Humans are quite short, if you think about it. Still, we build upward; always reaching higher collectively than any of us could individually—all thanks to the mighty ladder.
For thousands of years, humans have used ladders in some form. Mesolithic humans made hanging ladders from grass; the oceanic tribes of antiquity used shaved trees with ascending notches carved in them. These effective leaning ladders changed how those tribes were able to accomplish essential tasks like building shelters or setting traps.
Modern Americans are similar in that regard. Sure, we use ladders to install those aw-inspiring Christmas decorations on the roof, but we also use this ancient tool to build our structures, access the most optimal areas to complete tasks and repairs for daily life, and so much more.
Whatever the use, many different kinds of ladders are now available to anyone who needs to get a little bit higher.
- Leaners: This most primitive ladder is still one of the most widely used. Modern designs include telescoping features, which allow the ladder to be extended to about twice its original size. This is incredibly helpful when storage space is limited, or when an exceptionally high thing must be reached, like the roof of a 4 story building.Leaners have no top platform, so you’re able to step freely from the higher rungs without causing an imbalance. Leaners also give the user the ability to directly face an object while leaning against it. Standard A-frames force the user to line up sideways, but leaners give immediate access to whatever job needs to be done. Electricians and builders find this incredibly helpful, especially when dangerous or hazardous materials are involved.
- Garage ladders: This is your basic ladder, and probably the most common ladder in use today because of its practicality and tried-and-true design. The A-frame allows the user to operate the ladder without a wall to lean against, but the base is wide enough so that nothing could knock it over. This kind of ladder is ideal for painting large rooms, reaching garage door openers, changing light bulbs—anything at all around the house, garage, or yard. Initially, this type of ladder could only be climbed safely on one side, but double-sided garage ladders allow you to ascend from either side.
- Collapsible Ladders: After the A-frame was perfected, engineers went ahead and upgraded the entire idea altogether and made the A-frame collapsible. Now it not only folds together from a pivot point at the top, but it folds sideways too, making the ladder efficient in several ways. Not only is this kind of ladder easily stored, but it is much more portable and less cumbersome to carry from task to task. This kind of ladder benefits households, small businesses, and the neighborhood handyman alike. Everyone needs a ladder sometime, and if space and convenience are important factors in your decision, lightweight collapsible ladders are ideal.
- Stepstools: We can’t forget about the ladder’s little brother. Stepstools take the place of bigger, heavier ladders when only a few feet need to be gained. Washing cars, reaching the back corner of the top shelf in a closet or pantry, reaching that chain on the ceiling fan in the living room to finally turn the light on a different setting—all these are legitimate and common uses for a stepstool. And they’re small enough to keep in a closet or crawlspace. Many compact stepstools also collapse so they can be kept in any place at all: the trunk of a car, the shed in the backyard, or the RV. Those of us who are “vertically challenged” find the uses for stepstools endless—and necessary!
- RV Ladders: Ladders for your RV are generally lighter and easier to store, since your available space is extremely limited. It’s important to keep a good ladder on-hand in your RV for routine maintenance and cleaning, as well as to perform unexpected repairs to the exterior of your vehicle mid-trip.
A ladder is one of the most primitive tools that humans use, and also one of the most effective, efficient, and necessary. Some of us have uncanny climbing abilities or are gifted in the height department—but for the rest of us, ladders do the trick.