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How to Choose a Set of Telescopic Ladders?

If you are a person who is constantly, or even occasionally involved in some domestic or commercial DIY projects, chances are that you use ladders quite a lot. Telescopic ladders are arguably the most convenient types of ladders that you could use for such projects. Even so, it pays to get the best choice of telescopic ladders. Not only will you get the most out of you ladder performance wise but also you will have to worry less about safety issues involving the use of ladders. Having said that, it is important for you to get yourself the best ​telescopic ladder you can get. This article is all about pointing you in the right direction on how to choose a set of telescopic ladders.

Know Your Needs

The first thing you should do before choosing a set of telescopic ladders is to know your needs. Telescopic ladders come in different variants; we have the multipurpose ones and those meant for specific tasks such as loft access, interior and exterior painting, window cleaning, hedge trimming and decoration among others. It is hard to go a couple of months without needing a ladder. I’m sure it is not going to be for the same purpose every time you require a ladder, which means the more the purposes your telescopic ladder can serve the better.

What Size is Your Storage Space?

Secondly, you should know how much room you’ve got for tools in your house. Telescopic ladders are designed to economize on storage space. Even so, it is worth noting that they come in varying folded dimensions. Choose the set whose size you are most comfortable with to avoid compromising on your storage space.

Maximum Height and Weight Capacity

Something else you need to pay attention to when choosing a set of telescopic ladders is the maximum height when fully extended and its weight capacity. These are two of the essential considerations one needs to make to avoid getting the wrong set of telescopic ladders. If you are getting one mainly for indoor tasks, anything around three meters can do but if you intend to use it for outdoor projects, then the bigger the height the better. However, be careful with telescopic ladders with too high maximum heights because the stability of the ladder tends to decrease with increase in height. While maximum weight capacity is an issue of concern, it is worth noting that a significant number of telescopic ladders are quite flexible with this as most of them have a weight capacity that is above 300lbs.

What’s Your Budget?

The cost of the telescopic ladder should be the other thing influencing your choice. This is a sensitive consideration as most buyers look for bargains. Although a lower price tag may sound like a bargain for your purchase, it is not always the case. Sometimes it is an indication that the set of telescopic ladders has a lower quality than others in the market. Therefore, get one that is of reasonable quality and within your budget to avoid disappointments in the future.

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How to Use Telescopic Ladders?

The telescopic ladder is an important equipment that comes in particularly handy for DIY projects both indoors and outdoors. Buying the correct telescopic ladder is one thing and using it correctly is a whole new different thing altogether. Although this equipment comes with an instruction manual, it is still surprising that some people cannot wrap their heads around the correct usage of telescopic ladders. They still make small mistakes out of negligence which could cause unbelievable damage. There are lots of benefits that come with using your telescopic ladder correctly. This is why we think it is so important that you knew how to use it so that that you do not miss out on any of them. This article shares some crucial information on how to use telescopic ladders.

Preparing to Use the Telescopic Ladder

Understanding how to use your telescopic ladder is the prerequisite for a successful DIY project involving heights. Given the risks involved in climbing up ladders, it is absolutely crucial that you know your way around a telescopic ladder.

Familiarize yourself with all the safety features of the ladder before you start using it. An important preparation protocol is ensuring that the locking mechanism is engaged before climbing the ladder.

Setting Up the Ladder for Use

Follow these steps when extending the telescopic ladder to use it.

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    Release the strap securing the retracted ladder.
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    Position the ladder in an upright orientation ready for use.
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    Step on the bottom rung to hold the ladder firm in place.
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    Take out the top rung’s connector using both of your hands.
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    Pull up each rung to its full extension and ensure that the locking mechanism is engaged before trying to extend the next rung.
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    Repeat this for several steps until you reach the desired height.
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    Avoid stepping on the topmost rung.

There are certain things that you need to avoid during the actual use of the telescopic ladder. First, never try to adjust the rungs while using the ladder because this would tamper with the locking mechanism of the ladder. Secondly, ensure that the ladder rests on a clean floor and lastly, never boost the height by placing objects under the ladder. Observing these precautions when using your ladder will help you avoid lots of risks and have a smooth experience using your telescopic ladder.

Retracting the Telescopic Ladder

Once you are done using the ladder, you will need to fold it ready for storage. This is yet another task that you need to be extra careful to avoid injuries. The most common precaution here is to avoid placing your hands between the rungs when retracting the telescopic ladder. The following steps should be followed when folding your telescopic ladder after use.

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    Hold the ladder by the couplings beneath the rung and ensuring the latches are active.
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    Place your thumb on the lock buttons you want to exclude with the rest of your hand placed under the coupling.
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    Putting the rest of your hand over the locking mechanism may result in it being stuck.
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    Push the lock buttons simultaneously inside (one another), as the upper stage drops.
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    Repeat this for each step until all the rungs have collapsed.

Once you have retracted the ladder, secure it with a strap ensuring that it is tightly fastened. Also, you hand should be positioned on the outside of the ladder to avoid accidentally opening and injuring the user and damaging the ladder.

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Maintenance of Your Telescopic Ladder

Caring for your telescopic ladders is an essential practice which ensures that you get optimum performance while at the same time ensuring that you do not invalidate its warranty. Although every telescopic ladder manufacturer specifies the maintenance procedures in the instructions manual, most of them are similar. This is because most telescopic ladders are either made of an Aluminium material or have an Aluminium finish. The fact that a telescopic ladder comprises of moving parts makes it extremely important to keep it clean and dry before storing. Here are the things you should and shouldn’t do to care for your telescopic ladder.

You Will Need

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    Damp piece of cloth
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    Dry cloth
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    Silicone-based furniture polish
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    Silicone spray

What to Do

Use a damp piece of cloth to wipe off excess dirt from the ladder and dry it using a dry cloth. Sometimes the ladder may be too wet to be dried by a dry cloth alone. In such circumstances, use a silicone spray to dry the ladder. The spray ensures that all the hard to reach sections of the ladder are sprayed and dried prior to storing it.

Sometimes the rungs of the ladder may become stiff in a way that affects the smooth process of retracting and extending the telescopic ladder. When this happens, apply a silicone-based furniture polish to the stiles.

The thin wax coating of the polish will smoothen the up and down movement of the rungs thus making it easy and effortless to retract and extend the ladder.

When using the ladder, always be careful with its position. Make sure that the vertical tubing of the stiles are not pressed any concrete because this will accelerate the process of wear and tear.

Doing this will expose the telescopic ladder to rusting agents because it wears off the Aluminium finish on the surface of the ladder. It is both a safety and maintenance precaution to always ensure that the ladder’s plastic couplings rest at the top against a vertical or horizontal surface.

What Not to Do

It is important to always resist the temptation to use your telescopic ladder as a plank in the horizontal position. This weakens the stiles as well as the mechanisms of the ladder and would compromise its stability and hence its safety. Secondly, do not use the telescopic ladder as a fire rescue ladder because this would mean that you will have to open it vertically downwards yet its design does not support this kind of mechanism. The downward force is just too much for the pins of the ladder.

The third thing you should stay away from attempting is trying to lubricate the rungs with a WD40 lubricant as this would lead to the accumulation of more dirt hence clogging the up and down mechanism of the telescopic ladder. Lastly, you should never leave you telescopic ladder outside when it is raining. Rusting agents could be present in the rainwater and corrode the telescopic ladder.

Maintaining your telescopic ladder is as simple as following the guidelines stipulated in the instructions manual. It is the sure way to getting prolonged services from your telescopic ladder while at the same time ensuring that you do not invalidate its warranty.

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How to Set Up Your Telescopic Ladders?

Setting up your ​collapsible ladder is a simple yet very important process to guarantee the much-needed safety when climbing up heights. Do it wrong and you are up for some heart-stopping experience. Do it right and you will be glad of what you did. If you plan on using a step ladder or extendable ladder to do either outdoor or indoor DIY tasks, setting up the ladder is the first thing you will have to do. Despite being a simple procedure, it requires some degree of care and background skill on mathematical calculations. Luckily, these skills are readily available and transferable. Therefore, you do not need to be an expert in building and construction to be able to set up a telescopic ladder. Here’s all that’s involved.

Set the Right Angle to Position Your Telescopic Ladder

The first thing you need to do when setting up a ladder is getting the angles right. You do not want a too steep ladder as this would easily tip over backward. Too much angle is not a good set up either as it may result in the ladder’s bottom sliding out thereby causing serious injuries.

Setting the correct angle for your telescopic ladder is so important that you should not let even an obstacle get in your way.

In fact, if there is an obstacle in the position you have identified for the correct angle, you can use alternative angling methods such as scaffolding.

Securing the Base

The base of the ladder needs to be as even as possible. Also, ensure that the feet of the ladder are firm enough not to slip backward when you are climbing. Ensure that the bottom of the ladder is free from any material that could cause it slip. These include sand and dirt. You can do this by sweeping the floor before setting the angle of the ladder. Some models of telescopic ladders come with a detachable base stabilizer. If you are using this type of ladder, ensure that you attach the stabilizer properly and firmly.

Securing the Top of the Ladder

The base is not the only place to secure when setting up the telescopic ladder. Securing the top keeps the ladder from sliding once it rests against the wall. One way to do this is by ensuring that the top rests on an even surface. This can be achieved by using some add-on accessories that are specifically designed to stabilize the top of the ladder. You can use a pair of rubber or soft plastic mitts that can be purchased from any hardware stores.

If you are going to be working on top of the roof, and you intend to be making multiple trips up and down the ladder, it is recommended that you tie the top of the ladder against a solid anchor. This will go a long way in preventing the ladder from sliding sideways every time you step of or onto the roof. It is also recommended to carry all the tools you’ll need in a tool belt. This way, you will use both of your hands when climbing the ladder and avoid shifting your weight to one side.

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Common Faults in Telescopic Ladders

Telescopic ladders are worthy replacements for the traditional ladders in many aspects. Other than being relatively light, these ladders are compact, durable and multipurpose, giving you a wide range of services at no extra cost. Nevertheless, telescopic ladders, just like any other piece of equipment are prone to damages especially when mishandled, poorly maintained or used for the wrong purpose. It is important that you acquaint yourself with the most common faults that telescopic ladders can have. This acquaintance will either help you avoid those circumstances that cause the faults or know how to fix them when they occur. Here are the common faults in telescopic ladders.

Stiff Up And Down Mechanism

The collapsible rungs on ​an extendable ladder are supposed to move freely up and down the stiles when extending and retracting the ladder. Sometimes this does not happen naturally and you might encounter some form of resistance when you try to unfold and fold the ladder. This is one of the most common faults in telescopic ladders and it has two possible causes.

One of the causes is an excess accumulation of dirt. When too much dirt gets into contact with the telescopic ladder, chances are that it will clog the inside of the stiles making it difficult to move the rungs up and down. To solve this problem, you should use a silicone-based furniture polish to spray the stiles of the ladder. This will leave a thin wax coating on the surface which should solve the problem.

The other cause of the stiff up and down movement of the rungs is if you attempt to lubricate the ladder using a WD40 lubricant. 

Faulty Locking Mechanism

This is another serious fault in a telescopic ladder. The lock mechanism holds each rung in position when fully extended. A typical telescopic ladder has 32 locking mechanisms and just one of them getting faulty renders the whole ladder unsafe for use. You should always check your ladder to ensure that each of the locking mechanisms is functional before using it. You will not experience this kind of fault if you buy a high-quality telescopic ladder that complies with EN131 standards.

Unstable Base

This applies to those telescopic ladders that come with a detachable stabilizer base. A fault may occur affecting the stability of the ladder when in use. More often than not, this happens when you use the ladder in its fully extended height. Again, if you get yourself a good quality telescopic ladder from a reputable company, you are likely to never experience this kind of fault unless you exceed the ladder’s maximum weight capacity.

Shaky Telescopic Ladder

This fault occurs mostly in low quality telescopic ladders whereby you experience some squeaks and wavering movements with the ladder, especially when using it in its fully extended height. This fault results from long-term use of a telescopic ladder, which means it is more of a sign of wear and tear than a fault. If you experience it in a new or recently bought ladder, then it is definitely a fault.

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