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Little Giant Fatal Flaw


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We got a couple guys "testing" a ladder on a sloped driveway covered with snow and ice, they step on the rung above the gutter, and there's no tie off's.

Any ladder can be made to fail. These guys showed 3 of the most popular ways.

You don't think this proves anything, do you?

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That exact thing happend to me on a wet deck when I transferred from the ladder to the roof, except I didn't have the harness and bean picker back up, and I went all the way to the ground. Clients and agent came running to see what all the crashing was. I popped up off of the ground, I'm all right (not), my bad.

Note to self, please don't be that stupid again.

Chris, Oregon

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You don't think this proves anything, do you?

It proves that there are plenty of contractors out there that don't have enough work. It also proves that the guys that aren't working aren't good enough to have kept their jobs anyway.

The monkey that pulled the ladder out of the box couldn't open it, the other monkey had to show him how.

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We got a couple guys "testing" a ladder on a sloped driveway covered with snow and ice, they step on the rung above the gutter, and there's no tie off's.

Any ladder can be made to fail. These guys showed 3 of the most popular ways.

You don't think this proves anything, do you?

It illustrates why you should always lean back slightly when stepping on and off of a ladder at the edge of a roof. I didn't even think about it until I saw this video and I realised that, since the time I was 12, I always pull *back* on the top of the ladder to prevent the feet from slipping out. I'll bet you do the same.

If you push forward on the top of the ladder, any ladder can kick out from under you but the Little Giants and their ilk kick out with a vengeance because of that floppy hinge in the middle. The crummy feet make it even worse.

I have and use two Little Giant clones, but I don't like using them in the extension mode and, if possible, I'll aways use the regular extension ladder if it's an option.

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I dunno,

It looks like he stepped on the rung above the gutter and the put weight forward against the top of the ladder, turning that gutter into a fulcrum. With more weight pushing against the projecting top of the ladder than you have below the fulcrum, the bottom of the ladder wants to arc up and out. Add to that snow packed into the little grooves on the ends instead of clearing the ice and snow away so that the grooves can grip the hardscaping and sure he's going for a ride. He's safely suspended by a wire. If he didn't have that wire on, I bet his method of moving from the ladder to the roof would be substantially different.

He's placed the ladder on a sloping snow-covered surface and nobody is holding the base of the ladder to prevent it from kicking out. D'oh! Anyone see anything wrong with that?

I'd like to see them repeat the test with the guy stepping onto the roof from a rung below the gutter without pushing against the top of the ladder and with someone holding the base of the ladder. Bet it won't budge.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

P.S.

Was in Costco last week and there was a guy there demonstrating LG's and selling them substantially cheaper. The new ladder is a helluva lot lighter, the latching mechanism is now changed; it's a lever instead of a ring you pull out and there are four, not two, locking pins at the top on each side. No sloppiness. I damned near bought one.

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The video does serve some purpose - how to make your ladder slip.

When I was learning to drive, it was fun and educational to see how fast you could turn a corner on a dirt road before you went into a spin - same principle.

BTW, I always leave my sound turned off for those Utube blurbs.

Dragging the little time button forward speeds the thing up, so you can skip to the chase.

I've said this before. The Jaws ladder is much stiffer, because of the tapered knuckle joint.

I had to use the Jaws with the top section while I was in vehicle transition, and I was reminded that the flare at the top really adds to the sideways movement of your weight when you go to get back on from the side. A bungy cord really helps there.

Some guys prefer to step over the top when using an LG, with just one rung above the gutter. I understand why. No, it's not for me. If you use that method, there are handle extensions that would help, but again, bungy the gutter, or use Mike's Visegrips clamp method.

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All ladders are dangerous, some more dangerous than others.

That whole thing of leaning back off a ladder is a good idea, but I'd still not trust my butt to it.

I have a nylon tie down that I use with a stake in the ground, or if it's hardscape, I run it to a door, or something. Gotta have a tie off. If it's bone dry and I can jam the feet into the did, OK, but anything other than that, it gets tied off.

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I've probably posted this before, but it's the best way I know of to pin the top of a ladder in place. It makes the ladder rock solid.

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Jim,

If the ladder slips out from under you, won't the combined weight of you and that ladder yank that clamped gutter halfway off the building or perhaps tear it clean off the building and you'll go down anyway?

I have a little trick I use for my LG knockoff when I'm going from a sloped roof to an upper roof. I take the heavy nylon cargo strap that I use to strap my ladders down in the bed of my truck and I loop it around the bottom rung of my ladder with a half hitch at the junction of both stiles and bottom rung and anchor both ends to an interior window sill or close and lock the window over knotted ends in the strap so that the bottom won't/can't kick out.

I can think of one time I wished I'd used something similar at ground level. Maybe a couple of driven stakes like Kurt's idea or hook the ends of the strap on the bottom of a closed overhead door. Need to ponder this a little more.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I've probably posted this before, but it's the best way I know of to pin the top of a ladder in place. It makes the ladder rock solid.

Click to Enlarge
tn_2011103235729_021115-007.jpg

73.34 KB

Jim,

If the ladder slips out from under you, won't the combined weight of you and that ladder yank that clamped gutter halfway off the building or perhaps tear it clean off the building and you'll go down anyway?

No. I've had the bottom kick out a few times and each time, the gutter held solidly.

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The vise grip thing works pretty good; I used to do it until I lost the grips.

I may have to get another pair.

I like Scott's method for setting up on a deck; jam a wedge between the deck boards.

I still like tieing off similar to what Mike described best of all. The vise grip combined with a tie off makes it pretty good.

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