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

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


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”