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Which ladder do I need for my job?

Ladders come in many types and choosing something to suit the job in hand is not always obvious. We have summarised the most common types of ladders and the advantages as well as some common uses.

Extension ladders can reach to heights of up to 12m so are perfect for clearing gutters, decorating walls of a house. These are available in 2 or 3 sections, with 3 section ladders occupying less storage space to achieve the same working height.

Step ladders are free standing, a are available with or without a platform at the top, known as swingback steps or builders steps (without platform). Designed for working for longer periods at height.

Combination ladders can be used as an extension ladder or steps. These are free-standing so you can work doing jobs such as hedge cutting or tree pruning without requiring a wall to lean against

Telescopic ladders are available in various sizes up to 3.8m and can be extended rung-by-rung. They will fit into the boot or a car, so you effectively have an extension ladder that can be stored in the fraction of the space

Multi-Purpose ladders can be configured into a range of positions. So can be used as an extension, platform or step ladder, the often will feature an additional platform, these are really versatile and are an excellent choice if you only have space for one ladder, but need to carry out a wide selection of jobs.

Roof ladders feature a hook to allow the ladder to sit on the roof and are a much better safer option than simply working on the roof. It is fitted with bearer bars to spread the weight when you are on the roof to protect tiles and most importantly to give you something safe to work on.

Hop ups or work platforms as they are often known are designed for use for long periods when you need to work just a little higher than you can comfortably reach. Typically the height will be 50 - 60cm, ideal if you are painting or decorating. These are also available in fibreglass making them suitable for use by electricians or anyone who needs to ensure electrical insulation.

Warehouse steps are designed for use in warehouses; they are larger and more permanent step ladders, typically fitted with wheels to allow you to move them into place. They are available in a large range of sizes, from 2 tread up to 15 tread, making them perfect for stock picking. Typically the platform is also very large and surrounded by a guardrail for safety