How To Transport A Ladder | All The Safe And Convenient Ways

Are you among those who do projects on various job sites that require a higher reach?

Wondering how to transport a ladder safely and legally?

Ladders come in different forms and lengths to fit different needs. Using a long or extension ladder can bring you to great heights.

But one of the difficulties many people face with ladders, especially when dealing with extension ladders, is transporting them from one place to another.

Due to the length, a straight or extension ladder can be tricky to transport. It often causes a massive safety risk.

Some people take risks in transporting them, which is illegal and dangerous.

This post is all about how to make a ladder easier and safer to transport.

How to Transport an Extension Ladder : Factors to Consider

Using a ladder is quite simple. But transporting it conveniently and most safely isn’t that simple, especially when you’re dealing with long or extension ladders.

However, there are some crucial factors that you should take into consideration before transportation.

Available space to move the ladder

Ensure you have enough free space around to haul a ladder safely and conveniently. Be aware of obstacles to avoid hitting the electrical power line, another object, or person. It’ll help you to prevent damage of your ladder and injure others when you carry a ladder.

Length and design of your ladder

Depending on the type and length of your ladder, you need to choose the right vehicle (cargo, van, or truck) to transport it. Without using the right vehicle for transporting it from one place to another, you may encounter a lot of challenges and trouble with the law.

Road safety and overhang regulations

You should be aware of the overhang regulations and traffic safety for transporting a ladder on any vehicle.

Necessary equipment to secure the ladder on the vehicle

Familiar with the accessories you need to tie and secure the ladder on the truck, van, car, or ATV. Learn how to secure the ladder properly so that you can avoid accidents on the road.

How to Transport a Ladder – Different Useful Methods

Here, we’ll explain some fantastic ways to ensure the safe transportation of your ladder, stay protected and secure.

Transport an Extension Ladder on the Roof of a Car

You can transport your telescoping ladder or any compact folding ladder in a car boot. But if it’s a long extension ladder, transporting it will be tricky unless you have a pickup truck or van.

You want your vehicle and the ladder free from damage while transporting it. Right?

So, you need to know the proper way to secure it on the vehicle. If you don’t have a pickup truck or van, your best option is to place your ladder on the roof of your car.

But how?

Let’s explain the best ways on how to transport a ladder on a car.

Step 1: If it’s an extension ladder, make sure it’s completely folded up and secured. Check the locking mechanism is engaged correctly.

Step 2: Lift the ladder onto the vehicle’s roof. If it’s heavy, you may need to get someone to help you to lift it on the roof. If you don’t get any help, be sure the top of the ladder is tilted upwards when you carry it.

Step 3: Safely place and position the ladder in the middle of the vehicle’s roof. Place your ladder on the roof rack if you have any. But if you don’t have it, you’ll need to put something on the roof to protect your vehicle from potential scraping, scratches, or dents. Ideally, you can use a large cotton towel, foam, pillows, a thick blanket between the car roof and your ladder.

Step 4: Once you’ve positioned your ladder to the roof of your vehicle, take a moment to check the legal requirements for transporting overhanging loads on vehicles.

If it’s not positioned within the overhang requirement at the front and rear of your vehicle, you might be breaking the law which could land you in court.

Step 5: Whatever method you use, it’s essential to ensure the ladder is properly secured before you start. Can you imagine how much damage it might cause to other users and vehicles if it fell off your vehicle and into the road?

If you have a roof rack, tie the ladder down using any type of strong rope or bungee cords to it. You may also use ladder clamps, locking ladder holder, stretch strap or ratchet straps to get the job done.

But if you don’t have a roof rack, feed the rope or bungee through the car’s window to secure it.

Step 6: Double check to ensure it’s properly secured. Whether you’re using the roof of a car or the bed of a truck, make sure your ladder is laid flat and properly secured. Also, check all the sides are tied before you moving the vehicle.

Step 7: Once your ladder is secured, it’s wise to test to make sure it’s secure. For this, you can take your car or truck on a light drive to check your ladder isn’t shifting or at the risk of slipping off while you’re on the road. If possible, also test drive some sharp turns and some hard braking to ensure it is staying firmly secured.

Also, listen out for rattling. It may suggest you that your ladder is not secured tightly enough. Adjust the tightness or the rope or tighten the clamp as needed before you’re on the road.

That’s all about how to transport a ladder on an suv.

Now, you are safe to go!

Transport Ladder on a Van or Truck

This section is all about how to transport a ladder in a pickup truck or van.

Method 1: Using a ladder rack

If you have plans to transport a ladder on your truck or van, you need to think creatively to position your ladder safely and conveniently.

Investing in a high-quality ladder rack is an effective, safest, and easiest solution to this problem.

Ladder rack reduces the risk of accidents and workplace injuries to load and unload a ladder on a truck or van. Only one person can safely lower and raises the ladder on the vehicle by using a ladder rack.

Method 2: Using rear bar with the truck rack

When transporting your long or extension ladder, you can use a truck rack in conjunction with the rear bar to secure it on both ends to your truck or van.

Rear bar or back ranks are simple to install and use. Simply position your ladder and secure one end of it to your truck rack using a ratchet strap, bungee cord, or rope. Then, secure the other end of the ladder to the rear bar.

It’ll keep your ladder elevated off your truck or van to protect the vehicle from scratch or dent. Moreover, it’ll also provide an excellent measure of security while transporting it on the road.

Method 3: Transportation a Ladder on a Truck With No Ladder Rack

If you don’t have ladder rack on your truck or van, you can still transport your ladder to its destination without damaging it, risking your life and that of other road users.

  • Lift your ladder on to the truck or van so that it down to the closed tailgate and leans on the cab.
  • Put some cushioning such a foam or a blanket on the places it is going to rest.
  • Drape a ratchet strap or rope over the ladder behind the tailgate. Pass each end of the rope or strap through the ladder around each side rail.
  • By using the ratchet strap, connect the Truck Bed Tie-Down Anchor and tighten down.
  • Hook onto one of the steps/ rungs by using another rope or strap beyond the tailgate.
  • Tie a red ribbon or flag or piece of cloth with the unsupported end of the ladder to warn other road users during transportation.

There is no denying that using a ladder rack is economical, convenient and safe than using ropes or straps.

Transport a Stepladder inside a Car Trunk

A stepladder is significantly shorter in length than any extension ladder. So, stepladders are convenient to transport in a car trunk.

  • First, get the rear and front car seats as flat as possible.
  • Next, push the passenger seat forward.
  • Open the car truck and guide the top-end of the ladder over the back seat.
  • If some portion hangs out of the trunk, use a red ribbon or flag to the unsupported end of the ladder for safety purposes.
  • Secure the trunk lid by using a strong rope, bungee, or ratchet strap.

Ladder Transportation: What to Avoid

  • Never drag your portable ladder across the ground to move it one place to another.
  • Don’t pull roughly your ladder out of your truck bed or off a pipe rack.
  • Never let the unsupported end fall to the ground. It may cause the end to be damaged.
  • Don’t throw a ladder onto a trailer or into the bed of a pickup or truck. Never place it over any object that may cause it not to lie completely flat.
  • Avoid transporting a ladder that is too long to fit onto the trailer bed or ladder rack.


Follow any of these ways that best suits you to transport your ladder and be safe out there.

Once you reach the destination, unload the ladder safely, but don’t forget to visually inspect it for any damage that may occur during transportation.

One more thing!

Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warning regarding the transporting ladder.

Thanks for reading our post on how to transport a ladder.

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