Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Adventures in Ladder Handling

Today the weather was warm, up in the 60s, and I took my new Little Giant 22 foot ladder outside to try it in the extension position.

No trouble getting the hinge undone and the two legs straightened out.

No trouble extending each leg so the ladder was in its full-length position.

But manuevering it up against the house? Lots of trouble there. Three times I tried it, and three times, when I'd worked my hands up the rungs to its center at the hinge, the ladder's weight and center of gravity were too much for me and I had to put it down.

No, actually, the first time it fell on my shoulder. No damage done, but not what you want.

The clouds were rolling in and it was starting to spit rain. So I quickly contracted each end. The ladder was still extended, though, and I decided to put it up against my back porch to see if it would reach the eaves and gutters. Not quite. Nowhere to lean it there anyway-- the aluminum gutters wouldn't take its weight, nor would the porch screens.

Okay, I still had the ladder upright and I needed to get it into the storage position. Released the hinges and whoops! the back side of the ladder came down in a rush, and thank goodness the hinge automatically catches at the A-frame position!

Sez I to myself, "Kate, ur doin it rong."

So after carrying the ladder back into the covered porch (just in time-- the rain began to pound down horizontally), I went inside and called the Little Giant customer service line.

First question, how does a shorty like me handle this or any extension ladder, especially when it's at full length?

I have my choice of three answers:

1) Get someone else to help me.
2) If no one's available, put some heavy object, like concrete blocks, down at the feet and brace the ladder feet against it/them.
3) Pump iron and develop more upper body strength (this was my suggestion, being satirical).

Second question, how do I fold it back up without it being such a thrilling experience?

The answer was simple and obvious. Lay the ladder down so the rungs are next to the ground. Release each hinge knob, then fold one leg up and over the other, till it's in storage position.

Oh yeah, right. Duh.

I unpacked the box with the accessories today, but I'm saving trying them out for later. Enough excitement for today!

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