How to Transport a Ladder Without a Roof Rack

Are you struggling to transfer a ladder on your car or any of the vehicle’s roof without a roof rack? If yes, then you have come to the right place.

Luckily this article is all about how to transport a ladder without a roof rack safely and legally by following the law of overreaching loads.

Meanwhile, transferring any ladder from one workplace to another over a car, truck, or van is always tricky until you know the proper process.

In this case, at the starting moment, you have to follow four points:

  • How to protect your ladder from any damage while transporting
  • Make sure you know and follow the road safety and overhang regulation
  • It would be best if you took precautions for the road users’ safety while you are transporting
  • Be sure you have protected your vehicle from any harm, scratch marks, and so on.

Along with this topmost point, you have to learn other facts and techniques for ladder transport. Eventually, our guidelines will help you to reach your goals and teach you to do the work effortlessly and legally.

Be with us till the end to know the method and implement it perfectly.

Factor to consider at the time of ladder transport

Moving forward, let’s have a look at those important factors you need to consider while transporting the ladder. Of course, you should know, using any model ladder is quite easy. But transporting it rightly needs little effort.

1. Ensure enough free space to move and pack the ladder

At the beginning of the transportation process, firstly. you need to ensure enough space. So you can easily pull the ladder for packing and shifting.

Since you are fixing your ladder on a vehicle like a car or a van. So undoubtedly you need larger space.

You have to be careful about nearby electrical power lines, people gathering areas, roadside places, and other objects in these circumstances.

However, this considerable factor helps you prevent your ladder from damage and ensures you are not hurting any person. Therefore, you will be safe from any risky situation.

2. Choose the right vehicle for the right type of ladder

Next, you already know ladders are available in different spaces and lengths. Especially when transporting an extension ladder (larger one), you need to figure out its length before selecting a vehicle.

Yes, the step ladder and the telescoping ladder are easy to console. But the extension ladder is large in length and size. Consequently, you have to select the car, van, or other vehicles according to your ladder size and length.

Selecting the right size vehicle saves you from facing a lot of trouble with law and space.

3. Arrange accessories you need to tie off the ladder with the vehicle

Fixing ladders on any vehicle requires a few accessories, and you can’t ignore them. Anyway, you will need accessories like rope, ratchet strap, locking ladder holder, ladder clamps, foam, thick blanket, and so on.

Wait, you don’t need to buy each of them. You might need one or two types of accessories depending on your budget.

Below we have suggested four types of accessories. It will go great with any shape ladder transporting project. Have a look.

RIO Direct 2PCS Tie Down StrapsThese multi-purpose lashing straps are used for tightening cargo, ladders, bulky products, and others and transport one place to another.Check product on amazon
Everest Premium Ratchet Tie DownThis ratchet strap is available at a very low price and is widely used for heavy product tightening on cars, vans, trucks, and other vehicle roofs.Check product on amazon
Acoustic Foam SheetsFoam sheet is generally used for many purposes, including packing, cushioning, decorating, and others.Check product on amazon
100 Pack Foam SheetsBasically, form sheets are used to wrap easily breakable items. It is great for packing and shipping anything.Check product on amazon

4. Learn about road safety rules and overhanging regulation 

It is the most important factor you can’t disregard at the time of loading, unloading, and traveling. It would help if you learned about traffic rules and overhanging regulations. As maximum accidents occur, due to unfamiliar road safety knowledge.

In this article’s last section, we have added the law of overhanging loads and safety rules. Please make sure you have read those and obey them.

How to transport a ladder without a roof rack: step by step guideline

As you already know, people mainly face hassle to transport large length ladder-like extensions or straight. Since other ladders like step, telescoping and folding ladders are portable enough to transport on a car boot.

So, these articles are mainly focused on how to transport an extension ladder without a roof rack. By the way, following the method, you can also transport other types of ladders. Only make sure you have followed these same precautions and methods there.

Let’s start the journey of how to transport a ladder without a roof rack easily and effectively.


Before beginning the transporting process, make sure your extension ladder is folded properly, and all the locking system is completely locked.

Therefore, inspecting the ladder is free from oil, dirt, grease, chemical, and other slippery material. If all is ok, then move to the next step.


Since you are transporting your ladder without a roof rack, you have to take some precautions for both your vehicle and ladder safety.

You can make a buffer by yourself or can use foams, thick blankets, pillows. Place them between the ladder and the vehicle roof to make a barrier between the vehicle and ladder.

This little barrier will protect your vehicle from scratch and dent and on the other hand, save your ladder from damage.


Moving to the next step, you have to carefully lift the extension or other ladder on the vehicle roof. At this point, you should ask someone for help because the ladder is heavy to lift for one person.

If you fail to manage any help, then no way; you have to do it by yourself. In this case, when you carry the ladder, check cautiously the top section of a ladder is bent upwards..


After placing your ladder on the roof, now the first important thing you have to check. Take a few minutes and check carefully you placed the ladder according to the legal requirement of overhanging loads on vehicles from both the front and rear sides.

According to law, if the ladder is not placed in the right position, then fix it and go for the next step.

Remember, if you fail to obey the law, then you might find yourself in a courtroom. 


It is perhaps the most crucial step among all we have mentioned. Yes, in this step, you have to tie your ladder with the vehicle. So that it won’t rattle and slip at the time of transportation.

Now essentially, you need to tie off the ladder at the topside, bottom side, and even in the middle side.

Because you have no rack and bar on your vehicle roof, so you must be very careful.

Use a ratchet strap and tie the ladder top part to the car front sidebar tightly. Then do the same for the bottom part of the ladder and tighten it with the car back sidebar.

Now place the racket strap over the ladder middle part and tie the ladder with the open car window.

Check the three pictures to get an idea.

You can also use any string rope instead of a racket strap, but you have to tighten it firmly.


This step is for a security check. Take a moment and double-check you have properly tied off each part of the ladder with the vehicle. Therefore, also check you have hanging it by maintaining transporting and overhanging law.

By the way, we have mentioned all the rules just after finishing all the steps. Better you check there and be confirmed.


It is the last step you have to follow. After securing and tightening the ladder properly with the vehicle. Now you might think you are now ready to start your journey.

But wait!

You have to go a long way. So, why not take a test drive to make sure all is ok. Now go for a little drive and keep your ear and eye sharp to notice any rattling sound and other unstable conditions.

When you find all is ok and if you have not noticed any movement and risk of slipping, you are safe to go for transport.

After fixing your ladder on the vehicle roof. Now the moment comes where you need to check your ladder overhanging state. Figure out whether the ladder is extended above the front or rear/backside of the vehicle.

If the overhanging state is too high to notice, then you surely break the rule. Now please learn about the overhanging rule for both the front and rear sides.

Front overhanging rule

  • If the overhanging is between 0 to 2 meters- Then no action requires (you are obeying the rule)
  • If the overhanging is between over 2 meters to 3.05 meters- Then you need to take action. In this situation, you need to put front and side marker boards. (Without it, you might be caught by the police)
  • If the overhanging exceeds 3.05 or more, you must be given 2 days working notice to police before departure. (Before given the notice, you can’t start your journey)

Back or rear side overhanging rule

  • If the overhanging is between 0 to 1 meter- Then no action requires (you can start your journey)
  • Suppose the overhanging is between over the 1 meter to 2 meters. In that case, you have to visible the overhanging ladder to other roads user. You can use any bright color cloth or high-vis vest that can be visible within a reasonable distance to other road users.
  • If the overhanging is between 2 to 3 meters, you need to put back and side marker board.
  • If the overhanging exceeds 3.05 meters- Then you have to give the police 2 working days’ notice (Besides you can’t make your journey)

Few tips for safe ladder transport

  • Before you begin transporting, calculate ladder height and, if possible, get an approximate weight idea
  • Never drug your ladder on the ground at the time of packing
  • Never transport ladder until it is folded and all locking mechanism is engaged
  • Always maintain transporting and overhanging rule
  • Try to use a high-quality product for ladder tighten (so that it doesn’t loosen up easily)
  • When you are driving, try to keep your eye and ear sharp to listen if any ratting sound or other issues occurs
  • Always respect and obey traffic rules when driving
  • Try to avoid transport too long extension ladder on a car roof

Final words

To wrap up, we ideally answer how to transport a ladder without a roof rack with extra details and step-by-step guidelines. Follow our first to last instructions. We can ensure you can successfully transport your ladder from one place to another without any legal issue.

If you have any further concerns, don’t forget to comment and if you find our article informative, share it with the people who need it.

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