Extension Ladder On A Gravel Surface: Opinion On ?


Hi,
Would just like to get some opinions on this -
How "safe" and stable do you think using an extension ladder on a gravel surface would be ?
If it appears to be stable, think it actually would be ?
If not a good idea, what might you suggest ?
Thanks, B.
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Robert11 wrote:

Well, you could always find out the hard way...or you could put a 2x4, or even 4x4, in front of it and drive some long metal stakes in the ground to secure that. Once up there you could tie the top to something with a rope. The truth is, it probably would be fine if it seems secure. It is also true, however, that a lot of wives have collected life insurance, or are feeding their husbands with a spoon, due to ladder related accidents.
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Robert11 wrote:

Many extension ladders have articulating feet. They sit flat on stable ground and are rotated vertically so that they dig into less secure ground. Yours is the latter ladder configuration. If you don't have the articulating feet, tie off the ladder to stakes or to the building itself.
R
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Robert11 wrote:

My ladders have feet on the bottom that swivel out to provide a surface with teeth. These feet with teeth are designed for your purpose, to dig in and hold on loose or soft surfaces. Check your ladder to see if it has this type of feet. If not then you have an excuse to buy a new ladder!!
You can also give it the "acid test". Climb up a few feet and then jump up and down on the ladder. If it will slip this activity will cause it and you will only fall a few feet. If it does not slip then yu should be OK.
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wrote:

It's probably fine. But:
I have a 4' plank with a bunch of mouse-pads stapled to the bottom of it, and a 1x2 nailed along one edge. On my porch roof, that goes loose under the ladder. On dirt, it gets tent-stakes outboard of it, so it can't slide. In both cases, the first thing I do when I go up the ladder is drive a big-ass screw eye in under the eve, to which I tie the ladder.
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wrote:

I'm no expert, but I doubt that your gravel is very deep. Maybe you could dig down the few inches to solid ground where you want the ladder feet to stand.
Greg Guarino
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In questionable situations I've uses stakes or 4x4's or pulled the pickup against the ladder. Not practical when you have to move the ladder a lot.
This was after a ladder kicked out on me. Landed perfectly verticle on ankle on blacktop. Ankle joint drove up my leg like a wood splitter. x-ray summary read 9 major fractures with numerous minor fractures. Got 9 pins and a plate on that. They could not put cast on for 2 weeks when all the swelling went down.
My statement now over a decade later it only hurts half the time - every other step.
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Sorry but "gravel surface" is not specficic enough to give a flat safe/unsafe answer. You'll have to use your best judjment on that. However, if it seems possible that the ladder feet _will_ slip, there are several precautions that you can choose from. If the gravel is just a layer spread upon normal ground, you could brush aside enough for the ladder feet to rest on a more secure surface. Sometimes I will drive a stake behind ladder feet.
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When Dee ran over the family cat while backing out the driveway, my reponse was ...
"The more you run over a cat the flatter it gets."
What does this have to do with use of an extension ladder on a gravel surface? Beats me...

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