View Full Version : Has anyone tried a three-tier compact extension ladder?

Malcolm Schweizer
10-08-2014, 10:11 PM
My ladder barely fits my little home shop, and I see Werner offers a compact 32' ladder that has three tiers instead of two, and folds to 12'. Has anyone tried one of these? I have a tall house, and 32' is the smallest that will work.



Mike Henderson
10-09-2014, 8:11 AM
I have a folding ladder that is four sections and folds up pretty tight. It's light weight but does the job I need it for.

Actually, it folds in half, but each side is an extension.


Jessica Pierce-LaRose
10-09-2014, 12:36 PM
My father seems to collect ladders- no experience with a three tier ladder, but for really compactness, he's got a couple of ladders that collapse like radio antenna that he got (I believe) at Costco. One is heavier duty than the other, but they even fit in the trunk of his car, and I was surprised at how well they worked when we were working on the eaves of his house. I'll have to ask who makes them.

My favorite ladder, although it's heavier than fiberglass, is the Little Giant ladders, they both fold and collapse, so you get a full size ladder in five feet of height, albeit thicker. The dual action also lets it function as a step ladder on uneven surfaces like stairwells.

Malcolm Schweizer
10-09-2014, 1:07 PM
I have one of the multi-fold ladders like Mike mentioned, but they don't extend to 32', or at least not any I have seen. Also I need a fiberglass ladder due to power lines at close proximity to the tall side of my house. I have seen the ones that telescope like Joshua mentioned, but again they don't go to 32', and are metallic. The one in the link I posted is fiberglass, and for all other purposes just like a two-piece ladder, but broken into three pieces so it is shorter. Thickness is not a problem, but I need it to collapse to less than 14' to fit lengthwise in my shop. The 16' collapsed length of the 32' ladder means I have to angle it, and it goes right under the fan/light.

Hopefully in a few years I can buy the building next to me as a dedicated shop, and this will no longer be an issue, but for now I am thinking about the three part ladder, but with shipping it will be over $500. Nobody sells them locally yet, so I can't view one up close and try it out. Werner is reputable, so I figure it will be fine, but wondering if anyone has tried it.

I am open to other suggestions, but it has to be able to reach 32' or longer, and I really prefer it be fiberglass.

Malcolm Schweizer
10-09-2014, 1:16 PM
Oh, by the way, I purchased this http://www.industrialladder.com/productDetails.do;jsessionid=C897DF8FED70C7F89DF3C 3303C8D0FCA?productID=7896&categoryID=886 because my house is on a hill so steep that they actually sell T-shirts for people who survive climbing up it!!! If anyone is interested in my thoughts on it, I will post a review when it arrives. It is currently in transit.

So I also need something that can be used with a leveler, but still reach 32'. I liked this particular leveler because it has a wider stance, and it is easily removed for storage.

Still open to any other suggestions that fit my complicated needs.

Greg R Bradley
10-09-2014, 2:36 PM
I don't have that one but know one serious ladder user that does and he likes it. It is heavier than the equivalent 2 section extendable. If they make a 1A FG that extends to 32', it is going to be 75+ pounds.

Do you need a 32' ladder or one that is actually 32' long extended? Check carefully as extension ladders are shorter than their listed length unlike A-Frame ladders.

I have about a dozen different Werner and Louisville industrial fiberglass ladders and feel that is the only way to go. The many-section ultra compacts are fine in shorter length for very light occasional use but only for that. A multi-fold that extended to 32' would be insane, more difficult to handle than my 16' Double Ladder that weighs 105 pounds and has two side locks on each side. Those consumer technologies don't scale up to longer lengths or serious use.

My big one leaning against 17.5' tall racks:

Malcolm Schweizer
10-09-2014, 3:49 PM
First, thanks all for the replies.

Greg, I believe mine actually extends to 29', so that's what I need to reach my gutters, and that barely reaches, so already it's a bit of a compromise, but one I can deal with. In fact, because of the steep grade, it is only one corner of the house where I need that length, so if a 32' ladder were a foot or so shorter, I can deal with that, but not much than that. I looked at the specs and the 3-tier weighs 81 pounds versus mine is 71.5 (same manufacturer). I can live with that, although I don't like it- I care more about storage length than weight. The length fully extended is the same- 29'. Actually, the three-tier would even fit in a storage area I have that used to be a cistern, but it was drained and made into storage. That would be awesome.

Ultimately, I am probably going to get the three-tier, but have a few more $ to save for cost plus shipping. If anyone knows of other brands that make similar ladders, I'd like to hear about it.

Don Orr
10-10-2014, 1:18 PM
No help on ladders but that is a seriously cool looking kayak!

Malcolm Schweizer
10-10-2014, 2:30 PM
Thanks Don,
That is actually a racing standup paddleboard. That is the first prototype for one that I designed that hopefully will eventually be available from www.woodsurfboardsupply.com (http://www.woodsurfboardsupply.com) This one is a VERY fast racer, but also very tippy- not for the faint of heart. The deck is made of Paulownia and Peruvian Walnut, and the hull is from Douglas Fir that I salvaged from two 43' sailboat masts. Sorry, I don't have any completed pics on this computer, but here is the hull just after pulling it off the forms.... Okay, that wouldn't load, so you won't be seeing that picture. Sadly, all my pics of my surfboard builds are shot in high-res because I use them in marketing and websites. Here is a pic of my expedition kayak that has seen many, many miles. Currently I am teaching kayak building at a local workshop (volunteer gig on Saturdays) that helps troubled youth develop marketable skills. We are working from there to build larger boats and get them jobs in the marine industry.

Don Orr
10-23-2014, 11:47 AM
Thanks for the info Malcolm-sorry I just got back to this thread. That's a good thing you are doing for those kids.

Don Morris
10-24-2014, 2:50 AM
+1 on Little Giant ladders. They are well built, sturdy and fold up about as compact as can be in a reasonable manner. My response isn't about which ladder to use, but I know too many people who have fallen from them. From OSHA: There is no surprise that falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in residential construction. Falls represented 45% or 602 of residential construction fatalities from 2003-2006. Of the 602 fall fatalities 135 (22%)were falls from ladders... I include myself as an example. Actually, I didn't fall, the ladder slipped out from under me on a slippery composite deck which had pollen on it, which acted like a lubricant. Both the ladder and I came down. I landed about 1' from the corner of a metal/glass table. I was lucky, I just tore the rotator cuff of one arm. One of my fellow teachers at the University of Maryland teaches from a wheelchair because he fell from a ladder. At that height, you must be extremely careful of safety procedures in order to perform any task in a safe manner.

Jason Roehl
10-24-2014, 8:39 AM
Malcolm, if you don't already have one, this will help you reach a little higher, and with more confidence: