Ladder Selection

Ladders come in a variety of types, duty ratings and composition materials. Selecting the right ladder for the task is extremely important.

Ladder Types

There are several different ladder types. Selecting the proper type will depend on the task required.

Ladder Type Best Used For:
Stepladders Temporary tasks. Minimal storage space required.
Straight or extension ladders Generally used for higher climbing heights. Extension ladders allow for a variation in height.
Platform ladders Combination ladder/scaffold allows for both climbing structure and work surface.
Rolling staircases More gradual climbing angle and stable work platform. Requires larger area for storage.

Duty Ratings

Each ladder is rated with a specific duty rating. Remember that the capacity rating includes all personnel, tools and equipment.

Ladder Type Duty Rating Load Capacity
Light Duty Household Type III 200 lbs.
Medium Duty Commercial Type II 225 lbs.
Heavy Duty Industrial Type I 250 lbs.
Extra Heavy Duty Industrial Type IA 300 lbs.
Special Duty Industrial Type IAA 375 lbs.

Composition Materials

Ladders are typically made of wood, aluminum or fiberglass. Each material has characteristics which make it best for certain situations. Only wood or fiberglass ladders may be used for electrical work or where exposure to electrical equipment may occur.