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Carrying a ladder

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  • kest918
    What s the longest ladder that you guys have carried? Do any of you have any special tips or tricks? I have access to a 20 folding ladder aluminum. I have a
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 10, 2012
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      What's the longest ladder that you guys have carried? Do any of you have any special tips or tricks? I have access to a 20' folding ladder aluminum. I have a set of wideloaders I can use but its just one ladder and it offsets my load enough that it makes the ride shaky. Thanks, Mike
    • thom chiaramonte
      when I carry anything oblong or weighted on one side, I counter-balance the load with a weight in the opposing side s freeloader.
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 10, 2012
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        when I carry anything oblong or weighted on one side, I counter-balance the load with a weight in the opposing side's freeloader. 

        On Dec 10, 2012, at 3:18 PM, "kest918" <kest918@...> wrote:

         

        What's the longest ladder that you guys have carried? Do any of you have any special tips or tricks? I have access to a 20' folding ladder aluminum. I have a set of wideloaders I can use but its just one ladder and it offsets my load enough that it makes the ride shaky. Thanks, Mike


      • dr2chase@mac.com
        You re going to get oscillation, it s pretty much unavoidable (you and the ladder form a giant tuning fork). Worst case for me was 4 8 4x4s:
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 10, 2012
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          You're going to get oscillation, it's pretty much unavoidable (you and the ladder form a giant tuning fork). Worst case for me was 4 8' 4x4s:

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr2chase/sets/72157630361381850/

          It was an upper-body workout; I could damp the oscillations, but I was unable to stop them.

          David

          On 2012-12-10, at 6:18 PM, kest918 <kest918@...> wrote:

          > What's the longest ladder that you guys have carried? Do any of you have any special tips or tricks? I have access to a 20' folding ladder aluminum. I have a set of wideloaders I can use but its just one ladder and it offsets my load enough that it makes the ride shaky. Thanks, Mike
          >
          > __.
        • thom chiaramonte
          what an awesome photo set. I am preparing to bring home 8 2x4x8 and a number of smaller units, and was hoping to do it by bike, but without wide loaders I
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 10, 2012
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            what an awesome photo set. I am preparing to bring home 8 2x4x8' and a number of smaller units, and was hoping to do it by bike, but without wide loaders I don't think I can rig a stable enough harness. I think those are my next xtracycle investment. 

            On Dec 10, 2012, at 3:51 PM, dr2chase@... wrote:

             

            You're going to get oscillation, it's pretty much unavoidable (you and the ladder form a giant tuning fork). Worst case for me was 4 8' 4x4s:

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr2chase/sets/72157630361381850/

            It was an upper-body workout; I could damp the oscillations, but I was unable to stop them.

            David

            On 2012-12-10, at 6:18 PM, kest918 <kest918@...> wrote:

            > What's the longest ladder that you guys have carried? Do any of you have any special tips or tricks? I have access to a 20' folding ladder aluminum. I have a set of wideloaders I can use but its just one ladder and it offsets my load enough that it makes the ride shaky. Thanks, Mike
            >
            > __.


          • Tone
            I have carried only a six foot ladder, but I have carried 12’ long planks of lumber from Home Depot or Lowes. I think they were 1”x10”s and several of
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 12, 2012
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              I have carried only a six foot ladder, but I have carried 12’ long planks
              of lumber from Home Depot or Lowes. I think they were 1”x10”s and several
              of them at a time on a few separate occasions. Of course, I have two wide
              loaders and two long loaders! Having at least one of each of those is
              essential when carrying something long.

              As someone pointed out, being able to haul a counter load on the other
              side of the bike helps immensely to avoid oscillation. I always carry
              with me a 3’ kryptonite chain, and usually I also have a large messenger
              bag of gear and tools everywhere I bike. Therefore, if I ever haul an
              unbalanced load I always try to balance out my load with my bag and chain
              as a counter-weight.

              If you have two pairs of wide loaders and long loaders, you can obviously
              counter balance half your load with the other half of the load. As
              David’s photos show, the split long load will come together in the back
              and spread toward the front. This becomes very exaggerated the longer
              your load is. With 12’ long items they will touch several feet behind
              your bike, so you might want to bring something bright and colorful to
              hang and trail off the end of the load. I usually also clipped my
              blinking red light on the back. Binding the load as much as possible is
              extremely helpful as well. If you have loose boards of wood, then
              anything that helps tighten it up as one moving mass is helpful,
              otherwise bumps in the road might shift them around and sway you along
              your way.

              With a dually-split long 12’ load, you will also notice how wide your
              moving mass will become. It can get to the point where you really will
              genuinely have to take up the space of a full car lane. Again, streamers
              hanging from your protruding sides will help non-expectant drivers from
              colliding with your load. You definitely do NOT want to even get slightly
              bumped while hauling a heavy bulky moving load. Once I was riding by a
              parallel parked car, which had its front driver-side wheel turned out so
              it would be easier to drive out of the parking space. Unfortunately it
              was sticking out just enough and I misjudged the space I needed to pass
              by. I happened to be moving my future wife’s stuff to my own apartment,
              and the load included a wooden rocking chair. When my wide loader just
              bumped into that tire I got bounced violently over and crashed on the
              other side. The chair cracked slightly, and my front Aerospoke carbon
              fiber wheel, which never needs truing, became just a bit out of true.
              Fortunately, I use disc brakes, so rubbing rim brakes were never a worry.

              Mike, in your own case of carrying the ladder, I would consider a couple
              of options. First off though, you said it was a 20’ folding ladder. Did
              you mean it was a collapsing ladder because a typical A-frame expandable
              ladder would still be around 20’ when folded? Personally, I am not sure
              how I would ever feel about carrying something that is 20’ long. 8’ is
              totally fine, and 10’ is certainly manageable, but I think 12’ is my
              comfort limit. I have hauled some serious loads too, so I have some first
              hand experience. Something that is 20’ would most likely extend
              diagonally through a whole lane of traffic and might “poke” into the
              space of at least one adjoining lane.
              With not being completely clear on what kind of ladder it is, have you
              ever considered dismantling it so that it can be self-balanced on either
              side of your bike? I certainly have hauled unbalanced loads on frequent
              numerous occasions, but any ladder, which is 20’ would have considerable
              weight as well as be awkwardly bulky. Just to give you some perspective,
              I use to be a cargo bike messenger in NYC, and regularly kept only one
              wide-loader and long-loader installed during my work days so I could
              still maneuver through the dense traffic. I usually kept the other set
              tucked in the other side’s Free-loaders as a back up for extra carrying
              capacity, but generally I always hauled everything on the non-drive-chain
              side. A 6’-8’ ladder would be no big deal, but a twenty footer is
              something entirely different.
              If the ladder you are talking about does happen to be one of those
              expandable A-frame style ladders, maybe you could actually open it up
              while having it placed on your bike. In this position the ladder would be
              down on its side with its top facing the rear and each of it two foot
              ends spread out in front and to the sides of your bike. Regardless
              though, 20’ is twenty long feet. At least it is aluminum and not an old
              fashioned wooden ladder because then it would be so much heavier. If you
              can share photos of the type of ladder you have, even if it is just a
              link to an on-line store’s web site with a similar styled ladder, then I
              could provide much better advice.

              Ride Safe,
              _TONE_
            • Mike
              http://www.lowes.com/pd_78463-287-MT-22_0__?productId=1101083&Ntt=werner+folding+22%27+ladder&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNtt%3Dwerner%2Bfolding%2B22%2527%2Bladder&face
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 12, 2012
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                http://www.lowes.com/pd_78463-287-MT-22_0__?productId=1101083&Ntt=werner+folding+22%27+ladder&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dwerner%2Bfolding%2B22%2527%2Bladder&facetInfo=

                Here's a pic and description, sorry for commercial link. I should have said I was more worried about the unbalanced load than the length as it folds up relatively small for a  ladder. Thank you all for your replies.
                 
                Mike


                From: Tone <tone@...>
                To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 5:36 PM
                Subject: RE: [rootsradicals] Carrying a ladder

                 
                I have carried only a six foot ladder, but I have carried 12’ long planks
                of lumber from Home Depot or Lowes. I think they were 1”x10”s and several
                of them at a time on a few separate occasions. Of course, I have two wide
                loaders and two long loaders! Having at least one of each of those is
                essential when carrying something long.

                As someone pointed out, being able to haul a counter load on the other
                side of the bike helps immensely to avoid oscillation. I always carry
                with me a 3’ kryptonite chain, and usually I also have a large messenger
                bag of gear and tools everywhere I bike. Therefore, if I ever haul an
                unbalanced load I always try to balance out my load with my bag and chain
                as a counter-weight.

                If you have two pairs of wide loaders and long loaders, you can obviously
                counter balance half your load with the other half of the load. As
                David’s photos show, the split long load will come together in the back
                and spread toward the front. This becomes very exaggerated the longer
                your load is. With 12’ long items they will touch several feet behind
                your bike, so you might want to bring something bright and colorful to
                hang and trail off the end of the load. I usually also clipped my
                blinking red light on the back. Binding the load as much as possible is
                extremely helpful as well. If you have loose boards of wood, then
                anything that helps tighten it up as one moving mass is helpful,
                otherwise bumps in the road might shift them around and sway you along
                your way.

                With a dually-split long 12’ load, you will also notice how wide your
                moving mass will become. It can get to the point where you really will
                genuinely have to take up the space of a full car lane. Again, streamers
                hanging from your protruding sides will help non-expectant drivers from
                colliding with your load. You definitely do NOT want to even get slightly
                bumped while hauling a heavy bulky moving load. Once I was riding by a
                parallel parked car, which had its front driver-side wheel turned out so
                it would be easier to drive out of the parking space. Unfortunately it
                was sticking out just enough and I misjudged the space I needed to pass
                by. I happened to be moving my future wife’s stuff to my own apartment,
                and the load included a wooden rocking chair. When my wide loader just
                bumped into that tire I got bounced violently over and crashed on the
                other side. The chair cracked slightly, and my front Aerospoke carbon
                fiber wheel, which never needs truing, became just a bit out of true.
                Fortunately, I use disc brakes, so rubbing rim brakes were never a worry.

                Mike, in your own case of carrying the ladder, I would consider a couple
                of options. First off though, you said it was a 20’ folding ladder. Did
                you mean it was a collapsing ladder because a typical A-frame expandable
                ladder would still be around 20’ when folded? Personally, I am not sure
                how I would ever feel about carrying something that is 20’ long. 8’ is
                totally fine, and 10’ is certainly manageable, but I think 12’ is my
                comfort limit. I have hauled some serious loads too, so I have some first
                hand experience. Something that is 20’ would most likely extend
                diagonally through a whole lane of traffic and might “poke” into the
                space of at least one adjoining lane.
                With not being completely clear on what kind of ladder it is, have you
                ever considered dismantling it so that it can be self-balanced on either
                side of your bike? I certainly have hauled unbalanced loads on frequent
                numerous occasions, but any ladder, which is 20’ would have considerable
                weight as well as be awkwardly bulky. Just to give you some perspective,
                I use to be a cargo bike messenger in NYC, and regularly kept only one
                wide-loader and long-loader installed during my work days so I could
                still maneuver through the dense traffic. I usually kept the other set
                tucked in the other side’s Free-loaders as a back up for extra carrying
                capacity, but generally I always hauled everything on the non-drive-chain
                side. A 6’-8’ ladder would be no big deal, but a twenty footer is
                something entirely different.
                If the ladder you are talking about does happen to be one of those
                expandable A-frame style ladders, maybe you could actually open it up
                while having it placed on your bike. In this position the ladder would be
                down on its side with its top facing the rear and each of it two foot
                ends spread out in front and to the sides of your bike. Regardless
                though, 20’ is twenty long feet. At least it is aluminum and not an old
                fashioned wooden ladder because then it would be so much heavier. If you
                can share photos of the type of ladder you have, even if it is just a
                link to an on-line store’s web site with a similar styled ladder, then I
                could provide much better advice.

                Ride Safe,
                _TONE_



              • dr2chase@mac.com
                ... 47 lbs should not be a problem if you have a wideloader. If you re worried about balance, get 4 gallon jugs, fill them with water, ride over 2+2, ride
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 12, 2012
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                  On 2012-12-12, at 9:27 PM, Mike <kest918@...> wrote:

                  >
                  > http://www.lowes.com/pd_78463-287-MT-22_0__?productId=1101083&Ntt=werner+folding+22%27+ladder&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNtt%3Dwerner%2Bfolding%2B22%2527%2Bladder&facetInfo=
                  >
                  > Here's a pic and description, sorry for commercial link. I should have said I was more worried about the unbalanced load than the length as it folds up relatively small for a ladder. Thank you all for your replies.

                  47 lbs should not be a problem if you have a wideloader. If you're worried about balance, get 4 gallon jugs, fill them with water, ride over 2+2, ride home 4+ladder.

                  Hard to say whether you should use a longloader or not with this; the longloader kicks it out to the side, which gives it more moment-arm down, but sticking 2-3 feet of ladder out the back is also bad for handling.

                  If you lack a longloader, just get a lightweight lump of something (empty 5 gallon bucket) to use as a standoff, and cinch it down tight.

                  David
                • Tone
                  Mike, I have almost the same exact style ladder. My ladder’s brand name might be different, but it definitely looks pretty identical. Personally I would
                  Message 8 of 10 , Dec 15, 2012
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                    Mike,

                    I have almost the same exact style ladder. My ladder’s brand name might
                    be different, but it definitely looks pretty identical. Personally I
                    would probably just try riding with it as an unbalanced load all on one
                    side. As I said before, I do carry a 3’ chain as a lock and a messenger
                    bag of gear, so I would at least offset the weight a little on the other
                    side. The unbalanced load might result in me leaning slightly to one side
                    to compensate for the bike’s desire to drift or lean in the direction of
                    the weight, but I believe it is manageable.

                    Several years ago I picked up an artificial Xmas tree from a manufacturer
                    in New Jersey. The box with the three or so dismantled sections was
                    almost the size of a gun safe. It weighed about eighty pounds! I did
                    manage to tie it off on one side. Fortunately, I also had to buy their 30
                    pound base for the tree, so that along with my chain and gear bag helped
                    compensate for the imbalance. Admittedly, it was a slow ride back to
                    Brooklyn. Instead of taking the PATH train, which would involves lots of
                    steps, escalators, and/or tight spaced elevators we decided to take a
                    ferry across the Hudson River to Manhattan. It was about two or three
                    times the cost, but not having to deal with unloading the box and messing
                    with stairs was a life saver. The scenery and fresh air of the bay also
                    made it so much more pleasant. After land fall my biggest obstacle
                    getting home was going up the arch of one of the East River bridges.

                    Back to the topic of your specific ladder load, I do think you have
                    another totally reasonable option, which avoids most of the imbalance
                    issues. If your ladder is truly like mine, then you can separate the two
                    “A” frame sections from each other. According to the Lowes description
                    that would be the two “scaffold bases”, as if you intended to rest a
                    plank of wood across the two. With those two segments separated and kept
                    shut (not folded open like an “A”) you should not have much problem
                    putting one on each side. Just make sure to strap it all in good. I would
                    imagine having long loaders would help, but I do not think it would be
                    absolutely necessary.

                    Ride safe,
                    _TONE_
                  • kest918@yahoo.com
                    Thanks, Tone as usual your replies are well thought out and articulated. Mine does not separate but would make life a lot easier if it did. I ve strapped this
                    Message 9 of 10 , Dec 15, 2012
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                      Thanks, Tone as usual your replies are well thought out and articulated. Mine does not separate but would make life a lot easier if it did. I've strapped this thing on and rolled around the parking lot with it but was hesitant to enter the roadway without a little more experience with it strapped on. Now the second part of my problem is that was some months ago and I've since sold my Big Dummy and am in the process of building an xtracycle. Backwards I know but I needed the cash. So now I have a little more oscillation to deal with. 
                       Presently I am in the planning stages of the build. I have an early 90's trek 950 to use as my donor bike and my old Free Rad frame from before the BD. I'm kicking around some ideas to build a "contractor's van" to use for my handyman side work. I don't have vracks or freeloaders and I don't know that I will purchase any just yet. I do have the wideloaders and a homemade long loader. Since most of what I carry is painting and drywall tools I can put those inside milk crates on the other side of the ladder. I'm working out a way to attach a tool box using the h rack ports. This will enable me to store any bungees and locks etc. the things I normally kept in the pockets of my freeloaders. It will also give me a way to utilize the long loader.
                       It's a work in progress but I'm having fun with the challenge. Again, thank you all for the replies! Mike

                      On Dec 15, 2012, at 1:39 PM, "Tone" <tone@...> wrote:

                       

                      Mike,

                      I have almost the same exact style ladder. My ladder’s brand name might
                      be different, but it definitely looks pretty identical. Personally I
                      would probably just try riding with it as an unbalanced load all on one
                      side. As I said before, I do carry a 3’ chain as a lock and a messenger
                      bag of gear, so I would at least offset the weight a little on the other
                      side. The unbalanced load might result in me leaning slightly to one side
                      to compensate for the bike’s desire to drift or lean in the direction of
                      the weight, but I believe it is manageable.

                      Several years ago I picked up an artificial Xmas tree from a manufacturer
                      in New Jersey. The box with the three or so dismantled sections was
                      almost the size of a gun safe. It weighed about eighty pounds! I did
                      manage to tie it off on one side. Fortunately, I also had to buy their 30
                      pound base for the tree, so that along with my chain and gear bag helped
                      compensate for the imbalance. Admittedly, it was a slow ride back to
                      Brooklyn. Instead of taking the PATH train, which would involves lots of
                      steps, escalators, and/or tight spaced elevators we decided to take a
                      ferry across the Hudson River to Manhattan. It was about two or three
                      times the cost, but not having to deal with unloading the box and messing
                      with stairs was a life saver. The scenery and fresh air of the bay also
                      made it so much more pleasant. After land fall my biggest obstacle
                      getting home was going up the arch of one of the East River bridges.

                      Back to the topic of your specific ladder load, I do think you have
                      another totally reasonable option, which avoids most of the imbalance
                      issues. If your ladder is truly like mine, then you can separate the two
                      “A” frame sections from each other. According to the Lowes description
                      that would be the two “scaffold bases”, as if you intended to rest a
                      plank of wood across the two. With those two segments separated and kept
                      shut (not folded open like an “A”) you should not have much problem
                      putting one on each side. Just make sure to strap it all in good. I would
                      imagine having long loaders would help, but I do not think it would be
                      absolutely necessary.

                      Ride safe,
                      _TONE_

                    • rlwieneke
                      I was considering building a sidecar wheel for my folding wideloader. It would take the weight from that side out of your balancing with the ladder and the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Dec 15, 2012
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                        I was considering building a sidecar wheel for my folding wideloader. It would take the weight from that side out of your balancing with the ladder and the wideloader would not scrape the ground.

                        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, kest918@... wrote:
                        >
                        > Thanks, Tone as usual your replies are well thought out and articulated. Mine does not separate but would make life a lot easier if it did. I've strapped this thing on and rolled around the parking lot with it but was hesitant to enter the roadway without a little more experience with it strapped on. Now the second part of my problem is that was some months ago and I've since sold my Big Dummy and am in the process of building an xtracycle. Backwards I know but I needed the cash. So now I have a little more oscillation to deal with.
                        > Presently I am in the planning stages of the build. I have an early 90's trek 950 to use as my donor bike and my old Free Rad frame from before the BD. I'm kicking around some ideas to build a "contractor's van" to use for my handyman side work. I don't have vracks or freeloaders and I don't know that I will purchase any just yet. I do have the wideloaders and a homemade long loader. Since most of what I carry is painting and drywall tools I can put those inside milk crates on the other side of the ladder. I'm working out a way to attach a tool box using the h rack ports. This will enable me to store any bungees and locks etc. the things I normally kept in the pockets of my freeloaders. It will also give me a way to utilize the long loader.
                        > It's a work in progress but I'm having fun with the challenge. Again, thank you all for the replies! Mike
                        >
                        > On Dec 15, 2012, at 1:39 PM, "Tone" <tone@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > Mike,
                        > >
                        > > I have almost the same exact style ladder. My ladder’s brand name might
                        > > be different, but it definitely looks pretty identical. Personally I
                        > > would probably just try riding with it as an unbalanced load all on one
                        > > side. As I said before, I do carry a 3’ chain as a lock and a messenger
                        > > bag of gear, so I would at least offset the weight a little on the other
                        > > side. The unbalanced load might result in me leaning slightly to one side
                        > > to compensate for the bike’s desire to drift or lean in the direction of
                        > > the weight, but I believe it is manageable.
                        > >
                        > > Several years ago I picked up an artificial Xmas tree from a manufacturer
                        > > in New Jersey. The box with the three or so dismantled sections was
                        > > almost the size of a gun safe. It weighed about eighty pounds! I did
                        > > manage to tie it off on one side. Fortunately, I also had to buy their 30
                        > > pound base for the tree, so that along with my chain and gear bag helped
                        > > compensate for the imbalance. Admittedly, it was a slow ride back to
                        > > Brooklyn. Instead of taking the PATH train, which would involves lots of
                        > > steps, escalators, and/or tight spaced elevators we decided to take a
                        > > ferry across the Hudson River to Manhattan. It was about two or three
                        > > times the cost, but not having to deal with unloading the box and messing
                        > > with stairs was a life saver. The scenery and fresh air of the bay also
                        > > made it so much more pleasant. After land fall my biggest obstacle
                        > > getting home was going up the arch of one of the East River bridges.
                        > >
                        > > Back to the topic of your specific ladder load, I do think you have
                        > > another totally reasonable option, which avoids most of the imbalance
                        > > issues. If your ladder is truly like mine, then you can separate the two
                        > > “A” frame sections from each other. According to the Lowes description
                        > > that would be the two “scaffold bases”, as if you intended to rest a
                        > > plank of wood across the two. With those two segments separated and kept
                        > > shut (not folded open like an “A”) you should not have much problem
                        > > putting one on each side. Just make sure to strap it all in good. I would
                        > > imagine having long loaders would help, but I do not think it would be
                        > > absolutely necessary.
                        > >
                        > > Ride safe,
                        > > _TONE_
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
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