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Are three legged ladders legal for use?

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    Are three legged ladders legal for use?

    One time I worked for a company and they used a lot of three legged ladders. They are a lot better than a four legger in my opinion. Much more stable. Working for other companies I've mentioned how much I like a three legged ladder over the four legged models and have been told that three legged ones are not legal. Is this true? I don't really know how to research that one!


    Found these on Werners site:

    http://www.wernerladder.com/newprods/ftp.php
    Last edited by wawireguy; 01-07-09, 10:57 AM.

    #2
    I took a look through the Washington State Administrative Code (WAC), and could not find any prohibition against a three-legged self-supporting ladder. But I may have missed a requirement, so I can't say for certain that it is legal. Sorry, but that's the best I can offer.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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      #3
      My dad bought one of these orchard ladders for household use and a paint job that we did. At first I thought it was ridiculous, but after using it a few times I became a believer. It's amazingly stable and you can get it into spots where you couldn't use a 4 leg ladder.



      Are they legal? Yes, absolutely.
      Last edited by peter d; 01-07-09, 12:41 PM.

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        #4
        I have a three legged ladder that adjusts so you can use it on stairs or other uneven surfaces, but it is not very stable at all. That is the only three legged ladder that I have seen or used.

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          #5
          Originally posted by peter d View Post
          ... you can get it into spots where you couldn't use a 4 leg ladder.

          It will fit into a corner like no other ladder.
          Master Electrician
          Electrical Contractor
          Richmond, VA

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            #6
            i don't think so

            check answer (1) item (4)
            http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ONS&p_id=25906

            the ladder should only be used as the manufacturer intended. so an orchard ladder is intended for use in an orchard. However the werner ladder in the link
            is not an orchard ladder.
            Why is it, when it comes to the NEC, the obvious is never simple and the simple is never obvious?

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              #7
              Originally posted by billsnuff View Post
              check answer (1) item (4)
              http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ONS&p_id=25906

              the ladder should only be used as the manufacturer intended. so an orchard ladder is intended for use in an orchard. However the werner ladder in the link
              is not an orchard ladder.
              I certainly wouldn't use an orchard ladder on a job site, but I would use a Werner one.

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                #8
                Originally posted by LarryFine View Post
                It will fit into a corner like no other ladder.
                Aluminum????

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                  #9
                  Three points of contact will work on any surface.
                  Four points requires an even surface.
                  Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by 480sparky View Post
                    Aluminum????
                    Yeah, I noticed that too. You (peter d) are an electrician and you use an aluminum ladder? I hope you meant that you only use it for painting!

                    The problem I have had with 3 leg ladders (my step father owned orchards) is that the one center leg gets a lot of weight on it when you are at the top and reaching out, so it tends to sink into soil easier than I like. That is a baaaaad feeling....
                    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
                    Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

                    I'm in California, ergo I am still stuck on the 2014 NEC... We'll get around to the 2017 code in around 2021.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jraef View Post
                      Yeah, I noticed that too. You (peter d) are an electrician and you use an aluminum ladder? I hope you meant that you only use it for painting!

                      Yes, I would use it for non-electrical tasks.

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                        #12
                        My position is going to be that they are legal for job sites. They are superior in every way honestly. Especially the tall ones. Anyone whose used one knows what I'm talking about. They don't walk. They don't tip. Very solid.

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                          #13
                          We have one at work and I love it but I'll be darned if, after a lifetime of the 4-legged kind, I can make my brain see it as normal looking.
                          Deserve's got nothin' to do with it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jraef View Post
                            The problem I have had with 3 leg ladders (my step father owned orchards) is that the one center leg gets a lot of weight on it when you are at the top and reaching out, so it tends to sink into soil easier than I like. That is a baaaaad feeling....
                            Look at the bright side: by the time it falls over, you're already halfway down. :grin:
                            Master Electrician
                            Electrical Contractor
                            Richmond, VA

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                              #15
                              I bought one about a year ago. It collapses down to 5' and can extend to 8'. the legs can be adjusted to work on stairs. Its also rated to work on leaning against a wall.
                              The bottom of the third leg has a "T" shape for stability. Its really good for tight spaces.

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