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What is a Ladder Track?

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  • Written By: J. Airman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2016
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A ladder track is a rail that guides rolling ladders horizontally to provide adjustable vertical access. Libraries, bookstores, and wine cellars are the most common places to find ladder tracks, but they are used in a wide variety of storage facilities with high vertical storage. Most ladder tracks are bolted to a wall or sturdy shelf to support the weight of the ladder and the user. Rolling ladders have wheels that roll along the top or top and bottom of the ladder track to stay on course while they are being transported. Many manufacturers recommend that the user not ride on the ladder while it is rolling along the ladder track to the next location.

The classic iron ladder tracks with hardwood rolling ladders are gradually being replaced by steel rails and combination fiberglass, aluminum, and wood rolling ladder designs. These new ladder track and rolling ladder models are more lightweight and much stronger than their predecessors. Some rolling ladders now feature quick-release levers that allow them to instantly detach from the ladder track and be stored out of the way. Many different styles and lengths of ladder tracks are available to guide the path-rolling ladders in home, commercial, and industrial storage applications.

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Properly mounting and maintaining a ladder track generally ensures a smooth roll and secure ladder. Ladder tracks are usually attached to a wall stud or other sturdy wooden or metal surface using strong steel brackets. The sturdy brackets offset the ladder track from the wall to keep the rolling ladder from knocking items off the shelves below. Dust and other debris that accumulates on ladder tracks and ladder wheels must be removed to keep the ladder moving easily. Some ladder tracks require a small amount of grease or other lubrication along their length to operate quietly and roll freely.

Repositioning a rolling ladder must be done carefully to avoid damaging the track or causing an injury. To move a ladder along the track, it may be necessary to first release the position lock. Many rolling ladders are equipped with a locking mechanism that holds the wheels of the rolling ladder in place. This lock is intended to be applied when the person using the ladder has reached the destination. Once the lock has been released, the ladder rolls to the left or right along the course of the ladder track with a light push in the chosen midsection.

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