Sectional versus extension ladders

Hello everyone,

I’m in a position to buy a set of sectionals finally but have been getting varying opinions on whether to have those or stick with an extension.

I do mostly 2 story work with the occasional 3 story. I like the idea of sectionals mainly for leaving them inside my work vehicle and not having to load and unload at the end if everyday. Which is a pro…the con is they’re crazy expensive in my opinion.

Can I get your thoughts on pros and cons before I purchase?

I think it depends a bit on what types of houses you work on. Sectionals are brilliant if you do a lot of interior ladder work. They’re also great for getting between large plates of glass with narrow mullions. You can get them setup in some seriously awkward spots.

They do come with a learning curve, though. I recommend watching as many of Dangerous Dave’s videos on sectionals as you can.

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I don’t know about sectionals these days, but the ones we tried 15 years ago had round rungs and wrecked our feet. Plus we couldn’t put levelers on them so that was out.

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Still have round rungs, we dont find it an issue with proper footwear and not using them all day.

Why were you not able to install levelers?

Go with extension first and then buy some sectionals, after a while. 16, 24, 28, you can get them all 200lb rating. Very cheap from ace hardware. Levelers suggested for the 24 and 28. Amazon sells Xtendaleg. Been considering sectionals, and I will probably get some in the next 2 years

Just buy a set of sectionals,An be done with it. You won’t regret it. Only ladder you will ever need for window cleaning. Except a step ladder.
Pros are , they last for ever, There versatile , an there built for window cleaners.
They can be broken down to fit in most vechiles. I’d Rather carry 4 6’ section in a house then a 24’ extension. Anything worthwhile is expensive.

I’m one for extension ladders. Like DC Brock said, the rungs hurt my feet. Also, when sending employees out, there is a learning curve.

So we use both types. Most of the guys use extensions because the learning curve I think. The stacks are tricky if you don’t use them regularly. I have found that I carry 3 pieces with me for interior work and still prefer a 24’ with stabilizer for exterior. There are some situations where a stack ladder is invaluable. Have you run into any situation so far were you couldn’t clean the window with an extension ladder?

I’ve never used sectionals but I’ve yet to come across a setup that I couldn’t access with my extension ladders. As for loading and unloading daily, I purchased a combination bike lock and just run it through the rungs and around my ladder rack on the truck and leave them on 24/7. No issues with theft so far.

I like my 24’ extension ladder. Tried out a 3 piece sectional for a few months recently. I like being able to raise the extension in 1 foot increments rather than 6’ increments of a sectional. I also found putting up and taking down a sectional far more strenuous than the extension.

Yes! Good point @Matthew .

I forgot about that, extension ladders with Xtenda’s let you fine tune where the ladder mitts get placed, especially critical on interior palladiums.

I remember when they first came out it was popular with crews having to maneuver in tight spaces such as office buildings where you really didn’t want to bring a 28’ in the lobby. Flat floors, stack them 4,5,6 deep, works great for that purpose. It was NEVER intended to be stuck in someone’s off-camber yard and placed on a third story window, but some do I guess.

All this stuff is refreshing my memory from decades ago.:ok_hand:

Okay, have to put in my 2 cents. Yesterday, had a smallish CCU and the clutch went out in my truck. I was able to put my stacks in my wife’s Mini and still do my job while the truck is in the shop. Even able to have a passenger with all my gear and the stacks. I can fit 4 sections before I have to take out the passenger seat. I love my stacks!

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