Confused about what ladder height you need? This article about the ladder height chart and calculator will help you find the perfect ladder!
Find the right ladder for your work is a tricky job. You need to consider many different factors like the required working height, standing height of the ladder, and the type of work the ladder will be used for.
Ladder Height Charts
Let’s look into hieght chart of differennt types of ladders.
These charts show ladder heights and their maximum reach, along with some recommended ladders that you can buy in those height category.
Step Ladder Height Chart
Little Giant Step Ladder
Flip-N-Lite Step Ladder
Hailo Step Ladder
LG 6-10Ft Step Ladder
Louisville 12Ft Step Ladder
Werner 16Ft Step Ladder
* The highest standing level on a step ladder is at least 3-4 steps from the top.
Straight Ladder Height Chart
This chart is applicable for single ladders as well as telescopic ladders.
Louisville Ladder 6Ft
Louisville 12Ft Ladder
Werner 16Ft Ladder
Extension Ladder Height Chart
Louisville Ladder FE3216
Werner D1120 Ladder
Louisville Ladder 3022-24PT
Louisville Ladder L-3022-28PT
Werner D6232 Ladder
Louisville Ladder FE3240
* Height to the gutter is the highest standing level where the person can stand on the ladder comfortably
How To Calculate Required Height Of Ladder For Any Work
When it comes to calculating the required height of a ladder, you need to consider various factors.
Extension ladders do have some overlap and it needs to be taken into consideration.
For example, 16 feet ladder can only reach a maximum height of 14-15 feet, since there is an overlap between the base and the fly section.
The next thing to consider is the angle at which the ladder rests on the wall.
You cannot rest the ladder upright as it needs to be used at an angle.
The next thing is the highest level and the safest option is to stand a few rungs from the top of the ladder.
Take, for example, if you want to reach 13 feet, then you may require a 16′ ladder that is set up at a 4:1 / 75-degree pitch.
For example, if you need a maximum reach of around 25 feet, and let’s say you have an extension ladder at your disposal, then how would you calculate the ladder height needed:
Maximum Reach Required – 25 feet
Ladder to be used – Extension ladder
Now, let us look at the same extension ladder height chart above:
Height to Gutter
9 – 13 feet
13 – 27 feet
17 – 21 feet
For a maximum reach of 23-27 feet, you can see the ladder height required is 28 feet.
Hence for reaching a height of 25 feet, you need a ladder height of 28 feet.
Types Of Ladders And Their Uses
Even though the primary purpose of a ladder is to reach places that you cannot usually reach on your own, all ladders are not the same.
Below, we’ll cover the various types of ladders, their uses, and how to choose the right ladder/height for your requirements.
Step ladders are mostly used in households that allow people to reach for a place that is usually couldn’t be reached by themselves.
These ladders generally come in an A-frame model equipped with spreaders that assist in locking both sides of the ladder in a proper position.
And the steps are found only on one side, but there are also ladders available in the market with steps on both sides of the ladder.
Step ladders are an excellent choice for homemakers as they provide better support than traditional ladders.
These kinds of ladders are mainly used indoors for repair and cleaning works or small household works.
Unlike conventional ladders that are very unstable unless placed in the right position.
Step ladders are fixed in length and come with a non-adjustable design and are generally portable.
Even some ladders come with wheels for easy portability.
Step ladders are mainly preferred because they can be used on all kinds of surfaces and they are self-supported.
Advantages of Step Ladders:
- Two persons can use the double-sided or the twin step variants simultaneously
- Can be used on all kind of surfaces
- Can be used for all type of tasks
- Self-supported and portable
Since they are stable and self-supported, you are free to use both hands in your work.
Another widely used type of ladder is the extension ladder. Unlike the step ladders that are self-supported, these ladders need some support for stability.
These ladders are mainly used in warehouses and industries where there is work involved in greater heights.
Extension ladders generally have two sections and allow you to increase the length according to your requirements.
The part of the ladder is the base and the other section is the fly part.
The base should be placed in the ground all the time whereas the fly section can be moved up and down.
Unlike step ladders, extension ladders can be used by only a single person at a given time.
The fly section is easily moveable as all you need to do is slide it up and down.
Once you reach the desired height, there are locks available that prevent the fly section from sliding further upwards or downwards.
In some large extension ladder designs, there is also a rope and a pulley system attached that allows pulling the ladder easily.
The base of the ladder comes with a pivoted-feet which provides the needed stability for the ladder and can be adjusted to different angles.
When it comes to extension ladders, it requires a stable surface for better support.
When compared to step ladders, extension ladders are generally larger in size, which makes them an excellent choice for outdoor works like painting or cleaning tall buildings.
Advantages of Extension Ladders:
- With extension ladders, it is easy to reach even high places like roofs and ceilings
- They are also portable and can be carried effortlessly around the work area and anywhere needed
Another ladder variant is the telescopic ladder, and as the name implies, these ladders can be folded when not in use.
Hence, these ladders won’t need a lot of storage space and can be easily carried along wherever you want.
These ladders have large steps unlike other types of ladders.
This ladder comes very handy inside smaller workplaces where you can’t find a wall in the middle of the room, but you need to change the light bulb.
Most of these folding ladders can primarily hold a maximum capacity of 250-300 pounds.
Unlike other traditional ladders, the base of the folding ladder is quite broad and hence provides greater stability and support.
Advantages of Folding Ladders:
- Easy to carry around in the workplace
- Easily store under the bed or inside the closet
- Larger steps
- Broader base
Find more telescopic ladders here. (Link to Amazon)
Next on our list of ladder types is the platform ladder. These ladders are fixed and cannot be adjusted, but they are self-supported.
These ladders also come with a platform on top.
There are also handrails present for added support. It comes with a hinged design and can be used by a single person.
These ladders are available in different heights and hence you can choose a ladder height that suits your requirements.
When compared with other ladders, the platform ladders provide more support and stability to the user.
Usually standing on a ladder gives a bit of discomfort for anyone climbing on the ladder for the first time, but with a platform ladder, it is not the case.
There is a top rail that stands almost 2-feet higher than the top platform providing the added security and comfort to the person standing on the ladder.
Advantages of Platform Ladders:
- Self-supported design
- Highly Stable
- Contains a platform on top along with handrails for support
- Perfect for long hours of work
As the name suggests, these ladders are versatile and can be utilized for various tasks.
These ladders are not fixed and hence can be adjusted in multiple positions according to your requirements.
These ladders can be used as extension ladders, step ladders, or platform ladders.
Advantages of Multipurpose Ladders:
- A single ladder can be used for various jobs
- Saves a lot of money from buying different ladders for different jobs
- Reduces storage space to a large extent as a single ladder replaces the space of multiple ladders
Safety Tips When Working On Height
When it comes to ladder safety, Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) has provided safety guidelines for using ladders. Some of them are mentioned below:
- The first thing you need to do before using a ladder is to inspect to check if it is in working condition.
- Better avoid metal ladders when working near power lines
- Be careful about the maximum load capacity of the ladder and never try to outrun it
- Always the climb the ladder facing towards the ladder
- It is recommended to maintain a 3-point contact at all times except when you are using a platform ladder
- Better avoid carrying the tools in your hands and use a tool belt instead
- Avoid over-reaching.
- Avoid using ladders in extreme weather conditions
- Wear slip-resistant shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the 4:1 when choosing a ladder height?
The 4:1 ratio is that for every 4 feet you need to reach, you need to leave at least 1-feet from the wall.
So, if you need a maximum reach of 12 feet, then the ladder needs to be placed at least 3 feet from the wall.
What is the topmost safety rule that needs to be followed when climbing a ladder?
The topmost safety rule to be followed when climbing a ladder is to maintain a 3-point contact (two feet and one hand) all the time.
It may not be necessary when you are using a platform ladder.
What are the different load capacity ratings of ladders?
The load capacity is nothing but the maximum weight the ladder can handle. Ladders have various load capacity rating which includes:
Type IAA ladders – 375 pounds.
Type IA ladders – 300 pounds.
Type I ladders – 250 pounds.
Type II ladders – 225 pounds.
Type III ladders – 200 pounds.
What is the most common reason for ladder accidents?
One of the most common reasons for ladder accidents is people trying to outrun the maximum reach of the ladder.
We hope that the above article about the ladder height chart and calculator has provided you with all the information you needed to choose the right kind of ladder height that suits your requirements.
Please post your comments and suggestions in the feedback section below.