What is the difference between a Fibreglass and an Aluminium Ladder?

The aluminium and fibreglass ladders have their own advantages and special properties.

Aluminium ladders don't rust or corrode and are fully recyclable. Aluminium ladders are easy to transport and store thanks to its lightweight property. Our aluminium ladders are robust and tested for maximum durability.

Fibreglass ladders can be used where an electrical hazard exists. It is recommended and in most cases mandatory to use fibreglass ladders instead of aluminium in such applications. Fibreglass ladders provide electrical insulation between the user and the earth thus reducing (but not necessarily eliminating) the potential risk of electrocution.

How do I select the correct ladder for the job I need to do?

Step 1: Choose the height

Choose the correct height of the ladder that you need for your job. The maximum reach for several ladder heights assuming a 1.7m tall person with a vertical reach of another 0.3m. The maximum safe working height is typically 1.5 metres above the maximum allowable climb height. 

Step 2: Choose the application

If you are going to use the ladders for commercial purposes, you must use EN131 Professional classified ladders. 

However, if you are going to use the ladders at a private dwelling for non-commercial purposes, you can use EN131 Non-Professional ladders. 

Note: Please check the load capacity is the total combined weight of the person, the tool/equipment and materials that the user is carrying.

Step 3: Choose ladder style

Choosing the correct ladder for the style of job you are doing is important. Take the time to understand the different styles available. This may include Single Sided, Double sided, Platform Step Ladders, Dual Purpose, Extension Ladders or Mobile scaffold. 

Remember!! If you are working with or around electricity you should be using a Fibreglass product.

To find out more, visit our How To Choose that will help you choose the right ladder for the job.

How To Choose The Right Ladder

What should I do before I use my ladder?

It is recommended that your ladder/s be inspected prior to use. The following should be undertaken: 

  • Check for damage or missing components. 
  • Check for loose or missing bolts or rivets. 
  • Check ladder feet for excessive wear. 
  • Check ropes are not fraying and are securely attached. 
  • Check that ladder stiles/rungs/treads are straight. 
  • Check spreaders are in good order. 
  • Check that the ladder is free from dust, water, grease and corrosion. 
  • Clean a ladder with mild soapy water and ensure it is dry prior to use. 
  • Check timber ladder for splits, rot, and insect infestation. 
  • Never paint a timber ladder use a clear varnish suitable for exterior or marine environments so that defects are not hidden. 
  • If a ladder does have any defects take it out of service immediately and replace it. 
  • Store ladders in a dry, covered location. 
  • Exposure to excessive heat may weaken a ladder. 
  • If the ladder has sustained a blow or impact carefully check the ladder for defects prior to next use. 
  • Fibreglass ladders will over time degrade and fibres may become exposed. Wash the ladder with a commercial solvent and apply enough coats of polyurethane or clear acrylic lacquer to encapsulate the fibres.

Use our simple ladder inspection guide ensure your ladder is fit for use.

Simple Ladder Inspection

How do I transport my ladder safely?

When transporting a ladder on a vehicle ensure that the following points are observed: 

  • The ladder is supported along its length to prevent sagging.
  • The overhang beyond supports is equal and less then 1/3 of the length of the ladder. 
  • The ladder is securely tied down to prevent road shock and chaffing. Do not over tighten as this may damage the ladder. 
  • The upper surface of the roof racks or supports should be covered with soft material, such as rubber or pine, to decrease road shock.

How do I repair my damaged ladder?

For the safety of the user Youngman does not recommend repairing a damaged ladder and does not offer a repair service through the company.

Where can I get information about ladder safety?

All the information you require can be found here on the website and by participating in our ladder safety training program.

Learn More

Why should I buy a Youngman ladder?

Youngman is associated with safety, quality and innovation. Years of tradition and a wealth of experience have led to Youngman's success and recognition as a world leading supplier and provider of innovative access equipment. Our products are designed and manufactured to the highest quality and safety standards. Youngman focus on end users' needs and continually improve customer satisfaction, quality and business performance.

Our products are trade approved as well as being the popular choice for serious DIYers. Products are available from leading trade outlets throughout the UK.

Where To Buy