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28' vs 32' ext ladder


John Dirks Jr
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I have an aluminum 32' ladder. I can just barely handle it on my own.

One problem I have is setting the feet on a hard surface like a concrete sidewalk. I'm not quite tall enough (5-11) to walk my hands up the rungs to get it standing on the house. What happens is, the feet kick out.

When I set the feet on the lawn, they don't slide out and I can get it done alone.

Now, in every case that I have used my 32' ladder, a 28' could have also done the job. I'm thinking about trading my 32' for a 28'. I believe I could handle the 28' much better while working alone.

What do you think of the idea of swapping to the shorter 28 footer?

How many situations to you think I'll run across that the 32' would have done the job but a 28' not?

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I have an aluminum 32' ladder. I can just barely handle it on my own.

One problem I have is setting the feet on a hard surface like a concrete sidewalk. I'm not quite tall enough (5-11) to walk my hands up the rungs to get it standing on the house. What happens is, the feet kick out.

When I set the feet on the lawn, they don't slide out and I can get it done alone.

Now, in every case that I have used my 32' ladder, a 28' could have also done the job. I'm thinking about trading my 32' for a 28'. I believe I could handle the 28' much better while working alone.

What do you think of the idea of swapping to the shorter 28 footer?

How many situations to you think I'll run across that the 32' would have done the job but a 28' not?

The 28' is a good size and should be a little easier to handle, but only you know if it will work for the houses you typically inspect. I would suspect it would.

You and I are about the same size and I used to handle 40' by myself. I'm not bragging, but I was taught how to carry and set-up a ladder.

One tip I have for you is that it's always easier to manage a ladder if you are carrying it vertically. I would use the street curb as a footing to walk my ladder up to the vertical position, then carry it to the building. If low power lines or other obstacles were between my vehicle and the building, then I would carry it horizontally and find some other stationary "curb" by the building to straighten it up. That should keep the feet from kicking out on you and save you some $$$ on a new ladder.

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For about 17 years, I'd be headin' down to Philadelphia for 2-4 appointments each week. A 32' was absolutely necessary. I was starting to hurt myself standing it up in tight places. I'm your height but thinner. On windy days, I have to put bricks in my pockets when going 30' up.

I never set up a ladder like you described. I set the side of one foot on the ground while holding one rail, like it's a pole-vault

Since moving 7 years ago, I no longer go to that city. I'll occasionally be in some local smaller cities, but there's usually access to rear additions to pull up a smaller ladder so I carry a 28' now for the "big" ladder. There has only been 2 roofs that I couldn't reach since switching.

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I have an aluminum 32' ladder. I can just barely handle it on my own.

One problem I have is setting the feet on a hard surface like a concrete sidewalk. I'm not quite tall enough (5-11) to walk my hands up the rungs to get it standing on the house. What happens is, the feet kick out.

When I set the feet on the lawn, they don't slide out and I can get it done alone.

Now, in every case that I have used my 32' ladder, a 28' could have also done the job. I'm thinking about trading my 32' for a 28'. I believe I could handle the 28' much better while working alone.

What do you think of the idea of swapping to the shorter 28 footer?

How many situations to you think I'll run across that the 32' would have done the job but a 28' not?

The 28' is a good size and should be a little easier to handle, but only you know if it will work for the houses you typically inspect. I would suspect it would.

You and I are about the same size and I used to handle 40' by myself. I'm not bragging, but I was taught how to carry and set-up a ladder.

One tip I have for you is that it's always easier to manage a ladder if you are carrying it vertically. I would use the street curb as a footing to walk my ladder up to the vertical position, then carry it to the building. If low power lines or other obstacles were between my vehicle and the building, then I would carry it horizontally and find some other stationary "curb" by the building to straighten it up. That should keep the feet from kicking out on you and save you some $$$ on a new ladder.

Can you describe the proper vertical carry method?

I can see that whatever resources you happen to use to set it up, such as a curb to get it into the vertical position, will be needed to safely get it back to horizontal. Ever have your resource blocked making it challenging to get it flat again?

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Can you describe the proper vertical carry method?

I can see that whatever resources you happen to use to set it up, such as a curb to get it into the vertical position, will be needed to safely get it back to horizontal. Ever have your resource blocked making it challenging to get it flat again?

Bend at your legs and grab one of the lower rungs with your dominant hand then reach up with your other hand and grab another rung. Lift and walk.

You can lean it back into your shoulder for additional support but be careful not to tip it back too far or you'll lose it.

To bring the ladder back to horizontal I would walk it to my truck's rear bumper. Using my ladder rack as a pivot point I would simply lift from the bottom until my ladder was at horizontal. Of course that was with my old pick-up truck and wouldn't do well with my SUV.

You can always find something to use as a block. A fence, a tree, a post, a stair, your vehicle tire...there all over the place.

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For about 17 years, I'd be headin' down to Philadelphia for 2-4 appointments each week. A 32' was absolutely necessary. I was starting to hurt myself standing it up in tight places. I'm your height but thinner. On windy days, I have to put bricks in my pockets when going 30' up.

I never set up a ladder like you described. I set the side of one foot on the ground while holding one rail, like it's a pole-vault

Since moving 7 years ago, I no longer go to that city. I'll occasionally be in some local smaller cities, but there's usually access to rear additions to pull up a smaller ladder so I carry a 28' now for the "big" ladder. There has only been 2 roofs that I couldn't reach since switching.

Bill,

What are the characteristics of those buildings in Philly that demanded a 32 for access? Are we talking about 3 full stories above ground?

I.E. 8 x 3 = 24 feet thus requiring the 32?

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Many, many three story.

If two story:

-Foundation extends well above grade - 4 to 7 steps up to the entrance.

-Tall ceilings.

-Mansard roof on the facade that extends well above the flat roof behind. A 28 just gets you to the bottom edge of the mansard.

-Most have no access to rear of property.

-If there is an alley behind, the electric utility cables run across the rear roof edges of all the homes.

I don't miss going down there at all.

078_SpruceHill.jpg

009_Woodland.jpg

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tn_20104206104_32plus.jpg

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I make that 7 short ladies to the top of the parapets. I don't think even a 32 footer would get you there. I know it wouldn't work for me. Just the thought of trying gives me vertigo.

Me too. Thats what my Nikon Monarchs are for[:-eyebrow

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I never set up a ladder like you described. I set the side of one foot on the ground while holding one rail, like it's a pole-vault

I just can't picture how that's done - or why. Does the foot grip the ground better?by digging its side in?

John, If you can barely handle the 32 footer on your own, it's probably not a good idea to use it as your primary ladder. Instead of trading it for a 28', why not keep it, buy a 24' to use as your primary ladder, and load up the 32' only when it might be needed?

When I started out, I carried a 24 footer, along with Little Giant models 17 & 22, but when I got T-boned in my pickup truck and switched to a mini van, I sold the 24 footer. A LG model 26 replaced the 24' ladder, but it stays in the garage most of the time.

I usually check out houses ahead of the inspection by looking at them in the birds eye view at http://www.bing.com/maps/ . If I have a house with a roof that I can't access from lower roofs, I stick my LG model 26 in the van. If you think setting up a 32' is a bear, try extending that LG to it's full length of 23' while on the ground, THEN standing it up. I can barely do it, but the feet definitely need to be wedged against something solid. I only use it once or twice a year.

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Bunch of way behind the technology curve wimps!

Gotta get with the times.

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I dunno. What if the dang thing putters halfway up a 3 story? Doesn't that thing cook his backside?

Marc

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Here's a pic I found on Google.

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My 32' is at my sister's house. I only use it if a helper comes with me. Those things were heavy when i was young. Set the feet against something sturdy like the base of the house and walk it straight up. You have to carry it straight up plumb and it better not be windy. If the top starts to tip it's "Oh Mommy" time.

I can reach nearly every roof with my 24'. If I can't, I use binoculars and disclaimers.

Carey's cartoon is hilarious.

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