How to Extend an Extension Ladder

Written by matt scheer
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Extension ladders have a main and "fly" section to extend the height of the ladder. Some ladders have two fly sections so that their height can be nearly trebled. The fly section of the ladder is extended using a rope and pulley section. Pulling on the rope extends the fly section. Let go of the rope and the fly section will drop slightly until the rungs catch on the rang locks. Extending an extension ladder, then, is a simple process that takes seconds.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Hold the ladder with both hands so the base and fly section of the ladder are vertical.

  2. 2

    Use one hand to grab the rope hanging down the centre of the ladder, usually behind the rungs.

  3. 3

    Pull on the rope. Note how the fly section of the ladder extends. Hold firmly onto the base section as the fly section continues to extend. Watch carefully for how high the ladder is becoming.

  4. 4

    Let go of the rope when the extension ladder is slightly higher than your desired height. The fly section will drop slightly until the rang lock catches a rang, securing the fly section into place.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not extend the fly section so high that four or less rungs overlap with the base section. This height is unstable and could lead to a fall.

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