Key Differences Between Heavy Duty and Standard Ladders

Key Differences Between Heavy Duty and Standard Ladders

Within the heavy-duty ladder space, there’s a wide variety of products and manufacturers. Some ladder companies offer ladders they tout as “professional grade” or “heavy duty” but the product’s construction does not match the marketing claims.

Alaco Ladder Company stands out because our heavy-duty ladders are built for intensive usage and conditions. Crafted with aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum, our ladders perform in a number of high-use environments. For example, our stockroom ladder features a stable base with deep steps, a pivoting design to reduce hand injuries, and bulletproof construction that supports heavy loads for years of operational usage. Our ladders feel sturdier because every bolt and section is inspected and tested, and we never cut any corners.

What are the key differences between Alaco Ladder Company’s heavy-duty ladders and standard ladders?

  • Our reputation rests on the strength and reliability of our products. We build ladders for engineers, contractors, builders, and business owners that insist on safety and function. These professionals use their ladders every day in challenging conditions, and need assurances they’ll perform in any situation.
  • Industry-leading aluminum ladder components that include solid rivets that won’t shear, fail-proof bolts and bushings, stable ground spikes, and for extension ladders, an innovative tension latch that’s built into the rails so it does not impact the user’s foot placement.
  • We develop ladders that exceed safety regulation standards with maximum load bearing numbers.
  • Our ladders perform the same on day one as day 2,000, giving our clients reliable tools to get their jobs done safely and effectively.
  • We use aircraft-quality aluminum for many of our heavy-duty ladders due to the materials incredible weight-to-strength ratio. Some companies offer steel heavy duty ladders which are much heavier and can pose a safety hazard when a single operator attempts to move the ladder within a space.

Heavy duty ladders don’t just mean they can carry extra pounds. True heavy duty products, such as those built by Alaco Ladder Company, feature an array of safety enhancements and construction elements. They’re built to exacting specifications, with no skimping on components or materials that might create a “weak link” in the ladder’s operation.

If you’re a contractor, architect, store owner, city planner, government agency worker, builder, or work in construction, then you need heavy duty ladders from Alaco Ladder Company. Check out our comprehensive Aluminum Ladder resource page to learn more about our products that offer repeatable performance, high load capacity, and adhere to the most stringent safety requirements. Our customer service team are factory trained and can help answer any questions, and can provide design assistance and troubleshooting. We also offer enhanced services such as shop drawings and expert consultations to make sure you choose the right Alaco Ladder Company ladders to fit your needs and space.

Aluminum Ladders vs. Steel Ladders

Aluminum ladders vs. Steel Ladders: Detailing the Pros and Cons

While from the outside a steel and an aluminum ladder might look the same, the difference in materials brings several distinct advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the core differences between aluminum and steel ladders that matter most for architects, developers, construction managers, retail store operators, and contractors.

Aluminum’s Many Benefits

For example, aluminum ships ladders made from aircraft-strength material offer decades of use without any wear. There are multiple other benefits of aluminum for ladders, including:

  • Aluminum does not rust or fade. It’s a maintenance-free material which means users do not incur ongoing costs over an aluminum ladder’s service life. This is not only important for aesthetic reasons, but it also ensures repeatable and safe operation. Steel ladders placed outside in the elements corrode in the sun or rain, making them unsuitable for construction projects, fire ladders, outdoor ships ladders, and other installations.
  • Ladders made with aluminum produce less waste because the material is frequently recycled. The majority of the aluminum ever produced is still contained within products because the recycling rate is so high.
  • Customization and modification is easier and safer with aluminum.
  • The lighter weight means aluminum fixed ladders don’t often require cranes or lifts for installation, which provides operators with considerable savings. They also place less loads onto roof and wall surfaces, so architects and builders might need to make fewer corresponding changes to account for additional weight.

When considering a ladder for a job site or retail installation, it’s vital to review the quality of the materials. For example, at Alaco Ladder Company we use aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum in its products. This is a much higher quality and stronger aluminum than that used by other manufacturers who offer products that aren’t suitable for settings such as fire escapes, libraries, warehouses, and various other settings.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Steel Ladders

Some industrial-strength ladders are built with steel in environments where the additional weight and potential rusting and corrosion issues are not a primary concern. These ladders can offer strong platforms for users carrying heavy loads, and other high-use environments where load-bearing is the primary goal. However, aircraft-quality aluminum offers the same advantages, without steel’s significant drawbacks.

Extension ladders, platform ladders, and other movable ladders are typically moved by people. A steel ladder of comparable size and function to an aluminum one will weigh considerably more. This extra weight means the ladder’s often impractical for repeated moving, and it might be unwieldy or dangerous for a single operator. Aluminum ladders are stronger and lighter, so they’re easier to transport, safer during an accident, and put less strain on workers.

On construction sites, steel ladders can pose issues on several fronts. They can produce sparks if they clang against another ladder. Aluminum ladders won’t spark, so they’re safer on construction sites around flammable materials. Steel ladders are also magnetic, so they can pose a risk to areas using magnetic equipment.

Have more questions about the strength, durability, and customization possible with aluminum ladders? Talk to one of our expert staff at Alaco, the leaders in high-quality industrial-grade aluminum ladders for dozens of different applications. Visit our Aluminum Ladder page to learn more.