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ladder feet for soft ground?

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bugbear

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I have a large beech hedge, around 7-9 feet tall, and clipping it is hard work.

Given the height, I need to use a step ladder to get to the top, and I just place little pieces of wood under the legs.

However, the sequence of moving the steps, fiddling the wood into place, and then climbing the steps is a little too reminiscent of star jumps for my personal comfort...

So - does any one have a favourite design, or commercial product that will prevent steps (or ladders) sinking when used in a garden?

Here's some ideas I found when searching:



http://www.homesteadcaravans.co.uk/mayp ... jack-pads/

http://www.cleaningspot.co.uk/acatalog/ ... ories.html

Ingenious, cheap solutions very much welcomed!

BugBear
 

Paul Chapman

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If it's on grass, I usually use a large piece of MDF to stand the steps on and hammer a couple of metal rods into the grass to stop the board slipping.

For taller things, I use a Zarges ladder which has a horizontal base which is good on grass in that it doesn't sink in, and again hammer a metal rod into the grass against the foot to ensure it doesn't slip. http://www.ladderstore.com/media/upload ... ctions.pdf

Hope this helps.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Jacob

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2 bits of scaffold board say 4' x 8" x 1 1/2". You can then level these if necessary with further bits of packing.
Non of the gadgets are any good on uneven ground, unless they are adjustable, so might need the boards anyway. Once you have the boards you don't need the gadgets.
 

CHJ

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We have about 150yds of Beech and mixed hedges of the 2.5-3 mtr region in height.
Mixture of grass, meadow and flower border access.
A couple of boards as Jacob mentioned with 50X25mm battens screwed along the length at about 3/4 width stops slipping and provides base for steps. (also use on 'flat roof' to spread load and reduce slipping)
Ladder used also has 75X25mm batten screwed to the face about 25mm up from the base, this allows legs to sink to prevent slipping but controls the sinking.
 

paulm

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Must be that time of year again, just been similarly cutting some very tall hedges this morning and use a Stihl Kombi with hedgecutter attachment and to reach higher still, use an extension pole with it to give another metre or so height which copes with most of the sides of our various tall hedges, not without killing your arms and shoulders after a while though !

To do the tops I invested in one of the Henchman tall platforms that BB shows the feet of in the first picture and used it for the first time last year. It is very safe and stable, think it's around 12 to 15' tall from memory, and copes very well with differing ground levels, borders etc, but it is still a bit of a faff because you need to readjust it pretty much every time you move it (unless on flat ground of course).

Still, I'd rather faff a bit and be safe I guess at those kind of heights and hoisting various hedgetrimmers at the same time !

Probably overkill for your needs though BB given the modest height of hedging involved, some of the homemade solutions mentioned already sound pretty effective and low, or no, cost which is always good :)

Cheers, Paul
 

bugbear

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paulm":3smwww0h said:
To do the tops I invested in one of the Henchman tall platforms that BB shows the feet of in the first picture and used it for the first time last year. It is very safe and stable
"invest" is the right word. They'd probably fall nicely into Which magazine's "good, but pricy" heading.

BugBear
 

Max Power

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I used to hate cutting the hedge until I bought two sets of these

LADDERS.jpg


With a scaffolding plank between they give you the perfect height and you can cut about 2m of hedge at a time (hammer)
 

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paulm

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Yeah, not cheap and I put off buying for years, ended up paying a young local gardener a couple of hundred quid a year for a couple of years to do it for me (there's a lot of hedging and I was very busy on a lot of other stuff !), but he didn't make a great job of it and I thought for the price I was paying him I might as well get the right gear and do it myself.

The platform is well made and will last for years, helps with pruning the fruit trees (and picking the apples too), and packs away at the end of the year, the only problem being that I have to clear up all the prunings and shred them or take them to the tip, which at least the young lad used to do !

Did two trips to the tip this morning, two of the one ton skip bag loads and six of the pop up garden waste bags, and that's only the first part of the hedging, it's like the Forth Road bridge, never ending........!

Cheers, Paul
 

Harbo

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Yes I made the mistake, 36 years ago, of planting a cupressocyparis leylandii hedge around my property.
Cutting it is bad enough but the sweeping up and disposing is the worst part!

Rod
 

Hitch

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Not much use for step ladders (unless you buy a pair....cheaper to get someone to cut the hedge probably ;)

Saw a bloke with one of these a few months ago.....
http://www.slingsby.com/1/1/1285-ladder ... point.html

He knocked in a couple of tent pegs over the handle.
Seem to recall he said they were about £60, but worth it as he worked mostly alone.
 

Jacob

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Stilts are handy. The trick is to have also a long walking stick so that you can be stationary for sustained periods, in a tripod kind of way. Otherwise you have to keep moving, or fall over. :shock:

This is me having a crack at the leylandii planted by a twatty neighbour.

 

Lons

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I have several hundred metres of hedging and wherever possible I use a pair of trestles and boards but I have these as part of my builders gear anyway.

When I use steps, I use scaffold boards to stop sinking but I also fix up a temporay "outrigger" to stabilise the steps using two lengths of slaters lath. One just sits near the top of the steps held by a quick release clamp and angled down to the ground. A shorter bit is fixed to it about midway or lower with one screw alowing it to swivel, and placed across the back of the steps horizontally, I then use another clamp to fix it to the steps. Result rock steady side away from the hedge and safe when you lean over to cut.
Just lift the whole lot to move and easy to quickly reposition fro ground level adjustment if required.

Sounds complicated but very easy and simple - and it works with no cost.



Bob
 

bugbear

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Thanks to all for the various sensible suggestions.

My hedge is not super high, and has several shrubs and trees interspersed and adjacent with it - this means that most of the large-scale solutions won't apply, since the ground doesn't provide a large enough flat, continuous area.

To make moving the feet easier, I wanted them to be quite small - you don't actually need much spreading on a lawn, just "some".

But sitting steps on "only just big enough" planks would not be safe; the solution was to fix some laths on, so the steps are constrained.

The plank under the front feet needs to go really near to the hedge, so I really made it as small as was plausible, and the whole solution (in practise) worked well for me - in particular the front plank can be moved (to some extent) by wiggling the steps, since the laths almost lock it on.

My hedge is only 7 foot high, and I'm 6 foot, so standing on the 4 foot high platform of decorators steps (movable with one hand) worked a treat.

steps_close.jpg


steps_long.jpg



BugBear
 

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