Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested

By John Scanlan, Published Jul 18, 2018, 09:49am EDT

Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition to selecting the appropriate ladder, it is important to ensure the ladder is safely footed.

Two manufacturers claim to improve ladder safety: 

We bought both ladder devices and tested them. Below is an overview:

We tested both of these devices in real-world conditions to see how they work, examining:

  • Marketing Claims vs Performance
  • Ladder Levelizer Demonstration
  • Ladder Lockdown Demonstration
  • Product Failures / Shortcomings
  • Physical Overview
  • Price

***************

*** ****** ******** ** recommended *** *** **** another ****** ** *** available ** **** ** ***** * ladder. *** *** ****** is **** ****** ******** ****** *** be **** ** ****** ground that ******** **** ****-**** pads **** ****** ******* with *** ******. ***** the ****** ******** ** uneven ****** ** **** safe **** ***** * ladder *****.

*** ****** ********* ** *********** for ******* ** ****** ground *** ***** ** advertised, ******** * ***** non-slip **** ** ****** ground ***** *** ********* required **** ********* ***-** leveling **** *** ********* ladders, ***** ***** ** not ****** ** ***** a ****.

*****

*** ****** ********* *** ** purchased ******** **** *** manufacturer's ******* *** ~$** USD [**** ** ****** available].

*** ****** ******** *** be ********* ******* ************'* ******* *** ~$150+ ********, ***** *** ~$30 ** *** ******. 

Ladder ********* *************

** *** *******, *** Ladder ********* ****** ****, with ** ****** ****** on *** ******, ****** pushed **** *** ****** in **** ********, *** the ****** ****** ** top. ** *** ** issues **** *********** **** placed.

*** ***** ***** ************ using *** ********* ** a ***** *****.

Ladder ******** *************

** *** *******, *** Ladder ******** *** ****** on ****** ********, **** the ****** ******* ** the ******* **** *** contact *** *** ******** strips ** *** ****** of *** ********. ** even ******** *** ** mulch/soil, *** ****** ******** worked ************, **** *** non-slip ****** *** ****** spikes ********* ********* ****.

*** ***** ************ ***** scenarios:

Beware ****** ******** *******

******** ****** ******** ****** it ** *** ***** than * ****** ***** users ** *** ****** Lockdown **** ****** **** the ***** ** ** flat ******, ** **** a ***** **** ** raised **** ** * **** surface **** ***** *** plate ** ***** ****** it **** **** **** a ****** *****.

*** ****** ** *** Ladder ******** *** *** small ***** **** ***-**** ********, ******* the ****** ***** ******* to *****.

** ********* ****** ********, who ******** *** ********* response:

*** ***** ** ***** and **** ***********. ** may ** ******* *** in *** ****** ** even * ******* **** across *** ******. 
** *** ***** ***** the ****** ** ** uneven **** **’* ******** create * **** ***** that ***** ** ******* the ***** ***** ** our ****** ********, ** would ** ****** ** use *** *** ****** or ******* ** *** asphalt ** *** ** use ****** ******** ** that ********* ** ***.  Should *** *** *** ice ****** ** *** cons, *** ***** ** the ******* *** ****** filled ****** ** ******* them **** **** ******.  

** **** ****** **** report ** **** ****** up ** *** ****** change.

******* ** **** *****, Ladder ******** ****** ** advertised, ********* * ***** footing ** **** ** **** ******.

Alternatives ** *********/********

***** *** **** *********** alternatives ** *** ******* detailed *****:

  • ****** *** ********
  • ***** ********
  • ***** ** ****** ******/****/*****

Extension ****** ****** *** ********

**** ************* ***** ******-*** ******** *******, which ******* ** *** lower ******* ** *** ****** ** the *** *** ***** the ******. ***** **** ~$100 *** ** ******* and **** ** ** permanently ******** ** *** ladder, ***** ***** ******** drilling ******** ***** ** the ******, ***** *** (likely ****) **** ******** and ** **** ***** degrade *** ******'* ****** rating.

Extension ****** ******** ********

***** *** **** ******* that ******* ** ***** section ** ********* ******* and ******* * **** dynamic ******** ********** ******** the **** ** **** on ****** ******** *** have *** ****** **** along *** ****-****** ****. This ******* **** *** require ****** ************ ** it ***** ** ** the ****** ** * similar ******* ** *** height ** ******** **** **** locks. ***** *** ********* ~$100-150.

Built ** ****** ******

**** ********* ******* ******* ***** on ***** **** ***** may ** ****** **** the ****** ** **** surface, ******** ** ******** as ******, *****, ** toes. ***** ****** *** also ********** *** ******** variances ** ****** ******* the ****** ******** (**** than ~*"), **** *** spiked cleat pushed **** *** **** on ****** ******, *** the **** **** **** on ***** ******.

*******, **** ****** *** a **** ******* ***** than ***-** *******, **** ~2" ** ****, ******** to *"+ **** ***** leveling **** ** ********.

Comments (17)

And the sound of ladder companies and big box stores rejoicing could be heard 'round the world...

I legitimately wonder how the use of a "3rd-party" product like this would be handled in a workers comp or civil lawsuit?

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I think it would be perfectly fine, given that the one I use and trust is on Werner's website and listed as factory installed or user installed. I've been on a hill with the one side fully extended with the ladder fully extended. It wasn't going anywhere.

Now, this is assumed that the user installed part was installed by a competent person per the manufacturer's instruction. I wouldn't be too concerned with that as I find so many using a factory ladder incorrectly without any 3rd party products added on. Some use a truck bed as a 3rd party product.

I personally wouldn't use the above products listed in beginning of this article. Plus, I prefer fiberglass ladders and stay away from aluminum ladders. Commercial jobs prefer to see fiberglass ladders anyways.

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Curious: why wouldn’t you use them?

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I prefer products that I can use in multiple scenarios. The Ladder Levelizer wouldn't fit many of the places I use ladders such as spanning stairs like the product I linked to shows. My leveler has worked in many situations. The Levelizer doesn't appear to get as high as I would need it.

The Lockdown might be useful with the spikes in the ground but not on a smooth slightly uneven surface that wouldn't use the spikes. There aren't many situations where I have a completely smooth surface. But in the ground, I find the Werner spikes built in the ladder work fine for me. If I need more stabilization at the base, I would rather have something with outriggers such as this. That is one of the biggest risks I see for falls. 

I also have and use on occasion a ladder top stabilizer and a building corner stabilizer.

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We use ladderm8. Very good, all our guys have the pro plus version.

[IPVM Note: video embedded below]

 

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The ladderm8 really looks versatile anyway.

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U1 - thanks for the feedback and link!  That sounds like a solid product. How long has your company been using it and have you had any concerns / scares with it?

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Hi John, Yes we have been using for a very long time, like years. All our engineers have it on the van as part of their kit. No concerns with it at all.

More and more as health and safety are getting tighter on sites we find you need to as an engineer but also the company demonstrate reasonable steps to mitigate risk. Then practice that on site.

Of course, you need to ensure correct ladder training etc and ladder checks as normal.

 

 

 

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I used to be a painter back in the 90s.  We always carried a box of shim that we got from the carpenters so we could build up a side on uneven ground.  As long as you feel stable on the ladder, it's well worth it.

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I like those old wobbly wooden 200 pound tripod ladders.

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We use the single leg levelers (installed on each leg) and have found that they work great. The only problem is they add a lot of weight and that extra weight is all to one side. That makes the ladder very awkward to carry. 

Just used it yesterday to access two poles that were mounted on uneven surface. 

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We are not allowed by law to use straight ladders over 3m without stabilizers in bottom. This is scandinavia, it is not allowed to use ladders i stair anymore.

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Knut-Eric - Thanks for your first comment and the information.

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So the lockdown does not work well on uneven ground, but does the Levelizer NOT work on level ground?

 

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Correct, the Levelizer is not needed on level ground and if used on flat ground it will make the ladder tilt. The Lockdown does not work on ground that has raised areas in he middle of the plate, since it does not have anti-skid material in the center.  They are looking to change that.

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The levelizer looks like a decent product, although I'd like to see a wider footprint at the taller end.
The lockdown on the other hand... it's pads are no bigger than the ladders so on flat surfaces, that's a detriment with the already seen problem of it sliding being an issue.  More strips will not mitigate that possibility.  Raised non-slip surfaces would help immensely.  As for grass or dirt, I find the claw feet of ladders to be more than adequate.  I couldn't see buying this for $25, let alone $180 to my door. 

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This is the first time seeing such products, Normally I would find a door stop or some books to level my ladder. ....and prey to God it doesn't kick out

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