If you are a professional constructor, a farmer, or a tradesperson, learning how to transport a ladder is incredibly beneficial. We use cars to ease our movements either to the farms, our places of business, or the construction sites.
As simple as ladders may be, they can pose a higher risk to people’s lives if transportation guidelines are not adhered to. We should consider transport safety so as to;
- Avoid damaging the ladder, which may risk the user’s life.
- Ensure the driver, passengers, and other road users’ safety.
- Protect your car’s paint job.
- Secure the ladder from thieves in traffic or parking areas.
Factors to Consider Before You Transport a Ladder
These are the factors you’d want to consider before transporting your ladder;
- Ease of Transportation
Before carrying your ladder, you should consider the route you would use. Avoid objects and check on other road users’ safety. If there are low-hanging electric power lines, it can pose a higher risk.
- The Traffic Safety
In the United States of America, more than 200 000 road accidents are caused by objects that fall off vehicles’ roof racks. To ease your movement, check on the traffic regulations.
- Type of the Ladder
Ladders are of different lengths and weights depending on their purpose. Before transporting, you should consider the weight and the length of your ladder.
For instance, heavier ladders may damage your car’s roof. Consider using the appropriate vehicle for transportation.
- Appropriate Accessories for Ladder Safety
You may need a ladder rack installed on your vehicle for easy transportation. And after installation, you need ladder clamps or ropes to hold your ladder on the roof firmly.
See also: Ladder paint holder toolstation
- Method of Transport
If you are transporting it for a shorter distance, you may need a person or two people to carry the ladder on their shoulders.
However, if you intend to transport in a vehicle, note some sedan cars do not have roof racks. A vehicle like a pickup truck has a tailgate and better hooking points than passenger cars.
Legal Requirements for Transporting Overhanging Ladders on vehicles
To transport your ladder safely, it’s necessary to understand the traffic regulations to avoid traffic violation tickets. Check the regulations;
- Hanging from the Front
- 0-2 meters: No requirements.
- 2-3.05 meters: Hang a marker on the front and side of the vehicle. You may use a bright red cloth or high-Vis vests.
- Above 3.05 meters: Give notice to the police two working days before transportation. On the transportation, day add marker boards and have an attendant or a co-driver.
- Hanging from the Rear
- 0-1 meter: No requirements.
- 2 meters: Have a clear marker visible to other drivers.
- 3.05 meters: Have a rear marker board to alert other drivers.
- Over 3.05 meters: Inform the traffic police two working days before transportation. Have a marker board and drive with an attendant on the transportation day.
Drive keenly as you listen to any rattling sound from the roof. If any, make a stop at a safe place and properly tie your ladder.
How to Transport a Ladder By Various Means
There are several means you may transport your ladder to your desired destination. They are;
1. Human Transport
You may choose to transport the ladder by yourself if you intend to move it to a nearby area. For this reason, you need to master how to carry a ladder on your shoulder. However, human transport may be limited despite a shorter distance due to weight.
But if possible to carry the ladder, follow the following steps;
Step 1: Hold the ladder on the center of the middle rung for balance. Ensure the bottom faces the right side and the top faces the left side.
Step 2: Lift the ladder to the shoulder. If it’s heavy, have someone to help you lift it.
Step 3: You may choose to lift and lay it on your hip if you get tired of carrying it with your shoulder.
Step 4: If it isn’t possible to carry it on the hip, especially for long distances, tilt it horizontally and lay it on your back. Let it hang lower behind and higher on the front area.
Note, you should be keen not to injure your back. If you intend to carry the ladder with a helper, follow the following guidelines;
Step 1: Lift the ladder on one end to your shoulder and let the other person lift and place it on their shoulder on the other end.
Step 2: The one in front should guide the person in the back by moving slowly and maintaining communication.
Step 3: Be keen to avoid any obstacles and the low-hanging power lines.
2. In a Car Trunk
You are safe from using markers and other traffic requirements when transporting a small ladder. Additionally, you can transport with your car without the extra costs of hiring a pick-up truck to transport for you.
Here are the steps to load;
Step 1: Fold the rear seats of the cars to lie flat and have the front passenger seat slid front to the dashboard.
Step 2: Insert the top of the ladder through the trunk to lay on the back folded seats. Guide it to lie on the passenger seat and ensure it’s safe to ease your driving time.
Step 3: Secure the ladder with a cord or a rope and ensure it’s tight enough not to slide from the back.
Step 4: If the ladder base hangs out of the trunk, hang a red cloth to alert other drivers. It’s also a traffic recommendation.
Step 5: Secure the trunk lid with a cord or a strong rope and drive carefully.
3. On a Vehicle Roof With Ladder Rack
If you’ve been figuring out how to transport a ladder on an SUV, a pickup truck, or a van, you’re about to learn all you need. The content will additionally cover how to tie a ladder on a roof rack with a rope.
Step 1: If you have an extension ladder, ensure it is lowered to minimize the length. A shorter length will be easier to lift and transport.
See also: Proper way to raise an extension ladder
Step 2: If the ladder is heavy, get on the roof rack and have a helper lift from the ground.
Step 3: Hold at the center of the middle rung to maintain balance and lift it above slowly if you are the helper.
Step 4: Lay the ladder on the rack and ensure it’s well balanced. Use the rack clamps or a rope to secure the ladder by ensuring it’s firm enough.
See also: Ladder rack trucks that are removable
4. On a Vehicle Roof Without a Ladder Rack
If you don’t intend to install a ladder rack on your SUV or a van, you can safely transport your ladder on the roof. However, there are extra practices you’ll carry out to ensure safety and protect the car paint job.
Take a look;
Step 1: Place cushioning like a pillow, blanket, or mat on the roof where you intend to lay the ladder.
Step 2: Grip the ladder on the central rung and lift it slowly to lay on your material.
Step 3: Roll down the windows and pass the rope through the back door left window to the left. Run the rope over the ladder and secure it firmly.
Step 4: On the front and rear of the ladder, tie the other two ropes running to the central part to get hold of the crossing rope. This ensures the ladder doesn’t lie lower to the windshield or the rear part.
Occupation Safety and Health Administration Ladder Guidelines
- Don’t move a ladder by dragging it on the ground or the truck bed.
- Be careful with blind corners when transporting a ladder.
- If you’re folding ladder rails together, wrap them with a rope or wire to avoid the two sections separating and causing injuries.
- Lower the extension ladder fly before loading it on the vehicle to shorten the length.
- Never throw the ladder into the truck. Place it carefully to lie flat on the surface.
- When you get to the destination, unload the ladder and inspect any damage before use.
FAQ’s on How to Transport a Ladder
How Do Ladder Stabilizers Work?
Ladder stabilizers give a direct view of the work area, making the work less tiring and easier to carry out.
What is a Ladder Stabilizer Bar?
It’s a horizontal bar at the ladder base pulled outward to keep the ladder from sliding. Some ladders come with stabilizer bars, but you can purchase them separately.
Why is there a Rope on an Extension Ladder?
A rope operates the extension ladder to extend the upper fly or shorten it. The rope runs through a pulley on top and on the bottom to move accordingly.
When lowering the fly to transport a ladder, the rope can ease your job if you’re performing it alone.
References and Citations:
1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Reducing Falls in Construction: Safe Use of Extension Ladders
2. The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: PORTABLE LADDER SAFETY: SUMMARIZING OSHA REQUIREMENTS-THE IMPORTANCE OF LADDER SAFETY https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/AE569