Make a Ladder Easier to Move





Introduction: Make a Ladder Easier to Move

I added a wheel truck to a 15 foot extension ladder so one person can move it easily with one hand to the place where it will be used.

  • Two 6 inch lawnmower wheels
  • 3/8 inch concrete reinforcement bar
  • 6 hex head bolts 1/2 inch x 2 1/2 inches with hex nuts
  • 2 cotter keys 1 1/2 inch long
  • 4 lockwashers 1/2 inch in diameter
  • 4 squares of steel 3/16 inch thick measuring 1 3/4 inch x 1 3/4 inch
  • Electric drill and bits
  • Hacksaw
  • Welder
  • Tape measure
  • Wrench
  • Grinder

Step 1: Dimensions

My wheel trucks form a triangle. The ladder rungs are 12 inches apart on center. That forms one leg of the triangle. The other legs are 11 inches and 11 3/4 inches center to center. It does not matter much which leg is 11 inches and which is 11 3/4 inches.

Step 2: The Beginning

Cut two pieces of 3/8 inch concrete reinforcement bar a little longer than their respective sides of the triangle mentioned in step 1. Weld them to the sides of one of the hex head bolts as shown. I welded on the wheel side of the bolt, too. Do this fitting and welding again for the other wheel truck. Remember that the wheel trucks will be mirror images of each other so the wheels are on the same axis when finished.

In the photo you see the wheel trucks assembled. When I did the welding, I simply set a hex bolt on a flat surface, head down. I laid the reinforcement bar next to the hex head and welded.

Step 3: Square Pieces

Make four squares of steel at least 3/16 inch thick and 1 3/4 inches x 1 3/4 inches. Drill a 1/2 inch hole in the center of each steel square.

Notice that I welded a short piece of reinforcement bar to one side of each square and welded the reinforcement bar pieces that form the legs of the triangle to the spacers. The spacers are to make a way over any lip on the ladder rails. 

Step 4: Attachment Rods

Redi-Bolt (continuously threaded rod) is expensive. I cut the heads from four 2 1/2 inch bolts and welded them to pieces of 3/8 inch concrete reinforcement bar. The total length of each of the two attachment rods is 20 1/2 inches. That means 15 inches of concrete reinforcement bar is needed for each attachment rod. 

Before welding I chamfered the ends of the reinforcement bars and the bolts. When finished welding I ground the area of the weld so the ends would fit through the 1/2 inch holes.

Slip the attachment rods through the two welded wheel truck assemblies. I used the third and fourth rungs from the bottom of the ladder. Add nuts and lockwashers. Tighten firmly. 

Step 5: Attach the Wheels

I slipped the wheels onto their axle bolts and gently snugged the hex nut up to the wheel bearings. Then I drilled a hole through the nut and the bolt axle for a cotter pin.

Step 6: Use

Just pick up the end of the ladder opposite the wheel trucks and walk while dragging the ladder behind you. Set it up against the building as you normally would.

Step 7: No Interference

The wheel trucks do not interfere with normal use of the ladder.

Step 8: Storage

To store hang the ladder on wall hooks as you normally would. The wheel trucks are really not in anyone's way. 



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    Just this weekend I was dragging out my 10' fiberglass step ladder that I store under my deck because I cannot reasonably get it into the garage. Every time I pull it out I feel badly that the dragging it going to ruin it and that I ought to put it on rollers or something. This is exactly the "tip" I needed. I think I'll use some bicycle training wheels I just pulled off one of the kids' bikes since it still needs to fit under the deck. I'll post when I get it done.

    I'll sure feel better protecting those treaded feet from wearing down from the first 2-3 feet of dragging required to get it out of its storage space. Thanks Phil!

    Thank you. I hope it worked out. I try to respond to comments in a timely way, but somehow miss notice on some of them.

    Very good idea,But I know it is harder to do thing we get older so it is nice to see something that give us a helping hand.thanks ;-)

    I think I mentioned that ladder belongs to a church. Often people not really strong or experienced enough had to move that ladder. The wheels made life easier for all.

    Congratulations Phil;
    Your post got picked up on I like the idea but for now I'm still able to carry the ladder top of shoulder style like the telephone workers do, so I'll keep this idea filed for later use if it should arise.
    Keep up the good work.

    Following in the footsteps of the master.
    Please let me know if I should give more credit


    I am glad you got around to doing an Instructable on your version. If anything, you gave me too much credit. It is interesting to see how you did yours. Also, I tried to determine how you did the levitation, but am not quite sure. If your leg or your grandson's leg is hiding a post, it is not a big post and it is cleverly hidden. Maybe you should have worked in one of the Las Vegas shows in addition to or instead of working on the gaming electronics. ;-)

    Only the pic of my levitation in not retouched using a magic means.

    Getting the 36 pounds dynamite to sit still was almost impossible.
    There I used a single inverted pin jack stand and edited the pic.

    Good idea, Phil. My ladder is not so long, then I don't need to do this.

    Me either. I just find the balance and put it on my shoulder. Then I don't use any hands. One ladder I have is a 32 foot extension too!