Where To Buy A Pilot Ladder
Pilot ladders were traditionally made (or certainly remade) on board ship. It was a part of the requirements of EDH (Efficient Deck Hand) certification for decades. However as skills began to fade at sea, crew numbers started to fall and there was a move to the use of ISO 799 compliant ladders this tradition has now moved to workshop built pilot ladders.
Workshop Made Pilot Ladders
There’s a lot to be said for a workshop built pilot ladder. First of all is the standardisation you get through production line manufacturing. Ladders built in dedicated workshops are constructed on very long custom jigs that ensure precise positioning of steps and spreaders ensuring the ladder components are tight, steps are horizontal, and the fastenings are applied correctly (be they old fashioned hand whippings or the more modern metal clamps).
The workshops are also able to ensure they source the best materials, their bulk buying power helps to keep costs down and their quality assurance checks ensure ladders meet strict standards that are regularly checked by their certificating Classification Society.
Sourcing A Pilot Ladder
When it comes to sourcing your pilot ladders there are a number of options. Ship operators and managers can have a central buying system where they source ladders directly from producers or can leave it to ships themselves to buy through the local ships chandler. Both options can come with problems.
Pilot ladders sourced by a central sourcing unit can sometimes result in ships getting the wrong ladder, for a ships orders to be changed and a ladder collection is missed or for the requirement that a routine pilot ladder replacement is needed (such as when the ladder is 30 months old) to be missed by the central purchasing unit.
Buying A Pilot Ladder Through A Ships Chandler
Pilot ladders bought by vessels can also be fraught with issues. Generally buying from a ships chandler adds 50% to the cost of the ladder, the quality can vary immensely depending on where the ladder was made and certain unscrupulous chandlers have been known to provide counterfeit pilot ladders to vessels.
The benefit is they tend to hold standard length ladders in stock so it can be a quick option but it prevents the buyer from stipulating the manufacturer or the overall quality of the ladder.
Total Pilot Ladder Management & Training
The Fathom Safety Pilot Ladder Management Service prevents the pitfalls of pilot ladder purchasing by removing this headache completely. We take care of everything from auditing the vessels current pilot transfer arrangements to provision of ladders, training in every aspect of pilot ladder safety and thanks to our pilot ladder management software we give technical superintendents and vessel managers total oversight so they can ensure their fleets are properly equipped and adequately trained.
We only provide PTR Holland ISO 799 approved ladders along with certified and tagged securing ropes and manropes. All of the equipment and certification is held on our central database and our 24 hour helpline means that in an emergency we have an expert on hand to assist the vessel or vessel manager.
In the event of a pilot ladder incident we have qualified accident investigators who are highly experienced pilots or former pilots who can attend a vessel to assist with the investigation to ensure a comprehensive investigation and independent report.
Fathom Safety can remove the headache of pilot ladder management, save your shipping company thousands of dollars in pilot ladder purchasing and at the same time guarantee complete compliance.