Telescopic ladders are the most significant technological development the industry has seen for a long time.  Designed to be small enough to transport in a normal car, or to be stored under a bed or in a cupboard; these space saving ladders are ideal for campervan and caravan owners and tiny homes, as well as being incredibly useful in a wide range of other locations – wherever a ladder is needed.  Surveyors have adopted these ladders for their professional work, as they can access almost anywhere they need to with a telescopic ladder – there are no telescopic roof ladders yet, but a telescopic extension ladder will provide all the height needed for most inspections.

The latest and tallest model of telescopic ladder is the Zarges Compactstep 3.8 metre extension ladder.  This is the tallest height that telescopic ladders are made in, but what sets this model apart from the others is the tiny closed height of just 88cm.  This is less than other models of the same height from other manufacturers, and equivalent to the closed height of some of the smaller 3.2 metre models.  If storage space is tight, this ladder gives you the most height, in the most compact size.

All the usual safety tips apply when using telescopic ladders - The ground should be dry and free from debris or anything that might make the ladder unstable, such as moss or leaves.  The ladder should be inspected before use and checked for oil, grease or anything which might cause you to lose your grip, or your feet to slip. 

The weather is also a factor when using a ladder outdoors, so avoid windy and wet days wherever possible.  When it is very cold, limit your time on the ladder and ensure you warm up in between stints – cold hands don't grip very well and cold feet can be unsteady. 

When using a stepladder the advice is to always ensure locking mechanisms are engaged firmly, and this applies to telescopic ladders too.  With locking mechanisms on each rung there are several potential points for failure, so it is vital that each rung is firmly locked into place and that the tabs or levers are not damaged.  Telescopic ladders are well built and tested to ensure they are safe and reliable, but they can only be as reliable as the person setting them up.  With the potential for serious injury if a rung collapses while you are on the ladder, it is vital that you are confident that each rung has been locked securely into place before climbing.

If you leave the ladder and return to it, say after a tea break or lunch, make sure you check the mechanisms again before climbing.  Children, as well as curious adults, might be tempted to play around with the rung locks without thinking about the consequences, so each time the ladder is out of your sight, check it over again before climbing up. 

We always advise that rungs and stiles are checked for damage before a ladder is used, and this is especially important for telescopic ladders because the stiles are a vital moving part.  Any dents in the telescoping stiles can impede the movement of the ladder when it is being set up, and this can lead to the locking mechanisms being slightly out of line and therefore, not engaged.  If the sliding stiles aren't working properly then the ladder won't work properly and this puts you at a high risk of falling.

Because telescopic ladders rely heavily on the smooth movement of the sliding stiles, they should be thoroughly cleaned after use.  Greasy substances are the most dangerous to the ladder user, but paint, varnish and even splinters can damage the telescopic action of the ladder, especially if these get inside the tubes and work their way into the rung locking mechanisms.  Always clean your ladder before collapsing the stiles to prevent debris from getting inside the tubes.

Any ladder should be used with due care and attention, so while you may have to take a couple of extra safety precautions when using a telescopic ladder, the benefit of the compact storage size makes telescopic ladders a great buy for the homeowner and those who need to use ladders on the go.