Extension Ladder Parts Explained

An extension ladder is a great tool for any do-it-yourself enthusiast. Use of an extension ladder can provide access to cleaning gutters or changing bulbs. Operating an extension ladder properly can be aided by knowing the various parts whether aluminum or a fiberglass extension ladder.

These are the longest pieces you’ll find on an aluminum or fiberglass extension ladder. Since there are two sections to an extension ladder, there are a total of four side rails.

An extension ladder has several rungs that have a dual purpose – stand on and hold on. Ladder rungs are in a horizontal position attached to the side rails and are normally 12 inches apart.


Every aluminum or fiberglass extension ladder is usually either a 20-footer or 40-footer with two sections attached to each other. Extending the section to make the ladder taller is done through operating a pulley system. The pulley is on each side of the ladder and allows for partial to maximum height extension.

The aluminum or fiberglass extension ladder is equipped with extension locks that firmly hold the upper section in place at each interval where the user changes the height.

A safety feature in a stop is located at the top of the bottom section preventing the upper section from separating when fully extended.

The Feet
Each aluminum or fiberglass extension ladder is equipped with two feet locate at the bottom of the side rails. These are usually flexible and provide balance and stability.