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Myasis dragons ride of a lifetime reminded me of a story that happened to my dad. I thought I would share...
When my dad first moved his current property, the barn had a gutter problem. Now, his barn is about 62' long and runs east to west. It has a water hydrant about mid may on the outside. He also had a 16' aluminum canoe that was resting upside down on the west side of the hydrant. The gutter was broke right above the canoe. It had just rained for a few minutes (sprinkled). He set up the extension ladder right over the canoe. When he was about halfway up the ladder, the bottom slipped out and he landed on the canoe. It cracked two ribs on the left side. he made a full recovery and is still goin strong

The point is, please, please, be safe on ladders! (And other equipment)
 

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My FIL wasn't so lucky as he fell off an 8' stepladder in 2007 clearing an ice jam in a gutter, and cracked his head on the concrete porch below, which resulted in a subdural hematoma that almost killed him. The operation was a success; but he was never the same afterwards and lived out the rest of his life in a schitty nursing home until age 89 in 2013.

Ladders are a necessary evil of property ownership; but I avoid the damn things as much as possible.
 

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My FIL wasn't so lucky as he fell off an 8' stepladder in 2007 clearing an ice jam in a gutter, and cracked his head on the concrete porch below, which resulted in a subdural hematoma that almost killed him. The operation was a success; but he was never the same afterwards and lived out the rest of his life in a schitty nursing home until age 89 in 2013.

Ladders are a necessary evil of property ownership; but I avoid the damn things as much as possible.
My granddad fell out of a peach tree when the ladder flipped out and broke his back. Fortunately, he survived and wasn't paralyzed and is now doing fine.
 

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Mom was a Registered Nurse for 30+ years. One afternoon walking across the hospital parking lot to get into her car to come home a coworker wished her a good evening and Mom turned to wish the coworker one too just as she stepped over a parking curb in the parking lot and caused Mom to stumble but not fall. Mom spent the next six weeks home with a broken bone in her ankle. Like Mom always said, "It's not how far you fall, It's HOW YOU LAND!"

If I need to get more than a foot or two off the ground I prefer to avoid ladders all together and stand on a sturdy table or platform. Most of my gutters are 10-12 feet in the air, I reach them standing in my loader bucket firmly attached to a 6000-7000# tractor.
 

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The tractor bucket is a bad idea and I have used as well. But keep in mind it is a hydraulicly suspended load and hoses fail and levers can be pushed by accident and while bringing you to/from the spot you need (since often the arc swing of the bucket means you have to be raised and then driven forward) other things can happen. Slips, trips and falls are the most common things. Co-worker caught his heel on the last step of his basement stairs with a load of groceries. His heel stayed but he ladded on his back. He was out for 6 months as things were torn up bad.
 

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If I have to go up a ladder more than 10 feet I always pound 4 pieces of rebar into the ground, one on the outside of each foot and one in front of each foot. And when I get about 8 feet up, I bounce it around a bit to make sure all four points of the ladder are in solid contact. There is also a little voice in my head that says, "If you screw up, you're dead." A reasonable amount of fear is a powerful motivator to pay attention. It's the same reason I leave the blade guard off my table saw.
 

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The tractor bucket is a bad idea and I have used as well. But keep in mind it is a hydraulicly suspended load and hoses fail and levers can be pushed by accident and while bringing you to/from the spot you need (since often the arc swing of the bucket means you have to be raised and then driven forward) other things can happen.
Both my loaders are manual trip buckets. I've been around the one for sixty years and have never seen it trip unless manually tripped with the lever, the other one I've used only 20 years. With the overhang of the roof I can stand in the bucket with the brakes set and Wife raises the bucket to working position a few feet above where I step into the bucket. She doesn't get ANYWHERE close to the bucket trip lever.

If a hose failed it would be a relatively slow ride till the bucket was resting on the ground with me still in the bucket. Sounds like a MUCH better deal than a step ladder or extension ladder falling.

Saw a post on another tractor forum a couple years ago. Old guy was found dead on a rural road, his tractor several hundred feet down the road rolled over in the ditch. Authorities surmise that a deer jumped out of the ditch and knocked the guy out of the tractor seat into the tire, rolling him to the ground and killing him and the tractor continued the short distance and then rolled over. Tragic!

Saw a post last Thursday. Frequent poster driving the same model tractor I use most down the road to his other farm to hook up to his field sprayer to spray ahead of the planter. A pheasant fly's up out of the weeds and hits him in the face, he jerks the steering wheel in an effort to avoid the bird, tractor runs into the ditch and rolls over. He was able to bail off the seat backwards with only bumps & bruises and post about the event.

STUFF HAPPENS! I choose the safest way to do things with the resources I have available. I enjoy a road trip on my tractor around the block or just down the road and back. Those things are all fraught with danger!
 

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Couple years back I was at the top of my 16' ladder trimming some branches at the Mother-in-laws house with my Stihl chainsaw. Trimmed a 6" dia approx 20-25 ft long branch, and as I was making the final cut and she came down - the thin end hit the ground, acted like a leaf spring, and the thick end sprung back up and nailed me and the ladder at the same time. Took that ladder right out from under me. Threw my left arm (with the chainsaw in it) over a large branch next to me as my right arm tried to deflect the large limb and twisted my back up something fierce as I hung from the limb. I didn't come out of the tree, but the damage had been done. My wife (luckily) was close by and got the ladder back up pronto for me to get back on and climb down. Laid in the grass for quite awhile.

Long story short - I dealt with REALLY bad back pain (many days actually in tears) for a couple years and spent 7 weeks in a support brace and 4 weeks in physical therapy last summer to get myself sorted out.

I hate ladders too. (and my MIL's trees.....)
 

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Ladders and trees

Couple years back I was at the top of my 16' ladder trimming some branches at the Mother-in-laws house with my Stihl chainsaw. Trimmed a 6" dia approx 20-25 ft long branch, and as I was making the final cut and she came down - the thin end hit the ground, acted like a leaf spring, and the thick end sprung back up and nailed me and the ladder at the same time. Took that ladder right out from under me. Threw my left arm (with the chainsaw in it) over a large branch next to me as my right arm tried to deflect the large limb and twisted my back up something fierce as I hung from the limb. I didn't come out of the tree, but the damage had been done. My wife (luckily) was close by and got the ladder back up pronto for me to get back on and climb down. Laid in the grass for quite awhile.

Long story short - I dealt with REALLY bad back pain (many days actually in tears) for a couple years and spent 7 weeks in a support brace and 4 weeks in physical therapy last summer to get myself sorted out.

I hate ladders too. (and my MIL's trees.....)
Your story reminds me of when I was much younger and we were trimming trees around a field edge. This was before the saws on a stick that are now available. My Dad used our longest ladder, 38-40 long and climbed into a tree to cut a large limb that hung out and down over the field. The ladder was on the back side of the tree from the limb but just in case, he roped into the tree. Sure enough, he cut the limb and rather than falling down it swung all the way around the tree and wiped out the ladder. There he was, safe and sound but 40' up in a tree with a ladder that looked like a pretzel! He managed to belay down on the rope but that was the last time he ever left a ladder in a tree while trimming.

Treefarmer
 

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Tie the ladder to the tree - wish I would have thought of that. Could have saved me a lot of pain that day and for the next 2 years.:banghead:
 
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