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Midway through Halloween setup today I looked down off of my roof at a pile of cords and thought "what am I doing?" I had small mental snap. This is only a fun hobby when your dreaming. When its ladder time... It kinda sucks. Good thing I'm using Halloween to shake out the kinks.

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Yup, know what you mean about the ladder time. I have to use a 28'er , go up & down ,move it, repeat,repeat. Our Halloween show has been up and running for a week. When I stand back and see the enjoyment it gives our visitors, I feel it was all well worth it.

Jerry

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I like the planning and of course watching the actual show. I'm not fond of set-up (other than the early part of it when I'm excited to get going) and I despise tear-down.

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Yea, tonight it was really the up and down of the ladder that really got my goat. I really have no idea how many times I did it. I just looked at the pile of cords, realized that Halloween is half the channels I have planned for Christmas and thought really "What the >>>> was I thinking." I really do all the work myself. The wife does not do ladders, two feet off of the ground and she's done. My kids can help with the ground work, but most of my display is airborne and up to me. I'll get through it. Its really why I did Halloween on my first year, I needed to know what it was going to take to shake out all of the kinks for Christmas. It's better to do this now, then when it's cold out. I'm now REALLY hoping I can get that promotion at work, that way I can afford to do this more relaxed... maybe a man lift eventually...

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Please exercise caution on those ladders. I know I'm a beast when it comes to electrical safety, but you are more likely to die falling off the ladder.

That goes TRIPLE for you people in cold climates. Slippery ladders + numb fingers & toes = potential disaster. Dead customers are not very GOOD customers! ;)

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Glad to hear that I'm not the only one with a hatred of ladders! I'm planning on renting a bucket truck this year, my knees say it will be well worth it!

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I'm trying to design my display so that I can minimize the height I could fall. Most of the intense work has areas I can only fall about 7-8 feet, of course there may be two drops in a row in most spots, but still no one drop over 8 feet or so. The one area where I light a two story wall, I am putting in permanent fasteners like eye-bolts and screw eyes to make hanging items quicker and easier. Also in that area I am building props that are in interconnected segments. That way my snow flakes, for example, are in groups of four. One trip up the ladder, instead of four.

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Dead customers are not very GOOD customers! ;)

Somehow I think my lighting addiction will extend even beyond the grave...

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Please exercise caution on those ladders. I know I'm a beast when it comes to electrical safety, but you are more likely to die falling off the ladder.

That goes TRIPLE for you people in cold climates. Slippery ladders + numb fingers & toes = potential disaster. Dead customers are not very GOOD customers! ;)

Be extra careful with extension ladders..... I was moving my extension ladder, when it un-extended...sliding 8' down to smash my toe.... 8 stitches and one less toe nail later...

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I hate ladders too.

Add cold and snow and it sucks!

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I know at HD they rent the Towable manlift for around $200 for 4 hours and I think about $300 a day. I just looked at them the other day.

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Guest Don Gillespie

Please exercise caution on those ladders. I know I'm a beast when it comes to electrical safety, but you are more likely to die falling off the ladder.

That goes TRIPLE for you people in cold climates. Slippery ladders + numb fingers & toes = potential disaster. Dead customers are not very GOOD customers! ;)

Everyone knows you can't die from falling off a ladder, its the landing that kills you, and sometimes dead customers are the best customers cause some customers are a pain in the well you know what, good point Mike most accidents happen at home and those that are not ladder experienced get into the most trouble, never and I mean never reach when standing on a ladder, always get down and move over, make sure the ladder is set right, you should be able to stretch your arms out fully and have the ladder feet touching your toes that way you know you have the ladder at the right angle, to straight up and down is not good and will be an accident waiting to happen, good luck out there

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I know at HD they rent the Towable manlift for around $200 for 4 hours and I think about $300 a day. I just looked at them the other day.

After hearing my ladder creak and grown from my weight I will be there next year! The only problem is can the manlift handle a 'big old ex-football player'?

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I have a fear of ladders but not of heights so once I get on the roof I can do what ever it is just going up and down.

^^^ This (and me too). It seems the more people I talk to, the more say the exact same thing. What kills me is the TRANSITION from the ladder to the roof and vice-versa.

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The transition has to be the worst part. There was a post on one of the forums a few years ago where a seasoned decorator suddenly couldn’t transition from his roof to his ladder one day. He had to have his wife call the fire company to get him down.

I can’t stand heights. So we’ll probably never decorate our roof. When we redid the roof two years ago I tried to talk the wife into letting me install a roof access door from our attic. The request was denied.

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After hearing my ladder creak and grown from my weight I will be there next year! The only problem is can the manlift handle a 'big old ex-football player'?

Check the load capacity. I don't remember right off the top of my head, but it usually is about 500 lbs.

Now as far as ladder safety, this is what OSHA says.

http://www.osha.gov/..._ladder_qc.html

In my opinion, if your ladder is not the right tool (Height, weight cap.) for the job, buy or rent a different one that will be the right one. If memory serves, a fall from ~12 ft, can be fatal.

Edited by Ron Boyd

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I started to get everything down from the attic and from the storage unit. I was exhausted just doing that....LOL

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I got over the feeling I had making the transition from the roof to the ladder by making sure there was enough of the ladder above the gutter line so that I could hold on to the top of the ladder without bending over.

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Here in MN it's not that worthwhile to decorate your roof, it will most likely get buried anyway. But I do hang my icicles from the roof... Fortunately we have a low roof over our spa in back, which transitions to the garage, which transitions to the house -- so it's pretty easy to get up there without killing yourself. Knock on wood...

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The worst thing that can happen while using a ladder is to be on the top ring of a 32 footer and have it start to fall leaving you stranded up the tree. As luck had it, I was able to hook it with my foot before it went to the ground. I know I would have been up the tree for a while because there's no way my 64 year old wife could have put it back up for me........ PS. I bought a harness at a garage sale this summer. But that lift is starting to sound worth it at my age.

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Whenever I need to work up on the roof, I also make sure I let people know I am going to be up there (like the neighbors), and bring my cell phone. That way, if I don't check in, or if something happens while I am up there I can count on the neighbors at least looking for my body :)

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Guest Don Gillespie

Most house hold ladders are rated for 250 pounds they are called a type 2 ladder, the heavey duty construction ladders (which I have around 30 of them) are rated higher, when you go from the ladder to the roof most people do not extend the ladder high enough, always extend the ladder a couple of rungs higher than you normally would this makes getting up onto the roof easier, and getting down easier, always and I mean always have some one down on the ground holding the ladder when you up or down, the last thing we need to read about is some one falling off a ladder because they we're careless.

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Wow! What a great topic about a strong emotion we all have flashed through and will continue in the future. The emotion of wondering what we are doing in this hobby. For me - my wife with our 6 month old baby doesn't appreciate my time away and I catch hell many nights, I also freak out about the ladder heights!, and I also stress a lot about making deadlines or when the show has a missing part when people are watching) I often need to stop and check myself about my main goal is to have fun an enjoyment. The payoff does come when people watch the finished product...

But on ladders: The safety advice here is great. I agree with Don that you need to know your ladder for sure -- I weigh 220lbs and found that many ladders at the local big boxes aren't even rated to my weight level!!! Add tools an equipment and I'm definitely overweight!

I had a co-worker fall off a ladder at 13' and broke his hip and has forever changed his walking style. His doctors said falls at 10ft begin to enter in a zone of serious injury an exponentially increase towards the possibility of death as higher levels are reached. This runs through my mind EVERY time I step on the ladder.

Plus, I am afraid of heights and my new home goes almost up to almost 40' as you can see here. I bought a 28 foot ladder to avoid the temptation to go higher. Also this is my first home were my display is outdoors and get a daily appreciation for you folks in the hard weather regions! I didn't even think about how hard ladder climbing would be for you. Wow. Careful please!!!

The good news about the ladder climbing is that at least I am getting a good workout. (I install everything solo too.) I can't imagine how many times I climbed the ladder by the end of the day, but my body lets me know for a couple of days after that....

Just wondering; I'd like to know about any hints/tricks you guys use for holding tools, zip-ties, etc. that works for you on a ladder but doesn't get in the way of safe balance and climbing. I think I am doing too many one-handed climbs.....

Edited by Jay Czerwinski

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Check the load capacity. I don't remember right off the top of my head, but it usually is about 500 lbs.

Now as far as ladder safety, this is what OSHA says.

http://www.osha.gov/..._ladder_qc.html

In my opinion, if your ladder is not the right tool (Height, weight cap.) for the job, buy or rent a different one that will be the right one. If memory serves, a fall from ~12 ft, can be fatal.

Careful. Some ladders have a load limit as low as 200 lbs. maybe even less. Bottom line, take Ron's suggestion and verify the limit.

Edit: I missed Don's post above. Way more knowledgeable than me.

Edited by Aaron Maue

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