Ladders are an essential tool for a multitude of projects.

But they’re long, heavy, and take up a lot of space—if they fit in your vehicle at all! Ladder racks make the job so much easier! Maybe that ache in your back is telling you that you need to install a ladder rack. But which one? We’re here to help. We’ve answered the main questions to consider when purchasing a ladder rack.

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

With so many ladder rack options, it’s important to know what projects you need a ladder rack to help you accomplish. What do you plan to do with your ladder rack? How can a ladder rack make your life easier?

Once you have isolated exactly why you need a ladder rack, you’ll be able to decide which style of ladder rack is best for your vehicle. Consider your transportation needs, how many ladders you’ll need to haul and their size, and will you be attaching any other equipment to your ladder rack. Considering these issues will help you determine exactly what you need.

WHAT CAN YOUR VEHICLE SUPPORT?

You’ve got to buy a ladder rack that works with your vehicle. There are different ladder rack options for trucks and vans. You can select from ladder racks designed specifically for your type of vehicle and its load capacity. Make sure you know your truck or van’s gross vehicle weight rating. You never want to haul more weight than the gross vehicle weight.

WHICH TYPE OF LADDER RACKS?

As we’ve suggested, there are several options when it comes to ladder racks, but most racks fall into these three categories:

1

Utility Racks

A utility rack is an extremely versatile option and allows you to stow all sorts of cargo and equipment. If you need to transport more than just ladders, this may be your best option. These racks are compact and work well on most van styles.

They can haul multiple ladders and are a lower priced option. It’s important to note, however, that utility racks can be a little more difficult to access, load, and unload than other rack options.

2

Lock-down Ladder Racks

Lock-down ladder racks are available in single and double side configurations, giving the option of one ladder per side. As the name suggests, these ladder racks feature a torsion system to lock ladders securely into place. Plus, they are easy to load and unload. With a mid-range price point, this might be the perfect option for your truck or van.

It’s important to remember, however, that lock down racks are exclusively designed for ladders. If you need to haul other items with your rack, this may not be the best option.

3

Drop-down Ladder Racks

Drop-down ladder racks are a favorite rack choice-especially for work and commercial vehicles. Why are they so popular? Drop-down ladder racks are extremely accessible. The racks actually lower, so loading and unloading ladders is a breeze. This ergonomic rack takes the strain out of loading, reducing the risk of injury.

Additionally, it’s easy to lock the rack and ladders securely into place. These racks are great for vans and trucks, but they come with a higher price tag and are limited to only hauling ladders.

WHICH LADDER RACK CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL?

You don’t want to invest in a ladder rack without considering which type of material will work best for your needs and environment. Steel and aluminum are the typical material options. Weather conditions can directly impact your ladder rack.

Aluminum is a popular choice because it is durable and lightweight. Weather conditions are unlikely to harm an aluminum later rack. The lighter weight means better gas mileage. Steel ladder racks are strong and resist bending. If you have to load and unload heavy ladders, multiple times a day, you may need that durability. Just keep in mind that steel is more susceptible to rust and corrosion.

DO YOU NEED TO ATTACH ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES?

If you know you need your ladder rack to do more than just transport ladders, there are ladder racks that come with side rails, removable crossbars, and integrated headache racks. But no matter which rack you choose, you’re likely to need some accessories. Popular ladder rack accessories include, cargo bars, truck bed nets, anchors, and tie downs.

Hopefully you’ve determined what kind of ladder rack you need. Some of our favorite brands include Holman, Weather Guard, and Dee Zee. Whether you’ve made your choice, or you need someone to talk you through it, LINE-X of Savannah is here to help. We can walk you through the entire process and install the perfect ladder rack to your truck or van.

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