By Kristi Waterworth
When a ladder appears magically on the doorstep, anyone would be understandably excited to unwrap that bad boy and climb on things. That’s why I did exactly that when Werner sent me a 14-foot Multi-Position Pro with PowerLite™ Rails. Merry January, everybody! Limited Time Offer – Werner Ladders
It’s now my task to probe this beast and tell you exactly what you can expect from day to day work with this particular piece of equipment. First, I should disclose that I’ve always wanted a good quality multi-position ladder and although I was a General Contractor for many years, I never did spring for one. At that time, they were obscenely expensive and also weren’t very well made, in general.
But what about Werner? How did they do? Let’s go through it.
You Had One Job, Ladder, and You Didn’t Disappoint
Of course, the first thing I did was ignore the packaged instructions, instead, pushing buttons and pulling knobs to explore the adjustments on the ladder. After all, who looks at package instructions – ever? Oh, you? Well, you’re probably smarter than I am.
I’m more hands-on when it comes to things like ladders. After all, if you’ve ridden one horse, that buffalo across the field can’t be too different, can it?
This is a buffalo of a different color, so don’t expect it to ladder like your standard a-frames or telescope like your traditional extension ladders. Instead, it does its own thing. Sure, it CAN become an a-frame ladder or an extension ladder or something in between, but it’s not limited to those categories. And because of that, it’s designed entirely differently than either.
The Werner Multi-Position Pro Ladder is hinged in the middle, allowing all kinds of ladder contortions to originate from that pivot point. It has several different angle positions on the hinge, both sections meet there and can be independently telescoped to create a ladder that works on flat ground or in awkward spots like staircases.
It’s sturdy – I mean impressively sturdy – especially when the extra length of the legs is in the collapsed position. This isn’t your typical thin aluminum ladder. It’s weight-rated for 375 pounds and it really means it. The beefy construction is made even chunkier by extra braces, brackets and pop rivets.
If a ladder can be a beautiful thing, this one certainly is. It’s like a shiny, waxed cherry red Mustang (classic, of course) on a sunny day. I never thought I’d write those words about a ladder.
What are PowerLite™ Rails?
PowerLite™ Rails, according to Werner, are a special sort of rail that makes the whole package a lot lighter without sacrificing strength. Where traditional aluminum ladders are frequently constructed with rails in an I-shaped configuration, PowerLIte™ Rails are C-shaped channels that allow a more streamlined interior ladder frame to slide smoothly into and out of position.
They do certainly seem very durable, but I had no opportunities to see how they would behave if accidentally torqued in either direction (things can happen – you know how it is). The plastic on the outside of each rail, while initially alarming, turned out to be an excellent wall-protection feature. No scuffs or gouges, just lovely smooth plastic bits. Thumbs up!
Things to Keep in Mind
You knew it was coming. Every product on the planet has its not-so-great bits. And while the Werner Multi-Position Pro ladder is pretty awesome in general, I did notice a couple of things that should be kept in mind with it, as with any ladder.
Any “non-skid” feature is only as reliable as the surface you’re working on; I tested this ladder on a ceramic tile floor, figuring that’d be the worst-case scenario. And of course, like any ladder, the taller it is, the less stable it will feel.
And don’t be like me – read the accompanying instructions first – it’ll make your job easier. And safer.
Conclusion? Excellent Option at the Price Point
At the end of the day, ladders aren’t sexy and they’re hard to review. But, given that it’s a very sturdy ladder for a lot of general uses, it folds small enough to fit readily in the back of a Chevy HHR (I tested this myself), and the levers and catches seem to be bulky enough to easily handle the job, the $124 price tag is a very fair price. Limited Time Offer – Werner Ladders
For that kind of cash, you could never begin to buy three different ladders and a small scaffold base set, let alone all of those with a 375-pound weight rating. Having used this ladder to paint a ceiling, however, I would definitely recommend investing in one of those accessory platforms unless you just love torture. I don’t.