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Tango

Telescopic ladders

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Tango

Anyone here use one?

 

I bought a 5m folding telescopic one from (dare I say this?) eBay.  It feels solid enough and I'm usually a pretty good judge of engineering stuff (studied it moons ago). Anyhow.. I know this is a problem universal to telescopic ladders.. it bends.

 

I'm not great with ladders anyway - never really have trusted them but had to use one recently - however I need something to get me up on roof tops where the custy doesn't have one and something that i can actually get in the car. Yes I'm happy to upgrade to a roofrack / proper ladders when i can but for the [shortest] time being I'm just looking for advice on using the telescopic. So far i've managed to get up to the 3rd from top rung - when folded and when straight (as in 3rd from lower half). After that I bottle it and just can't bring myself to go any higher. I'm around 80Kgs.

 

Anyone here got one and how do you find it climbing up past the folding joint?

 

Tango

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Pjj

Personally have seen to many accidents with people using them I think they are dangerous, I wouldn’t use one .

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chelmsclean
Posted (edited)

I use an older version of these:

https://www.midlandladders.com/4-rung-little-giant-revolution-xe-p-468

Get me onto flat roofs and use as steps for conservatory's etc.

They've been rock solid, had them 7 years so far. Like most things the ones I bought were USA made and now I think they're made in china.

 

They are very heavy and solid

I wouldn't trust the flimsy ones you can get for £50.

Edited by chelmsclean

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Tango
7 minutes ago, Pjj said:

Personally have seen to many accidents with people using them I think they are dangerous, I wouldn’t use one .

 

Mind if i ask what sort of accidents? - I'm well aware that the clips need to be fully engaged but i'm wondering if any of these ladders have actually snapped or slipped?

 

I should have looked into this before buying really.. but as i keep running into places with extensions... urgh... lol

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CMcB

I use the xtend and climb ones, sturdy, lightweight and very compact! I love them. That being said, you need to really be careful, checking and double checking all the steps are locked before going up. If you get into the habit of that then they are very good. 

This is a video I watched before buying mine that I think answers your question @Tango

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Tango

Interestingly although it did break that cheapest one flexed a lot longer than the other two before it finally gave way and broke.

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Pjj
2 hours ago, Tango said:

 

Mind if i ask what sort of accidents? - I'm well aware that the clips need to be fully engaged but i'm wondering if any of these ladders have actually snapped or slipped?

 

I should have looked into this before buying really.. but as i keep running into places with extensions... urgh... lol

 

 

I know of several people who who thought that the sections had locked in place started climbing it and one side dropped down twisting the ladder sideways and consequently they fell off ,only minor injuries were caused but the potential for far more serious ones exist , I have used one on a couple of occasions years ago but didn’t really feel safe to me then theses accidents happen to to people I know who are very safety conscious and I swore I would never use one again , I would say just be very careful if using one 

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Tango

Must admit I still can't bring myself to climb past the half way point with it fully extended - have tried several times today. In the A frame position I'm just about getting comfortable with it however that ain't gonna do me no good getting on someones extension roof is it. It's also bigger than i thought which means it's still gonna take up space in the astra that i thought I'd have spare - now i wish i'd just gone for the normal solid folding ladders instead. Ah well.. live and learn.. well.. hopefully live lol.

 

On the locks point, I've noticed if you don't extend it right then can be easily missed and don't lock so i cottoned on to that one quite quick.

 

Been watching youtube videos and i still can't find a single person that climbs one fully.

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Tango

Well a progress report here..

 

I'm still cautious of the thing but now I am able to climb past the half way point - folding hinge - up to the 3rd rung above it which puts my head level with the very top of the ladder. It does flex a lot and the base has to be further out than a normal ladder or the top section is almost against the wall leaving no foot, hand or belly space but once you've accepted that and got used to the creaking, flexing and various other things, it's doable. I've got two shot knees so it's still a bit of a struggle mind - a couple of times i thought i was stuck up there when my knee decided to play up lol but I've definitely gone higher than extension roof height.

 

My main concern was what happens getting off it onto the roof.. and back down again. Due to the flex inwards i figured that once off it, it would loose the flex and then getting back on might be interesting. So as sods law has it, the TV decided to play up the other night requiring a loft inspection of the aerial wire - which i then found connected to an aerial (neighbours assured me previous residents never fitted one). Anyway i used it for the loft, to be fair it did well although i stepped back onto it from behind not the front but the flex didn't seem to pose much of an issue climbing back onto it. The hardest part was actually getting the top end up through the loft hatch with the stabiliser bar on it.

 

Still not tried it on a solid surface like tarmac either, just grass in the rear garden (yeah, i know, odd place to learn to use it on slippery grass but an old neighbour tipped me off saying they sink into the mud and then have more resistance against slips - he works on building sites as a joiner).

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Iron Giant

@Tango I think you have a folding ladder it can't be telescopic and be a folding ladder with hinges, do you know the difference 🤪

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High-tower
46 minutes ago, Iron Giant said:

@Tango I think you have a folding ladder it can't be telescopic and be a folding ladder with hinges, do you know the difference 🤪

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5M-Multi-Purpose-Aluminium-Telescopic-Ladder-Extension-Extendable-Ladder-EN131/173948405925?hash=item28802208a5:g:6cYAAOSw2bddF2yA

 

im guessing he has one like this, as it is telescopic and folding.

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Iron Giant
12 minutes ago, High-tower said:

 

Thanks, I wouldn't touch one of them with a barge pole, more at that price a good trade telescopic would be around £150

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Tango
2 hours ago, Iron Giant said:

@Tango I think you have a folding ladder it can't be telescopic and be a folding ladder with hinges, do you know the difference 🤪

 

You'd be amazed at whats available these days matey, as @High-tower says, I have one of those.

Not the easiest tool to master - especially when you're not a natural ladder man but to be fair to it, I'm starting to get the hang of it. It's easier to use as an A-frame rather than a upright ladder but in the upright position it does work reasonably well to be fair - once you've got used to the flexible bending that goes with it.

 

I have weird luck which often works against me.. I kept running into houses where i needed a ladder (not something i like the thought of) and with an astra and no roof rack i needed a creative problem solve - this was it. I desperately needed a ladder as one house after another had windows above something and so with my rotten luck clearly on my tail determined to chase me down, i had to shell out mega money on one. As luck would have it I've barely needed it since. What a waste of good money.. Fate eh?

 

There's a nack to using the thing too. People often complain about releasing the locks and how the ladder then collapses crushing their fingers. Simple answer is to tilt it forward. The friction of the thing then stops it collapsing and you can then lower it with your spare hand which you can freely take off the lower part and place on the upper part as friction keeps it in place. When erecting do it slowly - not straight up like your life depends on it. I do it one step at a time, check each one, try pulling down on the section above to see if either side moves and then wobble it sideways a bit too.  If nothing happens, it's good. Another tip would be to draw over the rungs where lock levers are when it's folded. That way when it's up, the levers cross that line and you can see easily that they've engaged. On the foldong A-frame models, have the release lever ABOVE the metal hinge so that gravity pulls it out of the way of your feet. Don't have it below as it gets in the way, sometimes sits on the rung, etc. Only a matter of time until a foot releases it so with it above the hinge it stays at the bottom of the rung and is pulled forwards out of the way by gravity.

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CliffordMcClain

I tried several times and I am going to buy it for my personal use. I tried to work with my friend's one.

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brianbadonde

I started out with one and quickly kicked it in to touch. Maybe to get up on ground floor flat roofs; anything higher I advise against it. They flex far too much, and are also heavy and awkward getting them extended/collapsed.

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Incheck
Posted (edited)
On 12/06/2019 at 21:38, Pjj said:

 

 

I know of several people who who thought that the sections had locked in place started climbing it and one side dropped down twisting the ladder sideways and consequently they fell off ,only minor injuries were caused but the potential for far more serious ones exist , I have used one on a couple of occasions years ago but didn’t really feel safe to me then theses accidents happen to to people I know who are very safety conscious and I swore I would never use one again , I would say just be very careful if using one 

It’s actually happened to me, luckily i didn’t fall it was a near miss. Was a bit shaken up. I’ve had 3 sets, they dont last forever. They are convenient for me to help get the big ladders off the van, clean conny roofs without a long ladder sticking up in front of my face because the height can be adjusted, and they actually seem sturdier in breezy conditions than my longer ladder. It’s also great for the convenience of not having to pull the big ladder off an navigate it on every other job. I probably shouldn’t be using them after past experiences i’ve been through 3 sets already so i totally back up what you’re saying. They are not like a solid manufactured ladder the mechanisms do eventually fail with wear and tear/i’ve seen rust on them when they come to the end of their time. 

Edited by Incheck

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Shammy Davis Senior
On 12/06/2019 at 21:38, Pjj said:

 

 

I know of several people who who thought that the sections had locked in place started climbing it and one side dropped down twisting the ladder sideways and consequently they fell off ,only minor injuries were caused but the potential for far more serious ones exist , I have used one on a couple of occasions years ago but didn’t really feel safe to me then theses accidents happen to to people I know who are very safety conscious and I swore I would never use one again , I would say just be very careful if using one 

This happened to me. I thought the clips were engaged but they weren’t. No injuries but I never used it again. We’ve got the Little Giant copies from Screwfix. 

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David K

😖Ive heard these ladders being called “ Widowmakers” , tried once and i def dont trust them . But must admit i dont know of any accidents in my area. 

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kevinc250

they are called the widowmakers  @david k, apart from the locking sections not locking/ trapping fingers when you reduce sections theres a very very small amount of surface area on the base that actually touches the floor, I tried these years ago and quickly weighed them in for scrap as I couldn't live with myself if I sold them on.

one day that ladder will collapse on you-i'd lay money on that tango, just get rid of it as soon as you can, buy a roof rack they are quite cheap and a decent ladder and you will be a whole lot safer

 

 

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Tango
3 hours ago, kevinc250 said:

they are called the widowmakers  @david k, apart from the locking sections not locking/ trapping fingers when you reduce sections theres a very very small amount of surface area on the base that actually touches the floor, I tried these years ago and quickly weighed them in for scrap as I couldn't live with myself if I sold them on.

one day that ladder will collapse on you-i'd lay money on that tango, just get rid of it as soon as you can, buy a roof rack they are quite cheap and a decent ladder and you will be a whole lot safer

 

For the locking sections a permanent marker drawing a vertical line on the rung where the locking levers are when not extended would provide a good visible indicator if any levers / locks have not slid into place. But yes, I do take your point that they won't have an infinite lifetime. As for trapping fingers when reducing them I've got that mastered - just tilt the ladder when releasing the sections and they don't come down without you pulling them down by hand - the tilt creates friction against the parts inside which stops them instantly dropping. Can't see the fuss about that issue really other than people not thinking about it the same way as me (and i suspect that the dropping / slamming down is what helps to age them quicker).

 

As for it collapsing, this is indeed on my mind a lot (a guy on youtube with the same set said that it did happen to him and broke his leg and neck so this is always on my mind). I figured for the average DIY'er they'll probably last no more than a two or three years at most so I'll be looking to dismantle and scrap after a year if i still have them. Ideally a roof rack and proper ladders would be ace but still not enough custys at present and i'm struggling to pick up more than one regular per day at the moment. Even if i get the rack and proper ladders to be fair i think i'll still keep a (regularly replaced) telescopic one too as they do kinda make you look like you got balls of steel when you're using one lol

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