Hi all, I’m new here and am starting up my own window cleaning business. Now I am very confused about ladders. I have a car and NOT a truck. I was thinking of getting sectional ladders, but I see a lot of people using larger reach poles and not using any ladders.
So I’m thinking of just using longer poles for now without using ladders, could this work?
Welcome D37! I am just starting my venture as well and though I have a jeep I was thinking along your same lines though my reasoning was to not have to deal with lugging around ladders. What I found is that at some point you are going to need ladders especially in residential. Here’s what I would personally do, think on how you are going to get a ladder to and fro instead of thinking of how to work without one. At some point you will need them.
When I first started I had a nissan sentra. I was working for another company at the time, they hired me to clean windows, but there were requirements I had to meet before I could have the job. One was I had to have a ladder. Big problem I thought. What I did was bought a Gorilla ladder from home creepo, took a sawzall and cut the metal between my trunk and back seat, and my ladder fit just fine.
There are going to be situations where you HAVE to have a ladder. Thats just how it is. You may get away without one on a few jobs, but the majority of them you will absolutely need one. The gorilla ladders run at about 3 hundred bucks. I have had mine now for about 5 years and still work fine. Got 2 of them in fact.
You will need a truck eventually. I know you are just starting out, but having the right tools for every job you take on is essential. Start saving for a truck. When a customer sees you pull up in a car, it just screams out “BEGINNER”. I know it dont matter, its perception is all. Youre out of garden grove right? You have some steep competition, so just starting out you will need to present yourself in the best possible way you can to your potential clients. Get that truck man…until then, bust your back and work hard to get to where you want to be. You can do it, we all have…and continue to do it.
I just bought a Werner multi-position ladder yesterday at HD. It’s the 22’ model. A little heavy, but it seems so versatile and it fits inside my van easily.
I’ll be using it the first time on a two-story this afternoon.
Thanks, this has really made me think things through. You are right I will need a ladder. I can’t just do all the windows with poles. Well I have done some more research into ladders and found these two ladders here that I think would do the job. The first ladder can fit in the trunk of your car and extends to 21ft!!! and the other model extends to 3/6/12ft.
I’ll take a look for them. I am in Ontario, Canada so I don’t know if they sell them. I am taking a look at home depot, home hardware, and lowes here in Ontario. So 21ft/22ft ladder would be alright for most homes? and can you use the pole while on them?
Many will not agree with me on this. Ladders are very dangerous. Insurance companies say that 85% of there claims by homeowners areladder related. Over the last 28 years my ladder slipped and I fell 4 times. The last fall I took was in 2001. Since then I have not used a ladder and I clean windows everyday. You can do it. Get you a backpack, wfp, reach around, doodle pad and wagtail. All this will fit in any vehicle. Carry 5 gal contianers of pure water. Jmo
Just to throw my little experience in the mix… I bought a garelick 24’ pole to work with. I ran accross a job where my 22’ ladder wouldn’t reach the second story windows so I did the whole house with a pole… VERY tiring! Especially if you don’t have the right tools. If you’re even going to attempt it get a backflip or something along those lines because constantly changing out tools is killer. The second problem I ran into is detailing… with that long of a pole is difficult because you can’t get up close to the window to really check it out. Lastly there were a couple of spot that I had to scrape and because of the flex in the pole it was very difficult to get the angle on the scraper that it needed to work effectively so I would definetly recommend getting an angled scraper.
The poles come in really handy, but nothing beats getting up close if you wanna do a good job. But that’s just my crappy opinion, so take it with a grain of salt
Yup from Garden Grove but is was this WCR MEMBER D37 who was confused about ladders. But thank you though, I work for a window cleaning company, and do my biz in the weekends too… so far so good
I have a Litttle Giant. It closes to about 5’9" and extends to about 19.5’. That may give you an idea of what you can manage. I would imagine the Gorilla and Werner are about the same ratios. While you may be able to pull off most outside gigs with just a pole (if you’re exceptionally talented), there will be situations, especially on residential, where a ladder is a must.