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Do you trust your ladder’s feet not to slip — especially on slick surfaces like sealed concrete? To make using ladders in these situations safer, Rojak Design manufactures their ladder Stopper to provide a much larger non-slip footprint than the tiny rubber tread on the ladder’s feet.

To make the Stopper, they bond an either a 18″, 24″, 30″, or 36″ T-section of aluminum to vulcanized rubber. The large base increases the gripping power and the upright section braces both of the ladder’s feet from sliding.

I found the the 18″ version for 33 Euros ($50) before shipping and taxes and the 24″ version for 96 Euros ($143) with VAT and normal shipping. I’m all for ladder safety, but this seems pretty expensive for a frickin’ piece of aluminum bonded to a piece of rubber. Both sites I found are in the UK and there don’t seem to be any distributors in the U.S. for the ladder Stopper or even for other similar products.

Ladder Stopper [Rojak Design]
Ladder Stopper [Ladders Online]
Ladder Stopper [Window Clean Center]

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21 Responses to The Ladder Stopper

  1. Jim German says:

    How does a larger base prevent sliding? Basic high school physics shows that surface area is unrelated to the friction for sliding.

  2. Ken B says:

    Looks like something that would be pretty easy to make… for less.

    • Dangerous Dave says:

      Before you can be critical of this tool you first need to try it out. Only looking give a small perception!

      Being a window cleaner for 33 years and using ladders constantly I can say this tool is of high safety…So it cost a lot but way cheaper then your life or body…

      Ladder work is one of the most dangerous types of work !

  3. @Jim German:

    That’s a good question. When I wrote the post last night, I had the same thought in the back of my mind. I should have been more critical.

    But with that said, here are a few thoughts on how they are coming up with their claims

    - They imply that the aluminum plate pretty much extends the entire area of the base and that this has something to do with the increased grip. Not sure about this one.
    - The ladder resting against the t-shaped base acts as a giant foot instead of two little feet so the feet won’t twist and slip. This may be significant because climbing the ladder your probably not applying pressure equally to both feet.
    - The vulcanized rubber might grip better.

  4. Aaron says:

    More surface area increases the amount of drag in this case due to it being made of rubber instead of the harder plastic that is on the bottom of most ladders.

  5. Jason says:

    A larger base reduces the chance of being affected by a single slick spot on the surface.

  6. Alan says:

    The larger base *may* make it more stable, but it won’t increase friction.

    Frictional force is proportional to the coefficient of friction between the two materials, and the force. The force in this case is the purely vertical portion of the ladder (so Y only, no X).

    To get more friction, you need to get a higher co-efficient (more grippy) or more downward force (more heavy, or the ladder more vertical).

    So if thing is more grippy/sticky then it might help. If not, it won’t.

    To Aaron’s point: more surface area isn’t more “drag” (this isn’t wind/water/flow resistance). But, more grippy will.

    To Jason’s point: Because you have a larger area, you’re also MORE likely to have some of the larger-base resting on a slick spot. Because the mat distributes weight/force evenly, your overall traction is reduced. Basically, some of your downward force is “wasted” on the low-friction area.

  7. Geoff says:

    I think this all comes down to common versus scientific use of the words drag, friction, etc. I don’t think many of us actually use the term friction with Alan’s precision. The feet of a ladder are usually plastic or metal, while this product is aluminum bonded to rubber. I don’t know what the proper scientific term would be, but the rubber base should slide less on surfaces that a ladder foot alone might tend to slide on. And having the t-shaped base means the base is also keeping the bottom of the ladder from lifting up.

    Looking at this, it would make sense to me that this would give a ladder a better “foot” on some potentially slippery surfaces. However, I would really like to have someone at the bottom of the ladder with a “real” foot assisting whenever possible.

    I agree that this seems overpriced for what it does, and could be fabricated for less…

  8. Roscoe says:

    Would hate to be the insurance carrier for that manufacturer.

  9. Aaron says:

    I wasn’t clear, in that when I said “drag” I didn’t mean it in the true physics sense of the word. Alan is correct in that I meant more “grippy” (or more grip). As in drag your feet. You can’t see my hand motions when I type this stuff…!

  10. ShopMonger says:

    Allen. yes it has to do with co-efficient of friction, which in this case is normally increases do to the fact that most likely there will be either, concrete, black top, or maybe carpet if inside under the ladder. Even with wood there would be a high co-efficient of friction. Also the amount of static “drag” will be greater. Yes of course by raising the ladder t a steeper angle and increasing the Sign-variant to a more vertical force then there will be less horizontal force thus lessening the change of slipping.

    I use a ladder with a wider babe and rubber on two points to increase the downward value for force.

    but still not a bad idea on coated concrete like a shop floor…..
    ShopMonger

  11. browndog77 says:

    My extension ladders all have ribbed rubber gripping surfaces, and adjustable leg extenders do also. If the feet on them were plastic or metal, they would only be used on soft surfaces.(dirt!)

  12. browndog77 says:

    After taking a second look at the pic, that looks kinda like the top end of that ladder!!

  13. Mike47 says:

    “I use a ladder with a wider babe…” ShopMonger, that obviously means more weight on the ladder, and the babe is doing your work for you. You must be footing the ladder for the babe, right? Keep those eyes straight ahead, dude.

    Don’t get me started on the “ribbed rubber gripping surfaces”.

  14. Mark says:

    “The larger base *may* make it more stable, but it won’t increase friction.”

    Spoken like someone who hasn’t looked at the tires on a sport’s car lately.
    There’s a reason they have those monster-width rear tires, and it’s not because it’s good for weight.

    People need to remember what parts of physics 101 are fundmentally true (the math) and what parts are close enough for most jobs, but really just simplifications of a more complex problem. (The simplified physics equations that we now know are not 100% accurate).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friction

  15. JH says:

    The thing with friction is that it does depend on surface area, friction coefficient and contact pressure. However, in normal conditions when contact area increases contact pressure decreases. This results in no change in the amount of friction.

    On a rotating piece of rubber like the wheels of a drag racer that isn’t the case. In a drag race they manage to do the impossible. The contact pressure of a rotating tire does not decrease inversely with contact area. Thus they get more grip than simple physics dictates.

  16. flarney says:

    A hacksaw to cut a section of an old tire $7.99, a scrap piece of plywood and 2×4 $0, some glue or nails to hold the rubber and the 2×4 to the plywood $0.35. Grand total of $8.34 on tools and materials. Anyone stupid enough to spend $143 on this has too much money and not enough brains.

  17. fred says:

    @flarney

    A short length of rope – tied to a driven stake (or 2) – or solid object – and you have an even cheaper solution to having your ladder kicking out. We tie ours off – top and bottom whenever we can do it practically.

  18. Joe Sainz says:

    flarney: I would spend the remaining $135 on an insurance policy if I were going to climb on that.

  19. Panel Clips says:

    This is an awesome safety tool. I do a lot of work putting up siding and I’m constantly working on and with ladders. While I’ve never fallen or been seriously injured while doing this, I have had some scares while I’ve been on a ladder. This is something that I will have to look into, thanks for sharing.

  20. Shopmonger says:

    Mike47 haa haa yeah sorry about the typo…

    but hey Ribbed for the babes pleasure……

    ShopMonger

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