Can you lift a leg high enough to step up onto a bar stool? Skilled tradesmen are forced to do that each time they climb onto heavy machinery. Powerful machinery saves labor and allows skilled trade workers to complete difficult tasks safely and efficiently. Workers with disabling illness or injury need these machines more than ever, but struggle to access the operator station. We will discuss how skilled tradesmen use heavy machinery and the typical methods to climb into the operator station. With custom designed folding ladders, skilled workers with disabling illness or injury can safely climb to the operator’s station and continue their careers.
Skilled tradesmen use heavy machinery for material handling, lifting & carrying loads, reaching high places, digging, spreading, mowing, cutting trees, and innumerable other tasks. Material handling is the primary use of heavy machinery by skilled tradesmen. Landscapers use machinery to plant trees, dig holes, haul mulch, grade yards, plant grass and move brush. Builders use machinery to dig foundations, haul cement, hang trusses and lift roofing materials. Excavators use machinery to dig ditches, grade roads, dig holes, spread soil and compact earth. Farmers use heavy machinery to harvest and haul crops, feed livestock, till and plant fields, haul manure and control pests. Without powerful machinery, workers with disabling injury or illness could not do these jobs.
With all the benefits of machinery, climbing to the seat is difficult on skid steer loaders, forklifts, tele-handlers, dump trucks, tractors, log skidders, excavators, backhoes, etc. The machinery operator station protects the worker and provides good visibility, but it is high above the ground because of the large traction wheels needed to drive over rough ground. The first ladder step on machinery is typically 20 to 28-inches tall and the step surface is small. Maximum range of motion and strength of hips and shoulders is required to reach the step and pull up onto it. Additional steps up to the operator station are 11 to 17-inches tall and irregular in shape and distance. The tall and irregular position plus small surface area of steps on heavy machinery make it impossible for workers with leg, back and arm impairments to safely access the operator’s station.
Fold-down ladders custom built for heavy machinery provide direct access to the operator station for workers with physical limitations. Custom ladders are designed specifically for the needs of the worker based on his strength and range of motion. The step width and depth, rise between steps, grab rail position and slope of the ladder are carefully planned. The ladder design must not interfere with other workers who operate the machinery. The lowest section of the ladder extends to the ground and then folds up with a lifter rod or electric actuator controlled from the operator’s seat. With custom designed folding ladders, skilled workers with disabling illness or injury can safely climb to the operator’s station and continue their careers.
Powerful, large machinery is used by many skilled tradesmen to complete laborious tasks. Workers with disabilities especially need access to machines to dig, lift, carry, drag, cut and handle materials. Access ladders to the operator station are a barrier to the workers who need this machinery the most. Fold-down ladders custom built for heavy machinery provide direct access to the operator station for workers with physical limitations. With custom designed folding ladders, skilled workers with disabling illness or injury can safely climb to the operator’s station and continue their careers.