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8 Important Parts of a Ladder Explained [Infographic]

Parts of a Ladder Explained Blog Feature

Upon analysis of our frequently asked customer questions, we found that the majority understand the parts of a ladder, but there are a few who’d benefit from more information.

The UK’s ladder market is expected to be worth $587.73 million by 2030 (£462.02 million on 10th June 2024). That’s a lot of ladders sold to individuals and businesses throughout the UK without understanding the parts of the ladder.

We’ve decided to explain the parts of a ladder with an infographic to assist you in making an informed decision about whether you buy a high-quality LEWIS ladder or a ladder from another manufacturer or supplier.

Parts of a Ladder (Extension Ladder)

Stabiliser Bar

A stabiliser bar is an important safety feature for extension ladders. It’s a horizontal bar attached to the base of the ladder that extends beyond the sides of the ladder’s frame. It’s designed to increase the ladder’s base width, enhancing stability and preventing the ladder from tipping sideways. If you’re purchasing an extension ladder for professional use, it’s important to check that it has a stabiliser bar to conform to EN 131.

Anti-Slip Feet

On each side of the stabiliser bar, there are anti-slip feet. These are made with heavy-duty rubber and are designed to prevent the stabiliser bar from slipping by providing additional grip. At LEWIS Access, the anti-slip feet that we manufacture and install on our extension ladders have a TriQuad omnidirectional tread pattern, enabling it to pass the stringent EN131 Slip Test on laminated float glass with zero movement.

Base Section

The base section is the foundational part of a ladder that provides support and stability to the overall ladder. It’s the part of the ladder that the stabiliser bar connected at the bottom and rail guides at the top to channel the fly section.

Fly Section

When buying an extension ladder, there are additional sections beyond the base section. For instance, a double-extension ladder has a base section and one fly section; a triple-extension ladder has a base section and two fly sections. The fly section allows the ladder to be extended higher than the base section. Users undo the rung locks, a push the fly section higher, unless there’s a rope and pulley section to assist with extending the height.

Rail Guides

Rail guides play a crucial role in maintaining the alignment of the fly section as it’s extended or retracted. They are typically attached to the side rails of the base section.


Rungs are the horizontal steps that enable users to climb and descend a ladder, but they’re not all the same. There are round rungs, D-shaped rungs and flat rungs. Some have twist-proof technology, and others don’t. We’ve written a blog post covering the different types of ladder rungs in more detail.

Rung Locks

Rung locks are designed to secure the fly section at a desired height. It prevents the fly from sliding down unintentionally. However, some rung locks on the market are quite a faff to use. At LEWIS Access, we have an easy, yet robust lever to lock and unlock the rungs in place.

End Caps

On the top end of each section, extension ladders made to last will have heavy-duty rubber end cap. These serve several purposes, such as prevent water, insects and debris enter the hollow side rails, as well as making the ladder more hard-wearing on more demanding sites.

Parts of a Ladder Explained Infographic


Understanding the different parts of a ladder can assist you in making the right purchase. The main parts of an extension ladder include: stabiliser bar, anti-slip feet, base section, fly section, rail guides, rungs, rung locks, and end caps. Most of these parts apply to other ladders like a step ladder, apart from rung locks and fly sections.