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Old 07-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #1
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Default A-Frame Extension Ladders

We were discussing Ladders the other day, we had a recent job for a one of our top customer at his house and an 16' a-frame ladder seemed the only option.


The younger guys had never used one before; they were all use to lifts. The young guys were less than pleased about having to work so high off a ladder and the issues of getting it in and out of the house.

I worked for a company that did a slew of churches, and we lived and died on A-Frame extension ladders. They had a wooden one that went 40' in the air. Myself and a helper would man handle that ladder into place, Toe it up and I would climb the ladder to do fixture work. He was a fat lard azz.

With the ladder extended to the maximum height sitting on top was one scary job. Lean left ladder went maybe 3 feet left, lean right it went 3 feet right. Now maybe this was only 3" but in my mind it was 3 feet in each direction.

Can't even locate a link to an a-frame extension ladder

http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...g&fr=fptb-msgr

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Old 07-08-2012, 10:16 AM   #2
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They still sell them. Look for "trestle ladders."

They can still beat a lift for getting up into a tight spot in a ceiling, but I gotta say I'm awfully glad I've never been on one 40' tall.

-John

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Old 07-08-2012, 10:25 AM   #3
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I used a A fame extension ladder back in the 70's. It was a big heavy wooden one. It seemed sturdy enough but I did not like being on it.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #4
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I dont have a problem with a 16 footer... I guess its all how your brought up in the trade.. You definatly need to guys to set it up in a home without destroying the place...
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big John View Post
They still sell them. Look for "trestle ladders."

They can still beat a lift for getting up into a tight spot in a ceiling, but I gotta say I'm awfully glad I've never been on one 40' tall.

-John

The new ones are fiber glass lighter but also MAYBE less sturdy when swinging in the air?
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ptcrtn View Post
I used a A fame extension ladder back in the 70's. It was a big heavy wooden one. It seemed sturdy enough but I did not like being on it.
As a young man carrying it was no problem, though hard work. Setting it up could be a real chore working off the top,,,WELL
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:35 AM   #7
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Heights have never really been an issue for me... I remember working off a 100' lift down at the Sea Port in Port Elizabeth.... We would be up there in winter readjusting cameras, the people on the other end of the radios were in California. They were the security company that watches the cameras... Trucks would be wizzing all around us, and the damn thing would sway three to four feet each way... we had to adjust, my partner would yell, LIFT, That ment let go because it was moving , then we would adjust again, wait for security tech's to advise on placement, let go, readjust..... It was a real trip, and for some reason we did it in the dead of winter... not fun.. i dont miss that at all...

Now put me in a confined space, then we got problems...
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:38 AM   #8
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They make standard ladders that are 16'. For most homes that is more than you need and it is often hard to find a place to set it up esp. in foyers.

Looks like Lowes sells the Werner brand. http://www.lowes.com/pd_89380-287-T7...la&cagpspn=pla
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
They make standard ladders that are 16'. For most homes that is more than you need and it is often hard to find a place to set it up esp. in foyers.

Looks like Lowes sells the Werner brand. http://www.lowes.com/pd_89380-287-T7...la&cagpspn=pla

We seldom to never need 16' ladders, much less in a home, 6' is typically to much ladder for what we need in many cases.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:45 AM   #10
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I have a 16 foot aframe. It's a beast. I could not imagine a trestle on top of it being to safe. Yikes!
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian john View Post
We were discussing Ladders the other day, we had a recent job for a one of our top customer at his house and an 16' a-frame ladder seemed the only option.


The younger guys had never used one before; they were all use to lifts. The young guys were less than pleased about having to work so high off a ladder and the issues of getting it in and out of the house.

I worked for a company that did a slew of churches, and we lived and died on A-Frame extension ladders. They had a wooden one that went 40' in the air. Myself and a helper would man handle that ladder into place, Toe it up and I would climb the ladder to do fixture work. He was a fat lard azz.

With the ladder extended to the maximum height sitting on top was one scary job. Lean left ladder went maybe 3 feet left, lean right it went 3 feet right. Now maybe this was only 3" but in my mind it was 3 feet in each direction.

Can't even locate a link to an a-frame extension ladder

http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...g&fr=fptb-msgr
Try this.....http://www.lynnladder.com/products/H...-TRESTLES.html

http://www.industrialladder.com/prod...&categoryID=33


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Last edited by HARRY304E; 07-08-2012 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:57 AM   #12
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Even if that thing was bolted to the ground with outriggers I wouldn't climb that.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:03 AM   #13
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Even if that thing was bolted to the ground with outriggers I wouldn't climb that.
Agreed I was on my 32' ladder yesterday and never felt good on it.

I need a bucket truck...
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #14
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Brian you are right on about the younger generation having it much easier(and safer) than even twenty years ago.. I remember wring complete steel buildings off of an old wooden extension ladder propped up against the purlins. Hanging HID lights or even eight foot fluorescents off that was always a bitch.
Great times though.
Boss never complaining about taking to long or not getting anything done. He was just happy we figured out a way to do things with out scaffolding.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
They make standard ladders that are 16'. For most homes that is more than you need and it is often hard to find a place to set it up esp. in foyers.

Looks like Lowes sells the Werner brand. http://www.lowes.com/pd_89380-287-T7416_0__?productId=1111483&cm_mmc=PLA_Paint-_-LaddersScaffolding-_-gps-_-Werner%2016'%20Fiberglass%20Twin-Step%20Ladder&adtype=pla&cagpspn=pla
Wow! they even have a 20' ladder weigh's 149 LBS..

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1











Werner 20' Fiberglass Twin-Step Ladder

Item #: 89380 | Model #: T7420
$842.22
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:47 AM   #16
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Brian granger has them I got one there a few years ago. You can probably view them on their online catalog. If I remember correctly mine took a few days from the factory though (Werner).
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LARMGUY
Even if that thing was bolted to the ground with outriggers I wouldn't climb that.
HARRY304E
Agreed I was on my 32' ladder yesterday and never felt good on it.

I need a bucket truck...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Back a long time ago (74), the company I worked for had a contract to relamp overhead road signs.
This being before the proliferation of economical bucket trucks and lifts, my boss had the great idea of fastening 2 layers of 3/4 plywood to the top of a van. (it was only a 3/4 ton van to boot)
Then we would stand the ladder up and used turnbuckles to fasten each leg to the plywood.
Thank goodness I was too young and stupid to know better
At least the center was only extended about 6 feet from the top but that was high enough.

The one good thing that came about from that experience was a great appreciation for the car drivers who slowed down for the construction. I make a point of slowing down when there are workers on the road.

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Old 07-08-2012, 01:18 PM   #18
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My 16' ladder is double sided and needs (2) men to carry and set it up..

Sometimes you need a second set of hands to hang a fixture and that ladder is perfect for it..
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:06 PM   #19
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I use a trestle ladder all the time. When going on calls to existing commercial units that have a drop ceiling , but the real structural ceiling is maybe another ten foot above the drop one, and perhaps there are j-boxes up there that need to be accessed or I want to drill for new anchors or something like that. My trestle ladder fits up thru the 2'x4' opening of one ceiling tile, and then I can extend enough to work up to about 20 foot or so if I need to .

You cannot do that with a regular lift, once the ceiling grid is in.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmikeman View Post
I use a trestle ladder all the time. When going on calls to existing commercial units that have a drop ceiling , but the real structural ceiling is maybe another ten foot above the drop one, and perhaps there are j-boxes up there that need to be accessed or I want to drill for new anchors or something like that. My trestle ladder fits up thru the 2'x4' opening of one ceiling tile, and then I can extend enough to work up to about 20 foot or so if I need to .

You cannot do that with a regular lift, once the ceiling grid is in.
How do you balance yourself on a perfectly vertical ladder? Most of your fixed vertical ladders have some kind of cage around them. I must be missing something here. There's nothing that beats experience.

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