what is a telescopic ladder

A ladder is a crucial tool that makes it easier for you to access various heights. While a ladder is an essential instrument in different projects, some are too large to fit into tight spaces. Not to mention, transporting such ladders from one point to another can be pretty cumbersome. This is where a telescopic ladder comes in.

To answer the question ‘what is a telescopic ladder?’ and to determine if you need one, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide about its features and mechanism.

Background Info

a worker carrying a climbing tool A telescopic ladder is an extendable compact ladder that can reach a height of about 16 feet. It also has a versatile design that makes it possible for you to fit it in tight spaces.

The original idea behind the telescoping ladder technology was to make a product that doesn’t occupy too much space. For instance, while an extension ladder might be suitable for different projects, it occupies a lot of space. On the other hand, step ladders are not quite as versatile.

Transporting an extension ladder from one place to another in a workstation can be bulky due to space limitations. You can’t even fit it in the trunk of your car.

Due to this, the telescopic ladder was designed and introduced into the market. A telescoping ladder comes with movable rungs that can be extended to a certain height or retracted for easier storage. The rungs can telescope into each other to reduce the total size of the ladder. Most come with an instruction manual that guides you on how to use them.

Each rung can be easily extended to a certain height. On the other hand, when rungs are retracted, they rest on top of each other, occupying less room.

While the full length of telescopic ladders might differ, they all work under the same principles. Some can be retracted to a height of about 30 inches, making it easier for you to fit them in your car. Not to mention, most telescopic ladders are quite lightweight and can be carried easily.

Basic Parts of Telescopic Ladders

To help you get familiarised with this tool, we’ll be discussing each part of this ladder and the mechanisms involved.


A rung offers your foot support as you are climbing to a certain height. A rung can be made from different materials, such as aluminium and stainless steel. The number of rungs might differ from one ladder to another.

Locking Mechanism System

Most telescopic ladders come with a locking mechanism that holds each rung in a certain position. This makes it easier and safer for you to use the ladder. Such ladders also have lock buttons that can be used to retract the rungs into their initial position.

Safety Closure System of the Locking Mechanism

As the name hints, this is a system that saves you from injuries as you are retracting the rungs of the ladder. It reduces the risk of hurting your fingers.


This is a special belt that is used to hold the retracted rungs of a telescopic ladder in one position. It also minimises the movements of retracted rungs, making it easier for you to move the ladder from one point to another without accidental opening. Different types of telescopic ladders have different straps.

Grip Handle

Some telescopic ladders have an advanced strap that has a grip handle. Such handles are padded with a comfortable material that saves your hands from bruises and blisters when carrying your ladder.

Stabiliser Bar

Found on the bottommost part of a telescopic ladder, this is a bar that secures a telescopic ladder on the ground. Not to mention, it has a non-skid angle foot on both sides, which minimises any movement at the ground contact.

Safety Standard of a Telescopic Ladder

A telescopic ladder must meet certain safety requirements to prevent any injuries. A ladder must strictly adhere to all the safety standards and concerns of EN131 certification.

EN131 is a European Committee standardisation measure that regulates the safety of various products, such as telescopic ladders.

For a ladder to be EN131-certified, it must meet these requirements:

  • All the rungs of the certified telescopic ladder have to be 50% larger than those of a regular telescopic ladder. They should also be at a certain angle that provides adequate grip.
  • The telescopic ladder should have a safety closure mechanism to prevent any injuries. It slows down the speed at which rungs are retracted.
  • It has a lock mechanism with a visual indicator that shows you whether the ladder is safe to use or not.
  • The lock mechanism should be easy-to-use and should have an ergonomic design.
  • The non-skid angled feet should be made from a durable rubber material that maximises grip.

If a telescopic ladder is EN131-certified, it is safe to use and has met all the safety requirements. Ladder buyers should ask for a conformity certificate from the supplier in their location. Some suppliers will give you a certificate and offer you free delivery. If the ladder has been used, you can use a ladder inspection service to check whether a ladder is safe to use or not. Not to mention, telescopic ladders come with various instructions that can guide you.

Getting an Upgrade

So, if you’re asked, ‘what is a telescopic ladder?’, you’ll now be able to provide a clear answer and useful insights into what to look for when making a responsible purchase.

Telescopic ladders make it easier for you to climb to various heights. Not to mention, they have different safety features that save you from different injuries. Make sure that you choose a ladder that has been tested and certified. You should opt for a ladder that is backed by a conformity certification. Also, take precautions before you start using it and be sure to read any instructions before you jump right in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *