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Orchard ladder

Discussion in 'Commercial Tree Care and Climbing' started by coolbrze, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. coolbrze

    coolbrze ArboristSite Operative

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    So it's time to purchase an orchard ladder for pruning tall shrubs & ornamentals. I'm thinking either a 12 or 14'er as the highest vertical standing level on the 14'er is about 10 1/2' which IMO is too high to be standing anyway w/o being tied in, I can't imagine a 16'er... What manufacturer makes the best orchard ladders? Should we get the telescoping front (3rd) leg or fixed leg? What about the hard surface kit? This will prob. be the only one we purchase so buying 2 diff. sizes is out of the question. Anything else to consider? Sherrill Tree sells one made by Stokes (link below), anyone used that & what do you think? Thanks!

    Aluminum Orchard Ladder | SherrillTree.com
     
  2. rtsims

    rtsims ArboristSite Operative

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  3. Menchhofer

    Menchhofer AboristSite Guru

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    Purchased new 12 footer with telescoping 3rd leg. Works great. Would not buy without the adjustable feature. Very versatile. Sherrill as usual, was way too expensive.
     
  4. tomtrees58

    tomtrees58 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    i used 8'14'16' love them
     
  5. treeman82

    treeman82 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I've got an 8 and a 12, both stokes. The 12 is great for most things, the 8 rarely gets used. Wouldn't mind getting a 16, but it too would rarely get used. If I was buying another one I would definately get a telescoping leg.
     
  6. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have the Keller brand version of a "little giant" (linked) and love it. It is a little heavy, and not quite the reach of a 14' orchard ladder, but it does fit nicely in the back of a pickup. It is adjustable to work on variable slopes and distances from the trunk. If you have it spread evenly like a "regular" step ladder, it is really helpful to be able to go up one side and down the other - reducing the number of times I need to move it when pruning those tall shurbs/small ornamentals.
     
  7. nelson727

    nelson727 ArboristSite Member

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    Saw the telescoping leg on TreeStuff again a few days ago and was thinking I need/want to replace my two ladders that don't have it. Was raised on an apple orchard as a kid. Softly tilled, relatively flat soil-no need for telescoping leg or hard surface kit. Working in varied conditions and on hard surfaces around houses-a big safety advantage in my mind.
     
  8. mikewhite85

    mikewhite85 AboristSite Guru

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    I have a 14' stokes without telescoping leg. Works great for us. I keep it bungeed to the top of the chip truck next to a 20' extension ladder. Get's used often though it is a little too tall sometimes. However, it's amazing for facing tall hedges.

    DO NOT use it to lean against roofs and branches. Once I was too lazy to grab the extension and almost fell when climbing on a roof.
     
  9. Ottawatree

    Ottawatree ArboristSite Lurker

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    Ive spent nearly 2000 hours trimmin hedges off orchard ladders and if i can give you a piece of advice, dont ever buy a stokes! EXTREMELY DANGEROUS LADDER! You know when your trying out a tool and you say to yourself 'wow the guy who built this never actually tried it for more than five minutes'. Thats a stokes, the design is sound but needs refinement. The telescoping leg doesn't extend so if you need the leg in a hole your screwed. The restraining cable is too short and when used puts the ladder on such a vertical angle that you can't safely work off it. If you get the sixteen footer like I did it has straps holding the bottom rungs together which are strategically placed so your boot hits them instead of the rung causing you to plummet to the earth. Long story short this ladder was built by an idiot. My guys won't use it and if you want to come to Ottawa ill give it to you cause I don't want the liability from having it around.
     
  10. BlackOakTreeServ

    BlackOakTreeServ AboristSite Guru

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    so what orchard ladder do you recomend?

    Im in the market as well, need another ladder, im thinking 12 footer
     
  11. Ottawatree

    Ottawatree ArboristSite Lurker

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    Falcons are the best I've used so far if you can get one where you are. A 12 foot stokes might not be so bad because I don't think they need those same deadly straps to support the bottom rungs. What are you using the ladder for? We only really ever buy 10's and 16's. Ten footers weigh nothing and handle everything to around the 11 foot mark. The sixteens get used for everything else. The beauty of an orchard ladder is if you need it shorter you just throw the front leg out a little farther and it shortens it up. When I first started out I bought a 10', 12', 14' and 16' ladder. I sold the 12' the first month because it was collecting dust. The fourteen I kept and still use occasionally if I know I won't need to go higher because its way nicer to maneuver. Tens and sixteens used daily.
     

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