 



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Walk wrote:


so they did use to be heavier? I haven't had a fiberglass ladder for a while, maybe I will try one it you think it's better.

 

 




I tried an old fiberglass before I got my aluminum. Both 28 foot. The fiberglass was much heavier.



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Midtown wrote:

 

Walk wrote:


so they did use to be heavier? I haven't had a fiberglass ladder for a while, maybe I will try one it you think it's better.

 

 




I tried an old fiberglass before I got my aluminum. Both 28 foot. The fiberglass was much heavier.



honestly I don't need anymore ladders LOL

I got a 40', 32', 24' and a 16' on my truck.

 



-- Edited by Walk on Saturday 12th of June 2010 08:33:05 PM

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I think you are right they were heavier at one time or the metal ladders became lighter. one of the two for sure Walk.
But all I know now is that the new ones are between 3 and 5 lbs difference and that is it. I have even tried it Lowes.

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2. Carrying the ladder
  • There are two Easy ways to carry a ladder that I have found. I know this sounds silly that I am posting how to carry a ladder but it may help some people.
    • The first way is to bend your knees and do the "C" portion of the YMCA dance but straighten your arms a bit and then grab the rungs top and bottom not too high, not to close together, and not too low, you want your porrige just right for this one. Make sure you grab your top hand rung with your knuckles pointing out like you are going for a fist pump the bottom hand like you are carrying a bucket. Then lift up with your legs and even force distriburtes proper weight balance. This should help the ladder feel a lot lighter but this method is the way you may electricute yourself if your not paying attn. Allbeit the proper and method of choice if you ask me.
    • The next is one I developed myself( although I'm sure everyone else knows this move and thought they invented it too) and this will help out those guys who have torn rotators and can't use method one or the schoolbag method.
      • For this one you must be wearing a belt and have it snug not loose. You simply walk to the middle of the ladder and lift it up like you were holding a bucket of water to the right or left side of you but use 2 hands and then rest it on the top side of your belt. Make sure your shirt is tucked in for this one. You will now be able to walk miles with almost no effort at all. It is actually pretty unbelievable how light the ladder is at this point, you can just guide the ladder with your pinky if you wanted too but use your hand always to be safe. If you have a hill to walk up or down this is simply the best method because you can just teder it with ease.
I know what some guys are thinking right now but I don't care. Does it sound stupid..yes, but it may save someone from hurting themselves. I have seen new guys grab a ladder like they were about to power clean and also hold it totally above their heads, you could trip andbreak your neck! If this helps one person this is worth it.

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im sure you guys dont remeber the post i made awile back i was on a roof were the house wires were pulled back of the facia and were exposed i was sraying and got shocked i droped my wand picked it back up tryed agian got shocked agian went to the peek and still got it i tryed to get down and my ground guy got it with the alum ladder iwas up there for 2 hrs till we found some one with a fiberglass one.
but that was a rare sittuation.

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You have to always remember that SH is an elecrolitic.  That means it conducts electricity.  Spray something electrical and the electricity will come right to you.  Always be aware of any open electrical sockets.  If you get SH in it, it can start a house fire as the house wires will start arching and melt the insulation.  Yes I have seen open outlets on the roofs before and I learned all of the above the hard way.

I have been cleaning roofs for 15 years and the ladder of my choice is a 225 lb  28 ft aluminum.  Extra weight it just that, extra weight & extra work.  6 lbs extra ladder weight adds up at the end of the day and a 225 lb ladder will build your muscles up also without tearing up your back in the long run.  But then I only weigh 155 lb, most electricity in my area is under ground, and I am no spring chicken looking to build my muscles as I already have them.

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