One of the other types of ladder is the A frame. This is a popular type, however, it is not as safe, at great heights, as the extension ladder is. It also can not change heights to enable the same unit to be used for smaller projects and those requiring greater heights. The A frame ladder has its place but it can not do what the extension ladder can do and does not try.
This type of equipment is manufactured using materials such as wood, aluminum and fiberglass. The wood ones are the heaviest, least expensive and, if not maintained properly, will break, mold and rot. Many people like the idea of a natural material for all of their equipment and take care of them for years of use. Many of these are painted various colors to protect them from outside weather conditions.
General purpose extension ladders are made from aluminum. This is a light weight material that resists rust and corrosion. It is also largely immune from the effects of molds and rot. The ability of a large ladder to be carried, fairly easily, by one person, and the ability to carry it on the top of a car, truck or van makes this material generally acceptable.
A very popular material for these items is fiberglass. This is strong and has all of the properties of aluminum. It is light weight and, for the naturalists, it can also be fabricated from recycled materials. It can be painted to present a better image when it becomes scratched or when needed for job or area specialization. It also has a very good characteristic for all of the building trades.
This is the ladder material that is used by all electricians and a large portion of construction companies dealing with general construction. This is partly due to the nature of fiberglass. It does not conduct electricity and, therefore, will insulate the climber from most effects if working on electrical connections.
By using this type of ladder, you have an extension that is firmly channeled to the back of this item. You access the extra length through the use of a pulley at the top of the unit. This allows the section, or sections, to rise to the appropriate height for your needs. It can then be rested on one of the rungs, through the use of an arm that is spring loaded so that it rests firmly for your safety.
A frames are handy when there is a need for a little height. The extension ladder is available for heights above that and can have safety tie offs for various purposes. Since you should not step on the top two rungs of the average A frame, there is a lot wasted height. These will come in two or three section units with additional sections if needed.
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