Safely Transporting Ladders to the Job Site
Although many roofing contractors may think that it is their truck that is causing them to struggle with transporting their equipment to site each day. However, virtually any model of Chevy, Ford, Dodge or other truck brand will get the job done – provided that it has been kitted out properly from the start. One of the most important modifications or conversions that Orange County roofers can make to their vehicles is to have the right ladder racks fitted to them.
Standard Utility Racks
This is by far the most popular type of ladder rack. As the name implies, standard utility racks are those that are fixed directly on to a truck’s roof and they can consist of between two and three adjustable crossbar sections or a one-piece gridiron design. One of the main reasons why these racks are so popular is because they usually cost the least. However, the main drawback with these racks is that it can be difficult to get ladders and other equipment like pipes and guttering off of them (especially if your truck is high). Owing to the fact that items are usually secured with cords on these racks, there is also the risk of items coming loose while driving.
Lock Down Racks
These racks are available as single or double-sided options, which mean that they can technically carry one ladder on each side of the vehicle. Additionally, they have highly secure locking mechanisms that prevent any loss of ladders or other equipment while driving. In most cases, these are recommended for use on smaller Mobdro trucks and/or those that have standard-sized roofs. Although most lock down racks are only suitable for carrying ladders, it is possible to purchase accessories that enable items such as guttering or other roofing equipment to be transported as well. The main downfalls of these racks are that they can be costly and challenging to access if used on trucks with high roofs.
Drop Down Rack Systems
Drop down ladder racks can be classified as the Rolls-Royce of racks in that they improve worker safety and prevent excess back, neck and shoulder strain. These are normally also available in single and double sided configurations and they can be lowered down to the side of a truck for the ladders and other long equipment to be offloaded quickly and easily. Drop down racks can be electric, pneumatic or good old-fashioned mechanical, and once the roofing work is done for the day, ladders can be locked in place and raised back on to the truck roof again. The only disadvantage of these racks is that they can cost upwards of $2,000 when a good quality one is purchased.
While there may be many ‘standard’ or ‘off the shelf’ ladder racks available, it is normally best to have them custom made, as this will ensure that they are able to carry all of your roofing equipment to site without a hitch. Regardless of whether standard or customized racks are purchased, it is recommended that you spend as much as you can comfortably afford, as this will provide you with a durable rack – one that could potentially outlast your truck!