Are you planning to work at a height only to find yourself lacking a ladder? While you can always borrow one from your neighbors, there’s also the risk that they don’t have one either. In such situations, are there any alternatives you can use?
When you don’t have a ladder, you can use mobile scaffolds and scissor lifts. You can also use an access platform, a self-propelled boom, or a step stool.
If you want to learn more about ladder alternatives, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Mobile Scaffold
Mobile scaffolds are usually made from aluminum and directly assembled on a job site.
They are not designed to be permanent structures.
Unlike other types of scaffolding, they are considered “mobile” because they are designed to be on wheels, enabling you to move them around easily.
Additionally, they provide users with a wide space on which to stand and railings that protect them.
This makes them a far safer alternative to traditional forms of scaffolding, which generally have far less space to move around on.
Additionally, traditional scaffolding is usually heavier and non-portable.
2. Access Platform
Access platforms are designed to allow workers to reach a range of heights.
They are generally designed to be portable and collapsible and are also relatively compact in design.
Like scaffolds and scissor lifts, they are also designed with railings to ensure user safety.
Additionally, their compact nature allows them to be used in areas with relatively limited empty space.
Some consider scissor lifts a subset of access platforms – however, this is not a universally accepted categorization.
3. Scissor Lift
Scissor lifts are tools that are most commonly used on construction job sites.
They are designed to carry not only people but also heavy equipment.
Because of this, workers will not have to climb up a scissor lift the way you would on a mobile scaffold or ladder.
Instead, the scissor lift is powered by hydraulics, diesel, air pressure, or electricity, depending on the model and the job site’s needs.
The scissor lift is lowered, allowing the worker to step on and the equipment to be loaded on.
Then, the lift is extended using internal mechanisms, enabling workers to reach high areas.
These lifts are great for reaching very high spots. Depending on the type of scissor lift, it can extend to as much as 60 feet (18.28 m).
Additionally, the railings ensure workers remain safe at those heights.
4. Self-Propelled Boom or Cherry Picker
A self-propelled boom is relatively similar to a scissor lift and is also often considered a subset of an access platform.
These tools are also known as cherry pickers.
Unlike scissor lifts, these tools have a “bucket” at the end of a lifting system.
The workers stand in the bucket, and the lifting system moves them to the height they are meant to be working on.
These tools are known as cherry pickers because they were originally designed and used for, well, picking cherries.
Cherry pickers are an excellent option if you’re looking to reach extremely tall heights.
Additionally, the ability to “reach out” via the extending bucket can make it a more practical option for some types of jobs, such as exterior painting.
5. Step Stool
The above-mentioned options involve using professional tools most people are unlikely to have lying around at home.
Additionally, while they allow you to reach extreme heights, they don’t help as much if you only want to elevate yourself a few inches.
In such cases, step stools are a great alternative.
These are essentially a cross between a stool and a ladder and provide a more stable surface on which to stand and reach heights than stools do.
However, they don’t reach as high as the other tools on this list, generally topping out at about 2-3 m (6.5-9.8 feet).
The biggest advantage of these stools over the other tools is their availability and affordability.
You can buy step stools in most home improvement stores or online, and they don’t cost as much as scissor lifts or cherry pickers.
If you’re looking for a step stool, I recommend the DELXO 4 Step Ladder from Amazon. This step stool reaches heights of 52 inches (1.3 m), which is high enough to handle most home improvement projects. Additionally, it has a non-slip mechanism to ensure you are safe while using this tool.
Keep in mind that you should always opt for a step stool as a replacement for a ladder around the house.
While it can be tempting to reach for and use a nearby chair, especially if you just need to pull out something from a high shelf, this is extremely risky.
Chairs are not designed to be climbed on and, depending on the design and construction of the chair, could collapse under you while you’re standing.
For the same reason, you should also avoid using regular stools as climbing and standing surfaces and avoid using surfaces that are not meant to be stood on unless you have no other choice, and it’s an emergency.
I hope this article was useful for you!
Cheers, tools owners!