Agricultural ladders, also known as orchard or pruning ladders, are essential tools for gardeners and orchard growers alike. These special purpose ladders enable users to reach a tree’s various branches easily. Because trees come in different sizes and heights, it’s recommended that owners purchase custom ladders that can easily, comfortably, and safely allow them to reach their desired height.
The design of agricultural ladders is very different from the usual variety. They lack spreaders, locking devices, steel points, and safety shoes-features that are very useful for general purpose ladders because they ensure stability. However, the same features actually prevent standard ladders from anchoring into the soft and uneven terrain where agricultural ladders are used. Also, their legs aren’t straight; they spread or flare towards the ground to increase stability. Because an orchard ladder is designed to stand on soft, uneven earth, it’s unstable to use on floors and other hard, even surfaces.
There are two kinds of agricultural ladders, those with and without a third leg. The third leg determines how the ladder will be used. Those without a third leg are simply propped against a large tree. A tripod ladder burrows the third leg into the ground to create a stable structure, which can help users reach areas far from the trunk.
Old agricultural ladders were originally made from wood but modern gardeners and orchard workers now rely on aluminum ladders. Due to their material, they are stronger, lighter, and more durable.
Agricultural ladders are best customized to match the approximate height of trees in a garden or orchard. Trees grow to different heights. A pear tree can grow up to 25 feet while an apple tree can easily reach 40 feet or more. Proper pruning will keep them at the gardener’s or orchard worker’s preferred height.
Custom ladders can be designed and manufactured to easily reach the owner’s preferred height, taking into account the angle it will form with the tree or the tripod. A 20 foot tall ready-made agricultural ladder may not enable a worker to reach 20 feet because of that angle, but a custom ladder will.
Custom ladders can also be easily equipped with additional features that enhance safety. Spikes on the legs make it easier to find a footing on the ground. Also, rubber sleeves on the upper rail sector can help reduce abrasion and the chances of slipping along the limb. Lastly, textured ripples along the steps assist in avoiding slippages.
With custom aluminum ladders and training in their proper use, gardeners and orchard workers can prune and harvest trees safely.