For most mobile professionals the one piece of equipment that is necessary for almost all trades is a ladder. For some, it is an extension ladder, for others it is a step ladder for but for all mobile tradesmen the challenge is which ladder rack will best transport it safely and efficiently.
There are many different types of ladder racks, but the key decision seems to be split between the two main kinds: interior or roof mounted ladder racks. Ladder size is one consideration but so is the quality of your rack. Keeping it out of the elements is a positive factor for some tradesmen, especially if they work primarily indoors.
There are more aspects to consider for this decision than initially meets the eye and each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. One’s decision should focus on three key considerations: storage capacity, safety implications and productivity.
Shelley Ernst has written an excellent article that goes into the details on making the best decision for yourself or your fleet.
In comparing the pros and cons for each rack type she evaluates:
Ladder size – large 40-foot extension ladders can only be carried safely on a roof mounted ladder rack and interior racks are limited to ladders less than 12 feet depending on interior space available.
Rack costs – roof mounted racks cost more and for high-roofed cargo vans a drop down ladder is an essential investment.
Roof height clearance – roof mounted racks add the overall height of a vehicle and this can limit access to some areas and underground parking garages.
Wind resistance – roof mounted ladder racks increase wind drag on a vehicle and can reduce the fuel economy sometimes by as much as 20%.
Theft – interior ladder racks can be more secure and help prevent ladder theft.
She quotes Jonathan Culp, director, fleet and leasing sales, for Dejana Truck and Utility Equipment in Kings Park, NY who advises fleets to keep an open mind rather than make a choice simply because “they’ve always done it that way.”
Ranger Design has a complete line of both interior and roof mounted ladder racks for most commercial vehicles. For more information call one of our product specialists today at (800) 565-5321, contact us or request a quote.