Guide to Rolling Ladders

Rolling ladders come in many configurations.  If one is not familiar with the different configurations, selecting the right rolling ladder can be a daunting task.  Some of the questions that must be answered during the selection process to ensure an appropriate ladder is selected are:

  • How high should the platform be?
  • Should a standard slope or easy slope be chosen?
  • What type of locking in place mechanism is best for the work space?
  • Will the ladder fit in the available work space?
  • What type of material should the ladder be made of?

How high should the platform be?  First determine the average height that will be accessed. From the average height that will be accessed, subtract about 4 feet to determine the platform height.  When standing on the top platform, the average work height will then be about shoulder high depending on the height of the individual on the ladder platform.

Should a standard slope or easy slope be chosen?  Standard slope ladders are rolling ladders and must be descended facing the stairway due to the angle of the stairway.  If one does not descend a standard slope ladder facing the stairway, one or more OSHA violations have occurred.  When descending an easy slope ladder, one can descend facing away from the stairway without violating OSHA standards.

What type of locking in place mechanism is best for the work space?  Lock step ladders with either a hand or foot release are best on larger ladders.  For smaller ladders, one may choose a tilt and roll ladder or a ladder that has spring lock casters.  Tilt and roll ladders have only 2 wheels.  The side opposite the 2 wheels is lifted off the ground so the ladder can be rolled into position.  Once in position, the ladder rests on 2 wheels and the opposing 2 legs which secure the ladder in place.  Spring lock caster ladders have casters with internal springs that lift the 4 legs of the ladder off the floor.  When one steps on the ladder, the internal springs compress allowing the legs to rest on the floor which keeps the ladder in place.  When one steps off the ladder, the internal springs lift the 4 legs off the floor allowing the ladder to roll.

Will the ladder fit in the available work space?  The length x width of the base is a good place to start.  This will determine if it will fit in the work space.  One must also consider the ladder will require room for maneuvering from one location to the other.  The base dimensions must allow for a 180 degree spin and/or allow movements around corners of shelves when these movements are required in the work space.

What type of material should the ladder be made of?  Ladders are usually made of painted steel, but some models are available in aluminum and stainless steel.  Painted steel ladders are less expensive, but must be protected from the elements.  Aluminum and stainless steel ladders are more expensive, but are rust resistant.

Contact us today and let one of our experts help you choose the rolling ladder that will work best for your application. 

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