Telescopic ladders are by far the most low-profile, yet the most versatile type of ladder available right now. Their extraordinary mechanism of work sets them apart from other types. However, oftentimes, that complex mechanism becomes the very reason for greater safety concerns.
Many people (mostly beginners) find it risky to climb on a telescopic ladder, asking, are telescopic ladders safe? Can they be trusted to climb as high as can be with other sturdy types?
Well, yes, telescopic ladders are completely safe. But they need to conform to some standards to be declared safe. If you buy a certified ladder and maintain it properly, it will continue to serve you for years to come.
Let’s discuss telescopic ladders and their working mechanism with a keen eye on how safe they are.
What Is A Telescopic Ladder?
Telescopic ladders work in the same principle as those telescopes our ancestor sailors used to have. They retract from a single cylindrical tube, one after another until shaping to their full forms. You’ll see professionals owning a telescopic ladder, even if they have other ladders at their disposal.
Ease of use and transportation is the reason why telescopic ladders are so popular. Even more, there are ultra-lightweight telescopic ladders that you can carry with one hand like a bag and retract in less than a minute to reach a significant height!
A good telescopic ladder, like the Xtend & Climb 785P+, is made of several sections. As you see in other ladders, there are two main parts here. One is the stiles on both sides, and the other is metal rungs in the middle.
Here’s a Basic Idea of How a Telescopic Ladder Works-
A telescopic ladder is cut into smaller sections. Each section is a bit smaller in diameter so that they can be retracted into the next section of stiles. This allows you to retract the ladder completely to make it more compact when you need to store it.
For using the entire ladder, you can simply pull sections out to stretch the ladder to its full length. But keep in mind, you can’t climb the ladder until you haven’t locked the sections in place.
In some cases, telescoping retractable ladders can come with only one lock for all sections. A safe ladder comes with separate locks for all sections. These types of ladders are safer than the first one because the whole ladder doesn’t get retracted accidentally if the lock is damaged.
Telescopic ladders are getting very popular worldwide for easy storage and carrying features. But you need to be careful before you settle for one. Check thoroughly whether the perfect ladder has all the necessary safety features and conforms to required safety standards.
Are Telescopic Ladders Safe To Use?
Let us reassure that telescopic ladders are safe to use, unless you have a crack or bent at some point. You just need to make sure that you follow all the telescopic ladder safety instructions.
Luisladders Telescopic Ladder or similar ladders are made of high-grade aluminum that is commonly used in the aircraft industry. This ladder’s weight capacity is 300lbs and stretches out a maximum height of 12.5 ft.
But keep one thing in mind. Aluminum telescoping ladders have many moving parts in the construction. Some of these parts are very crucial for the integrity of the ladder. So, if any part is damaged or degraded, you are risking your safety.
Thanks to several standards like ANSI where you will find safety requirements to declare such a quality ladder as safe. For example, all telescopic ladders should have a slow decent technology so that you don’t hurt yourself in the case of an accidental descent or retraction of the ladder.
Also, the locking system should have a clear visual indicator for the user to see whether every section is locked or not. These requirements are essential to ensure the maximum safety of the consumers.
You can also look for EN 131 certification to make sure the aluminum ladders you are buying are safe for use. But remember, it’s better to not use telescopic ladders for electrical work. Try to make sure the ladder you are buying has non slip feet.
Traditional wood ladders or fiberglass ladders are much safer when it comes to electrical works. But in all other cases, telescopic ladders will give you the comfort and durability that no other ladder can.
How To Safely Use A Telescopic Ladder?
Using a telescoping ladder is quite different from using a traditional ladder. Though it is an easy technique to master, you must follow certain rules to use a telescopic ladder safely. Let’s take a quick look at how you can do this.
Before you start using a telescopic extended ladder, give attention to the user’s manual or printed labels. Here are the processes, described in simple terms to help you use your telescopic ladder more efficiently:
Pulling the ladder
Before you use the ladder for the first time, keep these things in mind.
- A retracted ladder might be strapped for safety reasons. Remove the safety strap to use the ladder.
- Place the ladder on a solid surface at 75° angle where you want to use it and climb the ladder safely.
- If the ladder has only one lock, the process will be easier. But if it has lock buttons for each section, you need to lock them separately.
- Pull the next rung out to extend the ladder and engage the lock. Make sure you are doing it right otherwise you can catch accidents.
- Retract the upper rung and pull the next rung out. Do the same process over and over again until you pull the topmost rung out.
- Now you can climb the ladder, but remember to not climb the highest rung for safety reasons.
Retracting the ladder
This is just the opposite process of extending the ladder. Watch these steps.
- After you are done using the ladder, start working from top to bottom.
- Use the thumb button to unlock the mechanism. Don’t retract too quickly, that may trap your fingers. Hold the rung with the other hand and let it go down slowly.
- Always remember to remove your finger from the way of each stile section.
- Do the same process until the whole ladder is retracted to its shortest length.
- Then you can fasten the safety strap to carry or store the ladder.
- Keep the ladder clean after retracting.
The Bottom Line
An extendable telescopic ladder that can be extended and retracted to a precise height can come in handy at times. And now that you know, are telescopic ladders safe or not? Things should be smooth now as you already know, they’er safe.
As long as you are choosing the right ladder with safety certification and maintaining it properly, a telescopic ladder will always be safe.