I live in a small loft condo with high ceilings. Storage areas are 8 feet above the floor and too high to access with a step stool or short ladder. A traditional 8 foot ladder is really too short and a 10 foot ladder is too big for my closet space, but I was resolved on buying one at Home Depot. Fortunately for me they had the perfect ladder for my needs, a 12 1/2 foot Aluminum Telescopic Ladder made by TASC.
Recommend this product?
The ladder is beautifully designed and well made. It weighs only 30 lbs and just under 2 feet wide, 3 feet high and 4 inches deep when fully compacted. So it stores easily in a closet or your car trunk. I find the more I use it, the more I like it.
The telescopic mechanism adjusts the ladder to various heights up to 12 1/2 feet allowing you a working height of up to 15 1/2 feet, and the sturdy design allows for safe effortless single person operation. It is a one piece unit and is designed with a patented quick release mechanism which allows the ladder to lower with one pull.
The ladder has a Type 1A, 300 lb. duty rating and meets all OSHA, ANSI and CSA requirements. It has 2 1/2 inch deep rung risers spaced 12 inches apart for surer footing. Be sure that you have it facing in the right direction, and always have shoes on when you're using it.
When the ladder is set up properly the rubberized cushion rests at the top and bottom give you a non-slip stable platform. I'm just as jittery as anyone when it comes to climbing ladders, and this one is a bit tricky to use without some practice. So I read the directions for use carefully and even boned up on viewing safe ladder techniques on Youtube.
When using any ladder you should keep your feet in the middle of the rungs as you climb up and down, and maintain the habit of having at least three limbs holding the sides of the ladder at all times, (i.e. one hand and two legs, two hands and one leg) especially as you climb off and get back on the ladder at its working height.
It's important that you open the ladder at a correct angle so the specially made rung lip rests on whatever over hang you have at the top, (e.g. gutter, side rail, molding etc.) so nothing ever rests directly on the aluminum side rails, as that may dent the rails preventing the ladder from closing smoothly. This also adds lateral stability to the ladder.
I would recommend that you get someone to work with you at first to practice climbing up and down the ladder until you are confident and comfortable, and certainly practice opening and closing the ladder by yourself a few times as well.
The ladder has a 300 lb capacity so for most of us it's ideal, but if you're a big fella this may not be the ladder for you. I've read some reviews that say the plastic stops gave way after multiple use. The ladder is very well made, but I'm thinking it's not the kind of instrument that you can abuse like we do to most ladders.
The ladder is weather resistent, but if you're going to use it outside much you should make sure it's kept clean and away from dirt as any debris might disrupt the locking mechanism. Even though it feels sturdy under foot, I would resist the tendency to come up or down it fast.
In summary, this is the perfect ladder for indoor use or for that professional who needs a ladder that can fit in the car. It's easy and safe to use. Currently selling for around $165 at Home Depot. Comes in a 15 1/2 foot model also.
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