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Re: [rootsradicals] Carrying a ladder

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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