“ Brand: Abru „
Almost everyone has a set of ladders in or around their homes, either step ladders of various sizes or those long ladders that people use to get onto the roof to clean out the guttering. In fact a ladder is quite an essential piece of kit to have around as it will come in handy at least once in your life time.
Unfortunately, when it comes to ladders, there's always been a problem when it comes to using it on those 'lower' heights and then having to get another set for those 'higher' heights, mainly due to the fact that one set of ladders would not do both jobs in a non intrusive manner.
What I mean by that is that when you try and put in a light bulb whilst standing on a 10 foot ladder is a bit tricky on the manoeuvrability scale. Or when you're trying to get at that broken roof tile whilst perched on a 3 foot A frame step ladder.
The right ladder is pretty much essential to get the job done safely.
Fortunately these days there are a few new ladders on the market which not only help you get to the heights that you think you need but are also a lot easier to carry around with you than ever before.
One particular set of ladders that I have owned for a while is one of those new fangled set that not only give me the lift to get at that broken roof tile, whilst allowing me to replace the light bulb whilst letting me carry it from one place to another without having to try and juggle it around the doorways and avoiding any more broken windows.
That set of ladders is in fact the Abru telescopic ladders, with the 'telescopic' label giving you a clue as to how these particular ladders actually work.
* What is this 'telescopic' ladder then..?
It's a ladder, of course, which is designed to get you from the bottom of somewhere right up to the top, but this ladder is not like any other ladder that you've seen before, especially when you see how compact it is yet how high it can get you.
What I mean by that is when you first look at this you may think that it is the most silliest looking ladder that you've ever come across. I know I did. This is because that when it is not extended it looks like something that someone has had a go at the local window cleaners ladder with an angle grinder.
But once you begin to lift the rungs you'll soon see exactly what it is and how very simple it is to use.
* And does it look like a ladder..?
Yes it does, but only when it is pulled up into position, other wise it looks more like a device for carrying injured budgies into the vets surgery.
This particular ladder has ten rungs in total, covering the entire 3.8 metres when fully expanded. With each rung being a very foot comforting 65mm wide so that you know that you are stood on something safe, giving me a little more confidence when I'm up high and stretching slightly to get at the corners of the windows
When it is closed it measures a nice 'put-away-able' 800mm in height, with it extending to a nice steady 3800mm. It is about 500mm wide and weighs in at about 11kg, which may sound quite a bit on the heavy side but it is a lot lighter than a normal aluminium ladder of equivalent height.
They are made from aluminium tubing, which is not only strong but is very lightweight indeed, so they can be carried around whilst also being able to take the weight of a small elephant, (although I wouldn't recommend trying to get an elephant up the ladders and onto you shed roof as the RSPCA may frown up on that, plus, your sheds roof may not handle the extra weight).
The ladder I have has black plastic 'knobs' on the ends of each rung, but there are other colours, although the colours are only for show as the colour makes no difference to the ability of the ladder itself. But each of these plastic 'knobs' do sort of 'narrow' on each higher rung.
* So how exactly do these ladders work..?
It's so simple, it's genius...
The frame is hollow and is made up of several different pieces with each piece being slightly narrower than the one it slides into.
Do you remember those old car stereo aerials? The one that you had to manually pull out of the cars bodywork and extend to its full length? Watching in amazement as the thinner sections of metal rods came out of the slightly wider sections? Then, to put it away so that passing yobs did not bend it as they walked passed your car, you simply pushed down on the top thin piece until the entire wire aerial slid into itself and back into the cars bodywork.
Well, it's the same principle with these ladders.
The tubing is wider at the bottom than at the top, narrowing as it goes higher. With the higher tubing sliding neatly and effortlessly into the lower tubing so that you end up with a rather small and very portable set of ladders.
The rungs automatically lock into position as soon as you open each one up so there's no worries about you forgetting to lock them yourself before sending the wife up to fix the aerial on the roof. The locking mechanisms, or levers, are easily seen on each rung so that you know where they are and are less likely to accidentally catch them.
On the bottom of the ladder there are two large rubber feet, which grip the floor like a vice, almost, making them very difficult to slip about when you're on the top of the final rung. I mean, the last thing you want is the ladder sliding across the flagstones whilst your balancing on the things? That would not be good at all.
* My opinion...
These ladders are without doubt one of the best ideas ever, in the ladder world that is, not in any other sense, as they are not the best idea in the world over all, what about bread? Or the wheel? Or even alcoholic beverages? But for a ladder, this one comes out on top...
Anyway, the reason I think that this ladder is the best idea in the ladders world is the fact that you can extend up to nearly four metres, or about 12 foot, from a package that is barely bigger than a dartboard cabinet.
It has what they call Autostep which is the reason why the dartboard case size package can extend to such heights, as this allows you to open each 'step' one at a time, until you have extended the ladder to exactly how high you want it. Which means that you don't have to have it fully extended every time in order to get the full potential of this device.
Plus the fact that it closes back into itself in seconds makes this one of the easiest ladders to transport. much easier than the standard window cleaners ladders that we tend to see hanging off the roof racks of some blokes Nissan Micra.
The rubber feet may only be circular and they may not stick out that much, but they do a remarkable job in steadying the ladder on most surfaces, such as grass, stone, tarmac and others. But I wouldn't trust them on smooth slippery surfaces as they may lose a little grip and slide away from you.
I do have to mention that, when first using this, especially when it comes to actually collapsing the rungs themselves, it can be a little... well... a little frightening experience indeed, but only a little. This is down to the way that the rung sections drop into each other as the ladders collapses, and this can be a little 'dangerous' to your fingers if you get them in the way.
But as long as you follow the correct guide lines to 'collapsing' this ladder, mainly by keeping your fingers out of the way when you press the catches on the sides, then accidents should not happen.
I've used this ladder on many many occasions and have not trapped my digits as yet, which is nice. So if an idiot like me can keep all his fingers after putting away this ladder then I'm sure most people can too.
* So how much for this easy to store method of going up in the world..?
It's not cheap, selling for about £90 - £100, although there are a few different size ladders of different sizes which sell at different prices, but this one, the 3.8 metre one, sells for about the £90 region.
* Is it value for money..?
Yes, without a doubt, especially if you use a ladder for such things as clearing gutters, washing windows and even getting in and out of loft hatches, as this one will help you do the lot without any real hassles at all. Plus, the fact that it can be stored away in a bag that can then be slung over your shoulder and carried with you, you can take this anywhere you have to.
There are many ladders out there that cost less money but they are no way as useful as this one.
In all, if it's a multi purpose ladder you're after which you can carry with you without knocking out the person stood behind you when you turn around then look no further.
Abru's award-winning patented Telesteps products comply with European standard EN131. Tremendously flexible and very portable they can be extended step by step to exactly the height you need. The Abru Telesteps Black Line Telescopic Extension Ladder has an attractive clean-to-handle aluminium alloy finish. It is easy to carry and has telescopic retraction to make extension simple and quick. It can be retracted back to its compact size in one move. The ladder has wide comfortable treads for stability