How To Transport A Ladder Without A Roof Rack?

Ladders are hard to manage since they are bulky, uncomfortable, and unwieldy. If not adequately secured, they can be highly dangerous. As a result, carrying a ladder by car seems to be difficult, particularly if you don’t have a roof rack. So, how to transport a ladder without a roof rack?

The step-by-step guide on this page will answer you’re questions. Just remember- whatever method you choose, make sure the ladder is well fastened when you transport it. Consider the risk of the ladder to fall from your truck and into the direction of other people, which can cause serious troubles.

So, in order to assist you in correctly carrying a ladder without a roof rack, let’s go through all of the simple and quick steps in this article.

Quick Overview:

  • You will need strong cords for properly securing the ladder on your car’s roof.
  • Make sure to have soft materials like foam and blankets to protect your car from scratches from the ladder.
  • Properly read the overhanging regulations law of your state before transporting a ladder on the roof of your car.
  • Additional items like Lockable Ladder Attachment make carrying a ladder easier without a roof rack.

Can You Transport A Ladder Without A Roof Rack?

Moving a ladder, particularly a large and heavy ladder, might be difficult. Because ladders rarely fit in car trunks unless you own a pickup truck or van. So, you will need to put the ladder on your vehicle’s rooftop.

However, if your car doesn’t have a roof rack, then the process becomes more difficult. Nonetheless, carrying a ladder without a roof rack is possible by following a few easy methods.

How To Transport A Ladder Without Roof Rack

In this step-by-step guide, I will show you how to carry a ladder without a roof track. You should always follow proper safety precautions if you need to transport your ladder for gutter cleaning or anything else.

How To Transport a Ladder Without a Roof Rack

Hence, make sure to follow each of these steps very carefully to avoid any safety risks.

Step 1: Ladder Size

The first phase in carrying a ladder is to make sure it won’t exceed the roof level of your vehicle. This is critical since you wouldn’t want this huge, lengthy thing hanging out from the car’s roof while driving.

However, this isn’t always possible because some ladders are too long for your car’s roof. If this is the case, driving with the ladder will need extreme caution.

Step 2: Fold The Ladder

Make sure your extendable ladder is folded correctly and the lock system is totally secured before starting the moving procedure.

Also, carefully examining the ladder for grease, filth, or any other sticky materials is necessary. If everything seems good, you can proceed.

Fold The Ladder

Step 3: Balancing the ladder

You must take specific measures to protect your car and also the ladder. Soft things must be positioned midpoint of the ladder’s length because you are transporting your ladder without a roof rack.

Placing soft materials like foam and other stuff will protect your automobile from scratches while also balancing the ladder on the roof. This will balance out each and every piece of heavy goods on both sides. Thick pillows and blankets can also be used.

Step 4: Securing the ladder

This is the most critical step, and you should be extra cautious while doing this.

As your car roof doesn’t have a rack, you should get some solid cords for holding your ladder in place. Remember to pick cords that are strong enough to support your ladder’s weight and keep it in place.

Securing the ladder

Take a few moments to double-check that the ladder was secured and positioned in accordance with the legal criteria for hanging weights on cars from between the front and back sides.

It is essential to fasten both edges of the ladder for transport so that it would not slip or shift about within your car.

Use two ropes to tie down each side if feasible. Furthermore, make absolutely sure the rope does not come into direct touch with any part of the ladder, as this might cause harm.

Step 5: Covering the ladder

We are already done securing the ladder on top of your car roof; you are now ready to transport it. But this final step is to ensure extra safety for other people on the road and your vehicle.

You will need a mat which can be made of rubber or heavy fabrics. Then you should use this mat to cover your ladder. This additional matt coating is a good way to protect your ladder from scuff marks.

Furthermore, if you’re moving a very heavy ladder, you should use plywood to protect the top of the ladder.

Some Alternatives to Carry Your Ladder Without a Roof Rack

There are few other methods to maintain your ladders without a roof rack. You can also follow these methods if they seem more accessible to you.

  • Carrying in Vehicle Floor: When carrying short ladders that may be stored within your vehicle, just place them on the vehicle’s flooring. This strategy, however, is not exceptionally safe and should only be used for short distances.
  • Using Lockable Ladder Attachment: A lockable ladder attachment is available if you are willing to pay some money. This ingenious tool mounts to the back of your car, allowing you to carry your ladder quickly and comfortably everywhere.
  • Using Trailer: You may simply attach the ladder to a trailer and transfer it without a roof rack. This is a fantastic alternative if you regularly need to transport your ladder. This is also useful when you need to carry many ladders on a frequent basis.

Safety Tips You Should Follow While Transporting A Ladder Without Roof Rack

So far, we have learned how we can transport a ladder without a roof track. Now we will discuss some quick tips that you can follow to make your transport smoother.

Additional Safety Tips While Transporting A ladder Without Roof Rack 

  • Properly Fold the Ladder:

Before placing the ladder at the top of your car roof, properly fold the ladder and also engage all the locking systems. So, they don’t open up in the middle of the road.

  • Get a Helping Hand:

Raising the ladders over onto the roof of your truck should be done with caution. You may require a second helping hand to move a large ladder into place. Don’t attempt a two-person task by yourself; instead, be cautious and enlist assistance if required.

  • Look for Rattling Sound:

If you hear any rattling from the top of your car, you must stop your car somewhere and adequately check if any of the cords that you used to secure the ladder came out loose.

  • Use Soft Foam:

To preserve your car’s paintwork and to balance the ladder, insert anything soft like a cushion or thick blankets between the ladder and the roof.

Legal Rules That You Need To follow While Transporting a Ladder

The states of the USA have an overhanging rule which you must follow while transporting a ladder on your car roof.

  • Overhanging exceeds 3 meters-

 If this occurs, you must notify the police within two working days, and you cannot transfer the ladder without authorization.

  • 2–3-meter Overhanging-

In the event of a 2-3 m overhang, just place a backside marker sign.

  • Overhanging by 1-2 meters-

In this instance, you must make the overhanging ladder apparent to other road users. You can choose any brightly-colored material or high-vis garment that can be seen by other road users from a fair distance.


I do not recommend you to transport ladders without roof racks, but it is possible if you take the right measures. So, today we covered all of the techniques for simply transporting ladders without a roof rack.

However, make sure to adhere to the state’s overhanging rules and regulations, or you might face harsh consequences. Not following these regulations can cause penalties and even jail sentences in some cases.

You should also focus on the type of cords you are using to secure the ladder on your car’s roof, as they must be solid and strong enough to carry this extra weight tightly.

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