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When it comes to those tricky jobs which are just out of reach, a ladder is an essential tool. But, do you know how many injuries are caused each year through misuse of ladders, and bad ladder design? While some of those injuries are caused by human error, many are caused by poor materials and construction. For that reason, I recommend a heavy-duty ladder.
Not only is a heavy-duty step ladder sturdier and safer than a regular ladder, but it is also recommended for big people. A heavy-duty step ladder is designed to take a lot of weight while staying in place. You can also find heavy-duty step ladders, which are lightweight and multi-purpose.
Our Top Picks
Louisville FS1502 Fiberglass Heavy-Duty Step Ladder
This is a great ladder for almost any job. You get a lot of options here with this heavy-duty step ladder from Louisville. They start with a 2 feet ladder, end with a 12 feet ladder, and have everything in between. The rails are crafted from fiberglass, making them sturdy and strong and also light-weight. The great thing about fiberglass is that it does not conduct electricity, so these ladders are great for electrical work.
Each ladder is rated for 300 pounds, making it great for heavier people, and also making it sturdy, no matter who is using it. Be sure to factor in the weight of your tools before using it. The double-rivet construction adds durability to the rails, with each rail being secured by six large-headed rivets.
There are spreader braces inside of the rails to stop them from becoming hooked or damaged when in transit. This is an exceptionally heavy-duty ladder which meets all of the ANSI and OSHA safety codes. Choose the size which you need and get the job done.
- Fiberglass rails
- Variety of sizes
- 300-pound load capacity
Delxo 2-Step Portable Step Ladder
This is a great step ladder for smaller jobs. If you want something compact and lightweight, then this two-step ladder is perfect. The ladder is small, so it can be stored on your cupboard between uses. It has a unique folding design and will fold to 18” x 4” x 35”. It only weighs 11.9 pounds, so it can be taken almost anywhere with you.
When you do unfold the step ladder, it can hold up to 330 pounds, making it perfect for heavier people. The stool will stay compact, even when unfolded, and also has some nice safety features. There are rubber-covered feet which not only make the ladder safer but also stops it from marking the floor. The rubber-feet are non-slip and will give you a lot of stability when you are on them.
Talking of stability, the main platform is 15” x 10”, giving you a lot of standing room, and the platform features the same non-slip rubber which the feet do, giving you a stable platform which you will not slip from. With the non-slip feet and non-slip platform, this is one of the safest step ladders in the market.
- Folding design
- Rated for 330 pounds
- Non-slip feet
- 11.9 pounds
DeWalt DXL3810-06 Fiberglass Step Ladder
This is a sturdy and heavy-duty step ladder. You have a choice between 6 fett and 8 feet, so you can match the ladder to the needed job. Each of the step ladder sizes can accommodate 500 pounds in load, making it one of the best step ladders on the market for heavier people. Be sure to add in the weight of clothing and tools, but you would be hard-pressed to near the limit of this ladder.
One thing which has been integrated into the design is the heavy-duty shoes on the bottom of each foot. Not only do they give you superior slip resistance but they also help not to mark the surface which you are on. There is also the addition of a metallic top with a magnet which will help to secure your tools.
This step ladder comes from a trusted name and is as sturdy and well-built as you can get.
- Fiberglass rails
- 6 feet or 8 feet
- 500-pound capacity
Luisladders EN131 4-Step Anti-Slip Step Ladder
This is one of the sturdiest step ladders on the market. Not only is it heavy-duty but it also has some nice safety features which will keep you safe at work. There is a safety lock under the top step to keep the large top platform in place. You also have powder-coated iron for a sturdy construction. The four rubber pads on the legs stop the ladder from slipping and stop the ladder from marking up the surface below. Combine all of that with a convenient hand grip, and you have a very safe ladder.
The step ladder is also foldable. When not in use, it folds up flat for easy storage and transport. It also features four steps, giving you something with a lot of flexibility. This multi-purpose step lad-der is great for around the home, and you can reach almost anything with it. You can use it quickly and store it again in seconds.
This ladder has been crafted to give you no weak points and is a ladder which will stand the test of time. The anti-slip platforms are also a nice touch and give you a large area to stand on. A great multi-purpose ladder for all of your home needs.
Colibrox 3-Step Aluminum Step Ladder
A quality step ladder which is durable, high-quality, and safe. The ladder has three steps, so is perfect for around the home, and is foldable for easy storage and transportation. When folded down, the ladder is only 2.4-inches deep. When you unfold it, it can hold up to 330 pounds, making it perfect for larger people or those who want to save space.
The ladder is extremely safe, with tough aluminum rails to step on. There is a top handrail to hold onto when you are on the top step, and thick rubber pads on the bottom of each leg to stop the ladder from slipping or marking up the floor below. The ladder is also lightweight and can be moved from room to room with ease.
The step ladder has a high-quality and heavy-duty construction, and there are reinforcements at the weak points — a great ladder which will help you to get your work done around the home.
- Aluminum rails
- 330-pound load capacity
What To Know Before Buying a Heavy-Duty Step Ladder
Types Of Step Ladders
This is the step ladder which you are most familiar with. It has steps on one side only, and the top shelf is not a step but can be used as a tool or material shelf. It can be sturdy and durable.
This step ladder has steps on both sides to allow two people to use it at once. Be sure to check the weight rating, though it is usually more than that of a standard ladder, allowing it to be used by heavier people.
This step ladder has steps on one side, like the standard ladder, but also has a platform on top which can be stood on. This is a great multi-functional ladder.
This step ladder has an A-frame design with steps on one side and an additional ladder which sticks up from the middle. It is a great multi-functional step ladder for working on ceilings.
This step ladder can be extended on either side. It has multiple configurations and is a true multi-purpose ladder. It is sturdy and great for working on stairs.
A tripod has steps on one side and only one rail on the other. It is designed to fit into places where other step ladders cannot.
Check The Load Capacity
Once you know what type of ladder you need, you should check the weight rating to make sure that you can use it safely. There is a ladder out there for every size and weight; it is just a matter of finding it. The load capacity is provided by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
- Type III: 200 pounds (mainly used for home use)
- Type II: 225 pounds
- Type I: 250 pounds
- Type IA: 300 pounds
- Type IAA: 375 pounds
When you are deciding on which ladder to choose, be sure to factor in any clothing and tools which the user will also be wearing when using the ladder.
Fiberglass vs. Aluminum
Most ladder rails are crafted from either fiberglass or aluminum. Both of these two materials are sturdy, durable, and lightweight, but is there one which you should be choosing over the other?
The work you need to do will dictate which material is better. If you are doing any electrical work or working near to any live wires or electrical circuits, then a fiberglass ladder will work better as it will not conduct the electricity and shock you should you come into contact with anything.
An aluminum ladder is more lightweight than a fiberglass one and can hold more weight, making it better for bigger people. Being stronger, aluminum ladders also come in bigger sizes and can generally be extended more.
How To Match The Ladder To The Job
Buying the right step ladder is about a lot more than finding one which can hold your weight and is affordable; you should also be thinking about which ladder is going to be the safest and make your work the easiest.
It may seem obvious that a ladder which is too short is going to be dangerous in the workplace but did you know that a ladder which is too long is also going to slow you down and pose some danger too? You need to choose the ladder which is matched to the height of the job you are doing. However, it is not quite as simple as that.
When checking the height of the ladder, you need to remember that the total height of the ladder is not the same as the working height.
The height of the ladder does not take into account the highest point which you can stand on; it just tells you the total height.
Be sure to check where you can stand on the ladder and if that gives you enough elevation. One thing which you never want to do is to step higher than you should. The turns a sturdy step ladder into an unbalanced one.
Step Ladder Accessories
Some step ladders will come with additional accessories while some will be designed to be used with separately purchased accessories. When you are looking for additional safety or use, there are a few accessories which I recommend.
Stabilizers: These help to stabilize a ladder when it is against a surface and are also great for working around windows.
Level Kit: This allows you to extend the ladder on one side to find balance on uneven surfaces.
Ladder Jack: This allows two ladders to be able to support a scaffolding stage.