3rd and 4th story homes

This may belong in the newbie section I’m not sure. I’ve recently added window cleaning as an add on service and ran into problems pretty quick with these high windows. Are you solo guys able to handle 30+ foot ladders by yourselves?

It can be done. Not fun by any means, but its possible. I’ve lugged around a 40’ ladder all day by myself, and I’m only 140lbs soaking wet. It has more to do with balance and coordination than brute strength. It also helps if you have a ladder with a lower weight classification, and go for aluminum as opposed to fiberglass. And I would recommend getting used to laddering lower heights before tackling 30’+ feet.

Invest in a WFP when you can :).

I was considering only marketing to 1 and 2 stories homes.

Don’t limit yourself on what kinds of jobs you can do,that will decrease your ability to earn,Just learn to manage 30’+ ladders
and all the tools you need to use to do the job to its highest standard. Like [MENTION=4]Alex[/MENTION]Lacey said I’m also a buck50 soaked to the bone with ankle weights on and on my jobs have lugged 30’+ ladders around all day.WFP solved that issue quickly for me (except for CCU Jobs).

As a means of comparison, I’m just shy of 5’10" and I can easily raise and lower a 28’ ladder closed which is 14’ long that way. That roughly means I can control it at the 7’ mark or higher assuming the ladder leg touching the ground has decent traction. I occasionally use my 32 footer which stands 16’ tall when closed. With caution and care I can lower and raise it safely. This means I can get my hand to a point 8’ or higher quickly enough after tipping it downward so as to control it freestanding. 40’ is another story. You have no choice but to foot it, both rails preferrably, against a solid surface and walk it up until you can lift if straight up safely. Moving it from there is a new challenge, but with patience, good balance and presence of mind you can do it.

If your out there by yourself you should work towards that… When I was cleaning glass everyday, I would always make the new guys only work with the 32 for the first couple of months…

That way when they had to take the 24 inside they could handle it perfectly.

Thats funny reading this post 3 to 4 guys hear so far are 5’10’ or just shy of it, [I] Guess thats why we clean windows and are not NBA players…LOL[/I]:cool:

why we are not in the NBA is probably more due to the fact we are not good enough at playing basketball, rather than height. I’m 6’9, but clean windows for a living too :slight_smile:

Thanks everybody, I guess I need to quit being a sally

5’ 51/2" I lost a half inch along the way and I clean windows because I like to.

When I first started I only had a 20’ ladder so I’d go as far up the ladder as I could and use a pole to get higher. It’s tricky but can be done.

A WFP will help a lot. Can’t really remember the last time I used a ladder to clean windows.

A proper standoff will probably make you more comfortable with the stability and safety of your ladder.

If you need to increase strength, aim to build up your core. IMO, deadlifts (done properly with eyes pointed to the ceiling) will build that up nicely. If you need stamina try burpees, aiming to do 100 in a row.

The first guy I worked with was a former high rise window cleaner. He weighed a 130 lbs but could easily handle a blue tipped 24 footer. Which I had trouble managing at the time.

After he showed me how to properly move a ladder, understanding how to properly use leverage, could manage the black tipped rent-a-center 32 footer myself. I weighed 200 at the time and lifted weights regularly, so it was my technique that needed improving not my strength.

Now after climbing up and down ladders for a season, I only clock in at 185 but can easily carry a blue tipped 32".

I would rather use the smallest ladder I can get away with (all of my ladders are blue or green tipped). Most of the time I can get away with a 24’ instead of a 32’. Stand off help with this.

If you click on the gutter cleaning picture on the right, you can see how the standoff allows me to have enough distance to keep my balance while I am reaching into the gutter. If I didn’t have that standoff depth I would have had to use a longer ladder (28 or 32) and have the stand-offs on the roof. The Werner 97p also has a lot of depth.

If you click on the left picture, you can see how I am being lazy and using and extension pole from the ladder. They came out great so I got away with it. Shorter ladder = less weight to carry around.

I was thinking about you when I read that post. I almost said Andrew must suck at basketball, cuz he has no excuse as far as height is concerned.

amazing how the 28 gets lighter after lugging around a 32 through the trees for a week…

when are the 15lb $4000 carbon fiber ladders gonna show up? I hate to think about it.


Why would you take a pole up a ladder if you can easily clean it without? Picture on the left…

John K Wyatt
All Washed Up Window Cleaning

My stabilizer is about half the depth of those pictures. I was at Lowes today and a 32 footer is like 200 bux more than a 24 footer!

LOL. Well, I’ll put it this way, if Chris and Alex ever decided to run a WCRA basketball team, I feel confident I’d get drafted pretty early. The Orlando Magic, on the other hand, not so much :slight_smile:

welcome to the club…


I use a 40’ myself @ least once a week. I’m bout 150lbs. Just practice, be careful & do work.
& never hire guys under 5’ 10.5"