If you have recently started work as an independent construction contractor, window cleaner or house painter, it is likely that you will need to transport ladders from one place to another during the course of your working day. The easiest way of doing this is to install ladder racks on the side of your vehicle. However, it is important that you understand how to stay safe when using ladder racks. Below is a guide to 3 things you should consider when attaching ladders to a vehicle.
Is the ladder properly secured?
When attaching a set of ladders to a ladder rack, it is vital that you take the time to check that they are appropriately secured. Ladders which are loose can present a serious hazard to you, your workmates and the general public. When you have placed the ladder on the rack, you should ensure that any straps or locks which are designed to hold it in place are properly secured. Each model of ladder rack will have its own particular method of securing the ladders. You should carefully check the instructions on yours before you first make use of the equipment.
Do you need assistance loading the ladders?
If you are planning to load a heavy set of ladders onto a car or truck, you should always ask for help. Attempting to load ladders alone increases the risk of injury or incorrect positioning of the ladders on the rack. You should always have someone else there to help you to lift and guide the ladders into position.
How will having ladders attached to my vehicle affect the way it handles?
The first time you drive a vehicle which has a ladder rack and ladders attached to it, you may be surprised to find that the equipment attached to the side or roof of your car or van affects the way that the vehicle handles. If the ladder rack and ladders are located on one side of a vehicle, this will cause the centre of gravity to move, which will affect the balance of your car or van and may cause it to pull to the side where the ladders are located. Ideally, you should try to install a ladder rack so it runs along the centre point of the roof — as this will create a balanced load as the weight of the ladders will be evenly distributed.
For further help and advice, contact a company which supplies ladder racks.