What Is a Ladder Jack?
Ladder jacks are tools that are commonly found in both the construction industry and among do-it-yourself-ers, who are looking for a more convenient way to accomplish tasks.
A ladder jack is a triangular-shaped apparatus. On one side of the triangle, it has two brackets that attach between two ladder rungs. The top of the triangle, once the ladder is set up, should be close to horizontal and usually extends past the limits of the triangle created by the jack. It also has a bracket on the end meant for holding onto scaffolding or other platforms.
Ladder jacks are most commonly used for scaffolding between two ladders. This is accomplished by setting up two ladders at the same angle on the same surface, then placing scaffolding on top of two ladder jacks attached at similar heights.
How to Use a Ladder Jack
A ladder jack is simple to use. Basically, after setting up the ladder, place the ladder jack on top of two of the rungs of the ladder on which you want to place the ladder jack. The jack should rest so that the top of the jack is perpendicular to gravitational pull, or horizontally to the wall on which the ladder rests. Make sure that the jack is not loose, then place scaffolding or whatever else you want on top of the jack.
Most ladder jacks can be adjusted to fit different sizes of ladders. Read the user's manual before adjustment. This is essential so as to prevent a malfunction of the jack, especially when under load.
Advantages of a Ladder Jack
Ladder jacks are mainly used so often because of their portability and cost effectiveness. Ladder jacks are cheap and can be interchanged relatively easily, in contrast to more expensive or complex forms of scaffolding. Unfortunately, this portability also comes with the sacrifice of strength, for ladder jacks should only be used with relatively light loads.
David Scott has been a firefighter for the Seattle Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team for almost 20 years. He has been writing primarily since 2005, but did author the book, "The White River Ranger District Trail Guide" in 1988. In addition to his work for Demand Studios, Scott spends much of his time writing poetry and a novel.