Every ladder ever sold has a warning that says "Do Not Step on Top
Well, if they dont want anyone to step on the top, why the hell do
they put that top step on the ladder. And why do they call it a
"step", if you cant STEP on it....
I vote to remove the top step from all ladders. Having to read all
those warnings everytime I go up a ladder is distracting and one of
these days I am going to fall off the ladder while reading those damn
If they remove the top step, then the next step becomes the next step
(the new top step). Since you can't use that one either, that would
have to be removed. Then the 3rd step becomes the top step.... so on
and so forth.... Pretty soon you have 2 sides with no steps... :-)
Please don't get rid of that top step.
It is the only one from which I do most of my work.
I consider that top step to be an evolutionary accelerator:
If you are both reasonably overweight plus not bright enough
to stay off of that top step, then the Darwinian process
may want to prune your genes from the pool.
I bought one of those little alluminum 2 step ladders to keep in the back
of my truck, top step says not a step, although I bought it knowing I was
going to use that step all the time, why would anyone buy one if they
were'nt going to use it, a step ladder that only gets you 6" off the grond
is called a book.
Ladder and step stool manufacturers have it rough. They're bound by
load rating requirements (a good thing), have to plaster the ladder
with a term paper's worth of instructions, warnings and other stickers
that no one reads, and they must get sued a hundred times a year. Not
an enviable place to be.
The loss of that one step can be very significant. An extension ladder
losing a step might only mean a 5% reduction in reach. A two stepper
losing a step is a 50% loss! You're paying _twice_ as much for that
one step. That's highway robbery. The manufacturers no doubt see it
as a...damn - a good pun would be really nice here, but I can't think
My previous two-stepper was a wooden reject - or should have been. The
spreader/leg locking bar was riveted in upside down - in other words,
gravity would let the "lock" fall down/open. Used it like that for
years even though I knew better. Never had a problem, maybe because I
knew the ladder was a little defective.
A friend was moving and tossed some stuff my way and a nice stout
aluminum two-stepper was in the mix. Out with the old, in with the
newer design/stupidity mix. The aluminum stepper folded in the middle
of the top. The top step was extra large and obviously too inviting to
be anything other than a shoe sole resting place. After I flew off the
ladder in a fall that stunned me (stunned me that I didn't do any
serious damage), I examined the stool a little more closely. Unless
weight was distributed more or less perfectly between the four legs,
and the legs were all fully spread apart and sitting firmly on the
floor, the more slender rear legs, supported by thin flexy aluminum
pieces acting as braces (tension and compression), would creep inwards,
the top would start to fold, and as you balanced to compensate for the
movement it would continue inching inwards until all stability was
It's the safer things that are dangerous.
I think the little trailers that Harbor Freight sells have
instructions to check that the bolts are tight and the wheels are
tight every 100 miles.
You are supposed to check if the lights work every 200 miles.
I guess they don't want to get sued.
Those warnings are written by lawyers and serve only to protect the
liability of the ladder manufacturers like warning you that your coffee
is hot. Of coure most people will use the top step if they need it.
If you look again I think you will find it says do not stand or sit on
top step. Mine all have the top two steps labeled for no standing. The
idea is that you can use them to climb to a higher standing level on
something else but you shouldn't try to stand on the two top steps as
your more likely to loose your balance. Were step ladders are being
used as work platforms the proper ladder to use is a platform ladder
rather than a step ladder. This link will take you to a picture of a
Notice that the standing level has a larger area so that your entire
foot can stand flat and that it has a knee bar to help you maintain
orientation and balance. The obvious draw back is that you have to know
what height you will need to work at in advance. I have seen a
combination step and platform ladder were the unused steps could be
lifted out of the way but they are hard to find, heavy, and expensive.
My favorite type of ladder is an eight by sixteen combination step
extension. It nicely bridges the gap between a six foot step ladder and
the twenty four feet and longer extension ladders. You can't beat it
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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