I’m heading into my second year in business. So far so good. I’ve been working out of my Toyota Corolla and it has worked for my 17 foot Werner (little giant style) ladder. But I always feel a little silly puling that thing out of the trunk. Like I’m not a ‘real’ window cleaner. I want to extend my reach with a taller ladder and improve the professional look. I’m faced with the decision of buying a new vehicle, or finding a way to make a taller ladder work/ add some nice lettering to the car.
If I had it my way, I would just throw some racks on the Corolla and add some professional looking signage so it doesn’t look so… unprofessional - and I’d have more room in the trunk for supplies. I’ve tried to find any roof racks that can handle a 53 pound ladder and so far, no luck. I’m not even sure if a Corolla can handle that much of a load on top.
Does anyone have experience with cars and ladders? Or is it better to just break down and get a small truck?
I have had great luck with Yakima and Thule racks, they look great and are very durable. I’m not sure of the exact weight limit ,but I used to carry a 24 foot extension ladder and step ladder and on occasion 2 extension ladders . I would put the majority of the weight above the towers and use REI’s straps used for canoes etc and just strap down directly to the rack system.
Which 24 foot extension ladder did you use (brand/model)? I want to look up the weight. Were you able to drive on a freeway without issues? I contacted a couple retailers and they told me they can’t recommend that much weight. But I don’t know if that is just their policy to be really conservative with that kind of thing.
It was a VW golf and a Tercel wagon. I seem to remember it was about 300 pounds and I drove around with them for years with not one issue.
People drive around with kayaks and canoes all the time. Even 2 extension ladders and a step ladder can’t weigh much more then a 100#.
That’s awesome @JaredAI. Funny thing… That company actually subbed a window cleaning job to us last year.
I’ve been thinking it would be amusing to use a mini cooper. I have checked and I can fit my stack ladders in my wife’s cooper (would be able to put in enough pieces if I took out the passenger seat).
I like your thought process. It would be really memorable to have a mini cooper pull up with a 30 foot ladder on top.
When gas was pushing up near $4-5 several years back I used my 1977 mini for all my route work. I’ll see if I can find a pic on my laptop.
All poles and supplies fit nicely. Right hand drive to boot! Got alot of attention for sure. 40 mpg as well!
Going to work everyday was never so much fun!
With a fold down rear seat I was able to fit a 21 foot master craft ladder inside my 2008 corolla. It works
I really like my track-based VanTech rack. Very professional and sturdy. The tracks bolt directly to the roof with these really nifty blind rivet-nuts, so you don’t have to yank out the headliner to bolt it down. I think my rack with 60” tracks is rated for 400 lbs (but I’d never attempt putting more than 150 or so on a car roof).
There are some pics in my “build thread”: Infinity-Cleaning-Mobile 2.0 - #83 by Infinity