How to Drive a Ladder – Part Two

How to Drive a Ladder – Part Two

17th July 2019

Last week we had some advice for our readers on how to transport ladders from one job site to the next safely and securely.  We felt that it would be a good idea to remind our readers of this issue following a story that was featured in our monthly News Roundup for June.   The news story concerned an incident on the A1270 Northern Distributor Road which snarled up traffic when a set of ladders being transported on a roof rack fell into the road, causing chaos.  Last week we covered the practical aspects of this problem, with advice on how to carry a ladder safely and how to make sure it’s securely attached to the roof of your vehicle, whether via a roof rack or not.  Today, we’re going to be taking a detailed look at the legislation covering overhanging loads (which is often the case with ladders) so that you can ensure compliance when driving your ladder(s) from one job to the next.

Making sure that you are within the overhang requirements for your ladder is vital if you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law.  This is essential for keeping both yourself and other road-users safe and to ensure that your ladders don’t get damaged.  Here is what legislation requires for overhanging loads, which includes ladders:

REAR OVERHANG:

Less than 1 metre

No requirements

Between 1 metre and 2 metres

You must make sure the overhang is clearly visible at both ends – ideally by marking it with a high-vis vest or bright red cloth. Legislation requires that it is clearly visible within a reasonable distance to other road users

Between 2 metres and 3.05 metres

You should have rear and side marker boards (400mm to 1700mm from the ground) to alert other road users to the overhang.

Over 3.05 metres

You need to give the police two working days’ notice before transportation and you will need a driver’s mate (attendant) as well as the marker boards.

 

FRONT OVERHANG:

Less than 2 metres

No requirements

Between 2 metres and 3.05 metres

You need rear and side marker boards (again 400mm to 1700mm from the ground) to alert other road users to the overhang.  You will also need an attendant or driver’s mate.

Over 3.05 metres

In addition to the marker boards, you need an attendant or driver’s mate.  You must also give the police two working days’ notice.

 

As a professional construction contractor or tradesperson, making sure your ladders are safe during transportation is really a no-brainer – they are your tools of the trade, after all.  Ladders that are not properly secured risk suffering damage during transit, which will have a negative effect on their integrity, and making them unsafe to use.  Securing your ladders properly (by using padlocks or specially designed lockable ladder roof racks will also keep them safe from thieves, so it really does make sense to make sure your ladders are safe and secure at all times.