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Generally lighter in weight than other types of ladders, telescoping ladders can be easily extended or shortened to meet the needs of the specific situation. Sometimes confused with extension ladders, telescoping ladders are different in that an extension ladder is raised or lowered via a pulley system





Telescoping Ladders Overview

What is a Telescoping Ladder?

A telescoping ladder is a type of ladder that has side rails that are divided into sections. These sections are capable of sliding in and out of each other in order to either extend or retract the ladder. As such, it is possible for a stepladder, extension or multipurpose version to be a telescoping one. Regardless of type, these offer two primary benefits. First, it makes it possible to retract it to a smaller size. Second, the ability to collapse it helps to decrease the size of the ladder, thereby making it easier to store and transport.

How to Choose a Telescoping Ladder
  • Application: Useful when versatility is desired, as they can be easily shortened or lengthened to serve the needs of a specific situation.

  • Materials: Typically made of aluminum, though some specialty versions may be made of steel, fiberglass or other composites.

  • Height/Reach: Adjustability is one of the key factors of a telescoping ladder, which can be easily changed to increase or decrease the height. Many models can be collapsed to just a few feet or extended to 14 feet or longer.

  • Duty Rating: Typically lighter in weight, which means they generally cannot support as much weight as those ladders that are more heavy-duty in nature. As such, they can usually hold only up to 375 pounds. When selecting the right model, be sure to consider the weight of the individuals who are likely to use the ladder as well as the weight of the items that will be carried up and down the rungs.

  • Safety Concerns: Various safety mechanisms are in place to prevent it from retracting.

Telescoping Ladder Uses

A telescoping ladder can be used in both the residential and commercial setting. Thanks to its versatility in terms of height, it can be adjusted to reach high places such as rooftops or it can be used to reach lower areas that are simply difficult to reach. Since they are available in both stepladder or extension form, one can be purchased in such a way that it must be leaned against a wall or it may be purchased as a standalone ladder that does not require a structure to lean against.

Telescoping Ladder Safety Tips

These have various safety mechanisms in place to ensure the ladder does not retract unless the user intentionally retracts the ladder. It is important to never retract the ladder while it is in use. If one is purchased in the extension ladder design, be sure the it has two solid contacts on the ground and one solid contact at the top before climbing.