I needed to reach something a few days ago and found that my 6 ft
stepladder wasn't quite long enough but there wasn't room enough to
fit one of the segments of my extension ladder. Now, I'm sure I could
have rigged something that would have been adequate, but I've reached
an age where falling off of a rigged ladder has lost all appeal (if I
want to bust my ass my motorcycle is quite sufficient to the task).
So I figured an 8 footer would do the job. So down to Home Despot I
go. Looked at the ladders, looked at the prices. As usual looked at
the Little Giant and looked at the price and said "well, if I didn't
already have a decent stepladder and a decent extension ladder . .
.". But this time sitting next to the Little Giant was something
called a "Gorilla Ladder" and the price was about the same as the 8
foot stepladder sitting next to it. So I poked and prodded it and
decided "what the Hell, I'm not gonna use it that often, so even if it
sucks it should't be a problem".
Got it home, set it up, and it turns out that it doesn't suck. Does
everything they say it does, and if I get the feet set straight it's
as solid as my other ladders. It's got practically no give to it at
all though, so if the feet aren't set straight it's not going to twist
to accomodate, it's going to wobble instead. Comes with a second
connector to allow it to be used as two scaffold stands or sawhorses
or whatever--that's fixed, not adjustable, in a nice plastic case.
The adjustment latches are quite rugged looking, big solid aluminum
pins going deep into their holes. They were pretty stiff at first--I
sprayed them with some Teflon lube and they smoothed right out. The
one at the top needs a little fiddling to seat now and again--I
suspect that that may smooth out with use.
Now, it has some downsides. The biggest is that it's _heavy_.
unmanageably so, but heavier than one expects a ladder of its
collapsed height to be. Adjusting the spread needs to be done before
adjusting the height unless you lay it down first--you have to be able
to reach to the top of it fairly easily to adjust the spread. It
doesn't work leaned against a wall at the lowest height--try it and
you find that it rests on the back legs, not the front, and tries to
tip toward you--raise the front a notch and it's OK. Doesn't have any
kind of platform at the top like a regular step ladder, there's no
place to rest stuff. Little Giant addresses this by throwing in a
work platform--you can get a similar one premade for 40 bucks or just
cobble something up that rests on a couple of rungs.
Might or might not be as durable as the Little Giant--it's partly
welded, partly riveted, and the non-welded rungs pass right through
the rails so I don't think _they_
are going anywhere.
On balance I like it--I think that I'm going to end up using it
instead of the extension ladder for heights within its reach, but not
instead of the stepladder unless I need to go higher than the
stepladder can reach.
They also have a shorter, lighter one that does all the same tricks
but doesn't reach as high. I got the 21', the other one is 13'--I
didn't check the price on it.
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