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Everything You Need To Know About Telescopic Ladders

Kathryn Hamilton 29/08/19

We have decided to create this article to clear up any confusion that is still floating around from the incident in 2017, where 32,000 aluminium telescopic ladders pulled from sale after being found unsafe for practice.

To make it easy for everyone, here is a one-stop guide to the most frequently asked questions about telescopic ladders.


How safe are telescopic ladders?

Telescopic ladders are very safe on the basis that you purchase one that is certified to EN131, when purchasing an EN131 ladder you should also be able to request a conformity certificate from the seller. For an EN131 ladder to meet the part 6 requirements they must: 


For a telescopic ladder to achieve the En131-6 standards:

  • Rungs must 50% larger than typical telescopic ladders and angled to provide maximum grip and comfort. 

  • A new safety closure system slows the ladder's descent to protect hands from injury. 

  • Each rung has a visual lock and releases indicator to make it clear when the ladder is safe to climb. 

  • The locking mechanism, ergonomically designed, for comfort and ease of use, 

  • The feet are over-moulded with durable synthetic rubber to maximise ground contact and all-important grip. 


If the price seems too good to be true, it is. No cheap ladder is worth the price you pay for the injury, make sure you stay safe when working at height.


We've heard reports of many telescopic ladders being imported into the UK without the correct certifications, creating safety concerns. If you have any queries, take a look at our simple Telescopic Ladder Buyers Guide. 


How to use telescopic ladders

When setting up your telescopic ladder, you can follow these steps: 

  • Follow these steps when extending the telescopic ladder.

  • Release the strap securing the retracted ladder.

  • Position the ladder in an upright orientation ready for use.

  • Step on the bottom rung to hold the ladder firmly in place.

  • Take out the top rung's connector using both of your hands.

  • Pull up each rung to its full extension and ensure that the locking mechanism is engaged before trying to extend the next rung.

  • Repeat this for several steps until you reach the desired height.

  • Avoid stepping on the topmost rung.


There are certain things that you need to avoid during the actual use of the telescopic ladder. First, never try to adjust the rungs while using the ladder because this would tamper with the locking mechanism of the ladder. Secondly, ensure that the ladder rests on a clean floor and lastly, never boost the height by placing objects under the ladder. Observing these precautions when using your ladder will help you avoid risks and have a smooth experience using your telescopic ladder.


Retracting the Telescopic Ladder

Once you are done using the ladder, you will need to collapse it ready for storage. This is yet another task that you need to be extra careful to avoid injuries. The most common precaution here is to avoid placing your hands between the rungs when retracting the telescopic ladder. The following steps should be followed when folding your telescopic ladder after use.


  • Hold the ladder by the couplings beneath the rung and ensuring the latches are active.

  • Place your thumb on the lock buttons you want to exclude with the rest of your hand placed under the coupling.

  • Putting the rest of your hand over the locking mechanism may result in it being stuck.

  • Push the lock buttons simultaneously inside (one another), as the upper stage drops.

  • Repeat this for each step until all the rungs have collapsed.

  • Once you have retracted the ladder, secure it with a strap ensuring that it is tightly fastened. 


Also, your hand should be positioned on the outside of the ladder to avoid accidentally opening and injuring the user and damaging the ladder.

Which are the best telescopic ladders?


Always choose quality

It is often tempting to opt for the cheaper alternative, especially if you are making multiple purchases. However, where you cut costs when it comes to ladders, you usually compromise the safety of its users. Buying from reputable suppliers gives you the reassurance that the product you are buying is of the highest quality and has been tested. 


At Ladderstore we sell a full range of telescopic ladders from the leading manufacturers; Zarges, Telesteps, Youngman and Werner which all meet the European EN131 certification. One of our customer's favourites is the TB Davies Xtend and Climb reaching heights of 4.4m.


Ensure the ladder you are purchasing is certified to EN131, which will ensure performance and quality. Ladders that fail to meet these standards can put their users at significant risk so you must check this before you make your purchase. If the supplier is unable to provide certification, then we would never recommend that you buy from them.

What should you know before buying a telescoping ladder?


Safety First

Telescopic ladders, in their very nature, have more moving parts than standard step ladders. It is critical, therefore, that all of the mechanisms are checked thoroughly regularly Telescopic ladders are also at risk of being damaged in storage or transportation if they are not packed correctly. 

Not all telescopic ladders function in the same way, ensure to familiarise yourself and read any instructions provided. Make sure that you start on the right foot and prevent unnecessary accidents.

When opening, extending or closing telescopic ladders,  take care not to do this too quickly as this could damage the mechanisms and compromise the safety of the ladder. 

Set the ladder up at the correct angle and ensure that the feet are stabilised against a solid surface before you step onto it.  It is also essential that you do not attempt to lock the mechanisms while it is in use.


Taking care of your telescopic ladder

Telescopic ladders should always be stored in a clean, dry environment away from extreme weather conditions. The positioning should away from anything thing that may fall onto the ladder.

When it comes to cleaning, your telescopic ladder, usually, a regular wipe down with a clean, dry cloth is all that is required. Avoid moisture unless your instructions say otherwise as this can have a debilitating effect on the mechanisms.  


Ladderstore offers an excellent ladder inspection service, which we can carry out onsite at your premises so that you have confidence in knowing that experts have checked your ladders.


If you are still unsure on how a telescopic ladder can help meet your needs or if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our expert team on 01204 590 232 or email [email protected]