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Commercial-Grade Ladder Guide



Select the Best
Commercial-Grade Ladder


Types of Ladders

Multi-Position

  • Best multipurpose ladder 
    • Capable of step, platform and extension
       ladder configurations
       
      Step

      • Completely self-supporting 
        • Great for indoor and outdoor use 
          • Double-sided models available

            Extension Ladders

            • Highest overall reach
              • Best suited for outdoor jobs 
                • Must lean against a stable surface


                  Platform

                  • Good reach with great stability 
                    • Great for indoor and outdoor use 
                      • Require level ground


                        Work Platforms

                        • The most stable platform 
                          • Great workable space 
                            • Less reach than other options


                              Scaffolding

                              • The most safety and stability 
                                • The most reach and workable space 
                                  • Has height, base and tie regulations

                                    Ladder Materials

                                    Fiberglass Ladders

                                    Fiberglass

                                    • The strongest and most durable 
                                      • Typically colored for high visibility 
                                        • Safe to use around electricity

                                          Aluminum Ladders

                                          Aluminum 

                                          • Strong but lightweight 
                                            • Less expensive than fiberglass 
                                              • Not safe for electrical work

                                                Heights for Straight & Extension Ladders

                                                Stay safe. Get the job done. Always position ladders at 75° (pitch) with their base one foot out for every four feet of rise. Always add an extra 8’ to extension ladders for safe access to roofs and other high areas.

                                                Ladder Height and Reach

                                                Height to Support Point
                                                Required Ladder Size
                                                Distance from Base
                                                Approximate Reach

                                                4'

                                                5'

                                                1'

                                                6.5'

                                                6'

                                                7'

                                                2'

                                                8.5'

                                                8'

                                                9'

                                                2'

                                                10.5'

                                                12'

                                                13'

                                                3'

                                                14.5'

                                                16'

                                                17'

                                                4'

                                                18.5'

                                                24'

                                                25'

                                                6'

                                                26.5'

                                                32'

                                                33'

                                                8'

                                                34.5'

                                                40'

                                                42'

                                                10'

                                                43.5'

                                                48'

                                                50'

                                                12'

                                                51.5'

                                                *Approximate reach is the height the average worker can safely reach on a ladder.

                                                Ratings & Capacities

                                                Choose a ladder that meets your industry’s demands.

                                                Duty Rating
                                                Working Load
                                                Applications

                                                Type 1AA

                                                375 lbs.

                                                Special-duty1
                                                Industrial and professional use

                                                Type 1A

                                                300 lbs.

                                                Extra-duty1
                                                Industrial and professional use

                                                Type 1

                                                250 lbs.

                                                Heavy-duty1
                                                Commercial and professional use

                                                Type 2

                                                225 lbs.

                                                Medium-duty1
                                                Commercial and professional use

                                                Type 3

                                                200 lbs.

                                                Light-duty1
                                                General and household use

                                                Consider Tool & Material Weight

                                                Tool
                                                Weight

                                                Toolbox

                                                35 lbs.

                                                Tool belt

                                                15 lbs.

                                                Nail gun

                                                10 lbs.

                                                Chain saw

                                                12 lbs.

                                                Gas leaf blower

                                                10 lbs.

                                                9.6V power drill

                                                4 lbs.

                                                Ladder tanks and trays

                                                1 lbs.

                                                Firefighters' PPE gear

                                                45 lbs.

                                                Material
                                                Weight

                                                1 gallon of paint

                                                12 lbs.

                                                5 gallons of paint

                                                60 lbs.

                                                Average ceiling fan

                                                30 lbs.

                                                1/4” plywood (4’ x 8’)

                                                23 lbs.

                                                3/8” plywood (4’ x 8’)

                                                34 lbs.

                                                8’ pressure-treated 2’ x 4’

                                                17 lbs.

                                                8’ pressure-treated 4’ x 4’

                                                38 lbs.

                                                Bundle of shingles

                                                70 lbs.

                                                Ladder Features Explained

                                                • Need extra stability? Look for flared bases.
                                                  • Want more safety and longevity? Look for solid locks. 
                                                    • Improved safety? Look for slip-resistant rungs. 
                                                      • More tool and tray space? Look for pro top caps. 
                                                        • Easier transport and storage? Look for telescopic designs. 
                                                          • Even more climbing safety? Look for D-rungs.
                                                            Person Standing on Ladder
                                                            Paint Can on Ladder

                                                            1American National Standards Institute, “Basic Ladder Safety”