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Ext Ladder movable section on front or back

2118 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Upper5Percent
I have had and used Sears AL extension ladders for over 30 years. One is a 32' heavy duty and the other a 20' medium duty.

I just purchased a 24' Warner at Lowes, the 250 pound rated aluminum (AL). It took me a minute to figure out why something seemed wrong. It is that the Warner has the movable part of the extension on the front, and Sears has it on the back.

Now it may just be I am used to the movable part being on the back but it does seem a better design. This design puts the pulley rope so that it hangs down the front of the ladder, right in your face. All one has to do to raise the extension is pull the rope with one hand while holding the fixed part with the other hand. Then when one climbs high enough to transfer from the front/stationary part to the movable part the steps are slightly back, nearer the wall..seems smoother.

With the Warner, I have to reach around behind the ladder to pull the rope to raise the movable part. And it hard to hold the stationary part as the movable part is moving up between you and the stationary part. Then, when you climb the ladder to a height that requires you to move onto the movable part the steps are come up in front of the steps you have been using, making you step away from the wall further, not as comfortable.

Any comment?:hide:
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I think you have your front and back mixed up. Reading your post is like watching a dubbed foreign film. The words don't match the lips.

Every conventional extension ladder I've ever used has the movable (upper) section in the front (closer to me). If the movable section is on the front, the pulley at the top of the fixed (lower) section is on the back (further from me) and so too is the rope you have to pull.

I'd be curious where they put the dogs on a reverse oriented design and how the dogs work. Got a pic?
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Hum, not sure about the lips and words being mixed, I've been known to make a few typos, fingers and mind not coordinated.

Indeed, the Sears ladders (I'll try to take a picture of the dogs tomorrow) has the movable part on the back, the wall side of the stationary part. Again, it makes the rope easy to reach, it is right in front of you, not behind the steps. I found with the Warner it was easier to just use my hand on the movable part, push it up, not use the rope.

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I prefer the movable section in the front. When I come down a rear movable section, I always trip at the step offset. movable section in front seems to flow easier. But that's just me. I've only been using ladders to build things for 24 years though.
Could be what you get used to. My first personally owned extension ladder was was one of the mentioned Sears ladders, the year was about 1970, so I got you on year at 39 years. Yes, I'm getting too old to climb extension ladders. That's one of the reasons I purchased the 24' Warner. I have too many places the 20' isn't long enough and the 32' HD ladder is a beast to move and raise. It is a great ladder, has flat steps, not flat top, real flat steps with a brace underneath a "T" shape on edge. I don't know what it is rated at, must be 300 pounds..I'll take a look now that the thought crosses my mind. The label may be worn off.

As I said, when coming down from a fully extended ladder it seems safer/natural to me for the first step on the stationary part to cause your foot to sink in further than needed as the new step rung is further out. Coming down the Warner I noticed with a bit of a "start" that my foot wasn't reaching in very far on the step as it was further (closer to the wall) away.

Still, I am rationalizing and as I said already I suspect it is what one gets used to.

The good news is there isn't something wrong with my Warner, the extension part on the front must be common. As someone makes Sears ladders, those now may be the same (made by) Warner.
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Every extension ladder I have ever used or owned .. the front section is movable .. that is ...unless I put it up backwards :drunkie:
Exactly my concern with the Warner. In fact I did put it up backwards at first as I wanted the usual (for me) rope hang in front and the movable part in back.
This didn't sit well and the steps had the wrong slope. I then looked at the picture on the side of the ladder showing the ladder up against the wall... the movable part clearly shown on the outside/front.

I still plan to go take a picture of the dog on one of my Sears ladders, which has the movable section on the back, against the wall.
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Extending a ladder with the rope on the back, I stand between the ladder and the house with one foot on the bottom rung. I would be worried about having a loose rope on the front between my feet. With it at the back, the slack hangs away from the ladder.
Sounds like a good strategy, I just got used to standing in front, holding the ladder a bit away from the wall and pulling the rope. Being behind the ladder should work once one gets used to it. But I think one gets a better view of where the new length is coming down to when standing in front.

I always swing the rope aside, but it still crosses over the top step or two below the pulley.
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Could the rope have been placed thru the pulley incorrectly?
The rope should be infront of the climber, between the ladder and the 'thing' that the ladder is resting against, not on the rungs that are used for climbing. The excess rope is usually used to tie the ladder to the resting against item so the bottom of the ladder won't slip out.
The locking 'pauls' are on the narrower ladder section. If the narrower section is on the inside, the 'pauls' won't automatically engage the main or 'bed' portion of the ladder, when it is raised.
UNLESS, the 'pauls' have been turned around by the manufacturer or re-engineered.
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I just got used to standing in front, holding the ladder a bit away from the wall and pulling the rope.
Pulling a ladder toward you when it is leaning away from you is an exercise in circus acrobatics since your body needs to be a counterweight to pull against. I find it easier to push the ladder away from the wall instead.

I think one gets a better view of where the new length is coming down to when standing in front.
Yes, I will give you that one, but I tend to extend it to the estimated height needed and then pick up the base and move it away from the wall to fine tune it.
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Are there any tips for moving ladder side to side without actually having to come all the way down? I hate that, it takes up so much time.
Here are pictures of the strange old (?) Sears ladder arrangement. This is of the medium duty 20' ladder. Again, the movable section is on the back, so it is "under" the stationary section.

Two pictures of the dogs and one of the pulley rope.:wwp:


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Ah, spring loaded dogs... not gravity engaged like traditional dogs.
Why you use extension ladders with the fly section in the out position

This is in compliance with manufacturers' recommendations and NFPA Standard 1932.
In the fly out position, the fly section tends to tighten its hold on the base section. When used inverted, the fly section tends to pull away from the base section, and all tolerances are then at their maximum. This could make the fly section slip.

Here is the ground ladders section from an older FDNY training manual

Are there any tips for moving ladder side to side without actually having to come all the way down? I hate that, it takes up so much time.
How far do you plan on moving it? If you are working the gutters of your house...if your ladder is properly raised so as to be several rungs above the then move the base a couple of feet or so and then bring the top back into proper alignment...REPEAT AS can walk yourself around a building this way...;)
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