In raising and lowering long ladders considerable variance of procedure exists.
The methods are necessarily changed by change of circumstances. Whenever possible a ladder fall or long rope should be used, both for the sake of safety and economy. It is let down from a window or roof, and one end is fastened round the top stave of the ladder. The end of the ladder is placed against the wall, a curb, or is “footed” by a couple of men, and the man at the top hauls in the rope. As soon as the ladder is up, the two men at the foot can guide it into position.
A ladder of any length can be easily raised by three men in this way, and an ordinarily long ladder by two. In raising such a ladder without the fall or rope at least four men will be necessary. The two shortest and heaviest men should always foot the ladder, or, if it can be set against a curb, one will suffice at foot. When partly up, the amount of leverage exerted by the long end of the ladder is considerable. The use of a shorter ladder as a crutch to take the weight while the men shift positions or rest is often resorted to in the case of very long or heavy ladders. The fact that by this means a man can reach so much higher than the other men, gives him increased power over the weight and makes his assistance trebly useful.