How to Choose between Fiberglass, Wood and Aluminum Ladders

Whether you run a small handyman business or a large construction crew, you will need ladders to get the job done. However, ladders are deceptively complex tools that we often make the mistake of not choosing carefully. Read through the post to know how to choose in between fiberglass, wood, and aluminum ladders.

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What Will You Use It for?

Of course, the very first consideration is supposed to be the ladder’s intended purpose. For example, aluminum ladders last longer than wood and fiberglass, they can handle a lot more weight on them than either of the two alternatives, and it is an easy material to engineer into extensions.

At the same time, they are not ideal for electrical work since aluminum is a good conductor of electricity. Both wood and fiberglass ladders, on the other hand, are better options for electrical work, with fiberglass being the safest option by far. Therefore, choose your ladder based on what you intend to do with it, making sure that the material is not in direct or indirect conflict with the ladder’s intended purpose.

What is Your Budget?

Budget management is critical to ensure that you don’t end up endangering the lives of those working under you. Fiberglass ladders are the cheapest, but they are unsuitable for bearing heavy loads and making multi-hinge ladders. Wood and preferably aluminum ladders would be better. Cheap ladders are not ideal, so cut down on the size if you must but do not compromise on the quality. Consider how often you need extra-long, extendible ladders. If you do not need them too often, borrowing or renting a ladder for a few hours can be more cost-effective.

What is the Ladder’s Weight Rating?

The person climbing a ladder should not weigh equal to or more than the ladder’s rated weight capacity. What that means is, if you are climbing an aluminum ladder rated at 200lbs, you should not weigh more than 180lbs – 185lbs at the heaviest. This includes not just your own bodyweight, but the total weight you are carrying while climbing it. The weight of the toolbox and other materials with you must also be factored in.

it is better to buy a higher capacity ladder than you think might be necessary than to end up in a precarious situation. 250lbs – 300lbs is ideal for most people, but not everyone. Between fiberglass, aluminum and wood, heavier people are safer on high-quality wood and aluminum ladders. However, for super heavyweight individuals, steel ladders are a better fit because they are stronger than both aluminum and wood. Unfortunately, they can be a lot more expensive as well.

Aside from the materials themselves, there is also the type and engineering to consider. For example, short step ladders bring their functionality due to the design itself, and not as much the choice of material. Always be careful while buying ladders, even if you are not the one who will be climbing them. A slip and fall accident can lead to injury, death, suspension of work, heavy fines, and expensive lawsuits.

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