Is a ladder necessary or is a pole enough? (Window Cleaner on a Bike))

I am in the process of starting a Window Cleaning business.
I am a young student and have nearly everything ready.
One thing that is missing is a ladder. My idea is to use my bike and bike trailer for my equipment, where I for an example can have a pole and my bucket.

I was wondering if a ladder is necessary or if a pole is enough?
What limitations would I have if I don’t use a ladder?
If a ladder is necessary, Do you have any good ideas to how I can get a ladder around on my bike? Could I maybe use a Retractable ladder?

I hope you guys can help me, I searched through the forums, but I couldn’t anything specific to my issue.

Thank you in advance! :slight_smile:

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Over 10 years I remember seeing a few posts about people using a bike. Believe one was out of Portland Oregon.

Not sure they were members, just posts about them.

Good luck

Couple of ideas for pulling a ladder. WFP when you can swing it would make up for a lot of ladder use.
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Lots of guys swear by the little giant ladder system.

If all you are doing is storefronts a ladder is not necessary. Just don’t do cut-ups were a ladder is needed.

Agreed, it kind of depends on the type of work your shooting for, and how skilled you are with traditional pole work.
Storefronts? Generally no ladder needed.
1 story residential? Generally no ladder needed.
2 story residential? More likely for a ladder situation to arise, but generally no ladder needed.
3 story residential? In my opinion, if you go with trad pole work past 2 stories you start to lose the finesse needed for a quality job. Just too much distance/weight.

Again though, dependent on your skill level, it’s hard to beat “nose to glass” traditional work, or WFP.


Cipulos, you should clarify what type of work you will be doing - Store Front or Residential.

The classic Little Giant is solid but heavy - I like their Flip 'n Lite range - the best stepladders I’ve seen.

Thanks for your answer.
I am shooting for work on storefronts and up to 2 story residential.
I think I will be able to get enough jobs if I limit myself to that.
I have been looking at ladders, but I am bit unsure about which size is needed and what kind of ladder would be necessary. I recently cleaned a storefront without a pole and I could just barely reach the top. If I only have space for one ladder on my bike trailer and I have to do storefronts and up to 2 story residential would you recommend a wiener ladder, folder ladder, step ladder or telescopic ladder? And in which size?

For two story homes you will need an extension ladder. The size of that extension ladder will be determined by standard height of the 2 story home. If any variables come into play like slope of land next to the home or raised floor or base level then that adjustment in choice of ladder will need to be figured in. In most cases (not all) the 2nd floor windows will require a 22-24 foot ladder at least.

Ladder buying guide

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I have a 22ft (19 ft actual…) multi position Werner that I love as it folds down to 6 ft and I have only ever had it not be tall enough on a few houses due to landscaping or number of stories. It’s really heavy to work with though just as an fyi.

Good for you for trying to use your bicycle for work. It’s a challenge but the immediate and eventual benefits are amazing!

With our cargo bikes and trailers we haul either a 22 combination ladder or a 16 foot telescoping ladder. It’s very rare that we need to use a ladder because we use water fed pole/pure water systems but we haul a ladder maybe 4-6 times a year.

Let us know how things work out or if you have any questions!

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