Author Topic: Thoughts on new extension ladder  (Read 2959 times)

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Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Thoughts on new extension ladder
« on: November 18, 2017, 07:01 AM »
I’m in the market for a 28-ft extension ladder.  I found the Little Giant Sumostance and it seems to be the perfect extension ladder.  The only drawback I’ve found is the price, but I think the features justify the cost(well, at least the Home Depot price)

  https://littlegiantladders.com/ladder/hyperlite-sumostance/
  https://www.homedepot.com/p/Little-Giant-Ladder-Systems-HyperLite-W-Sumo-28-ft-Type-IA-Fiberglass-Extension-Ladder-17828/302477756

It’s fiberglass, but weighs less than comparible aluminum models.  They might have cut weight by reducing the width, but the sumostance(leveling/stability system) more than makes up for it.  Thanks to the sumostance, it’s much wider at the bottom(Up to 3.75’) than standard extension ladders, and can adjust vertically up to 8” for uneven surfaces.   Actually, although I’ve seen comments that they are narrower, the specs show 18”, which is standard width.  They also put the fly section pulley and rope on the side so you don’t have to worry about catching it as you climb.  They’ve included levels as a bonus, so you can easily verify proper placement of the ladder.

I’m interested to hear from anyone with experience with this or similar LG models. Constructive thoughts for or against appreciated. They must be pretty new because I can’t find much in the way of real world experience. It seems perfect, but am I missing something?

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Offline McNally Family

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 08:43 AM »
I would consider buying this ladder.  Certainly I have bookmarked the item for future consideration.

Thanks for the link!
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Offline deepcreek

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 08:56 AM »
I've always had a healthy respect when working with ladders.  A friend's father died when I was a teenager because he fell off an extension ladder putting up Christmas lights.  Broke his neck.  A few years ago, I fell off the top of a two foot ladder and busted my tailbone.  Most ladder accidents occur because of human error.  In both cases, we were overreaching.  I was just lucky enough to be 20 feet lower and land on my butt.

I am a big fan of Little Giant engineering and quality.  I actually own two - the original 13' folding model and a black 22' from when they offered a professional grade heavy duty version.  Spendy but worth it in my opinion.

For tall work, I still prefer a traditional extension ladder rather than folding out one of their articulating models.  I have a 28' Werner aluminum but this one looks intriguing.  Fiberglass is a far safer when working around electricity but will break down if you store it outside in direct sunlight.  I like the features you highlighted and will probably look into it.

Truth be told as I sit here and think about it, I have too many ladders already.  I worked for many years as a contractor and you tend to accumulate them.  Last count it was two 2's, two 4's, three 6's, two 8's, one 10, one 12 double sided, two Little Giants, an old Krause MultiMatic, and the extension ladder.  I'm probably forgetting some.

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Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 707
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 10:48 AM »
I could use a 20 footer for around the house. That would have a ~17 working height.
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2017, 11:16 AM »
When you are considering an extension ladder I would respectfully offer that you also need to consider your own physical condition and strength.  Don't buy a ladder that you can't handle when fully extended.

Like others I have tons of ladders up to 32' and that length is the max I feel that I can safely handle.  Yes, I am a smaller guy.  I don't have a Little Giant ladder but I do have some clones that were made after their patent ran out.  I love them, but...

Based on my own experiences I would suggest that anyone buying one of that style of ladder try it out fully extended prior to purchase to make sure there are not any surprises.  The design puts additional weight at the very top and bottom due to widening of the ladder.  The bottom is great for stability, but at the top it adds weight where you might not want it most.

Just my 2 cents.

Peter

Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 11:44 AM »
When you are considering an extension ladder I would respectfully offer that you also need to consider your own physical condition and strength.  Don't buy a ladder that you can't handle when fully extended.

Like others I have tons of ladders up to 32' and that length is the max I feel that I can safely handle.  Yes, I am a smaller guy.  I don't have a Little Giant ladder but I do have some clones that were made after their patent ran out.  I love them, but...

Based on my own experiences I would suggest that anyone buying one of that style of ladder try it out fully extended prior to purchase to make sure there are not any surprises.  The design puts additional weight at the very top and bottom due to widening of the ladder.  The bottom is great for stability, but at the top it adds weight where you might not want it most.

Just my 2 cents.

Peter

Im in decent shape but realize that I’m not getting younger and certainly not in the shape I was in even 5years ago.  That’s actually why I’m looking at this model.  It’s got the height I need and built in levelers.  It’s non-conductive ladder at the weight of competitors aluminum models.  The few personal reviews I’ve read report it to be solid even when fully extended.

Actually, I’m thinking you might not have looked at the links and just commented on the traditional LG.  It turns out they’ve got a lot of other models.  I’ve seen their earlier extension ladders(LUNAR) on cable installer and lineman’s trucks.  The one I’m looking at seems to be one of their newest models: Hyperlite.   It’s a green(not quite festool green) fiberglass extension ladder with their “sumostance” base.  I’m sure the base adds some weight to the bottom, but there is no extra weight at the top. 

Another feature I didn’t mention is the second pulley on the rope.  That side mounted double pulley system makes it even easier to raise the ladder. 

I was about to order one from Home Depot but thought I’d get a reality check from you guys.   This group appreciates quality but calls a spade a spade if things aren’t what they appear to be

Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 11:57 AM »
Not to sound like an advertisement, but I might as well cover some of the remaining features.  I still suggest you follow the links and check out at least the videos.  I’m sure I’m not doing any justice.  . 

I’m looking at the 1A type(300lbs), but it’s also available in 1AA(375lb).  The top three rungs are red to help you remember not to climb on them(and keep them above the gutter or roof).  The standard hyperlite(sans sumostance) seems to be available with hooks and pole rest,  but aren’t on the ones Home Depot carries. I haven’t found them as accessories either.


Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 12:26 PM »
When you are considering an extension ladder I would respectfully offer that you also need to consider your own physical condition and strength.  Don't buy a ladder that you can't handle when fully extended.

Like others I have tons of ladders up to 32' and that length is the max I feel that I can safely handle.  Yes, I am a smaller guy.  I don't have a Little Giant ladder but I do have some clones that were made after their patent ran out.  I love them, but...

Based on my own experiences I would suggest that anyone buying one of that style of ladder try it out fully extended prior to purchase to make sure there are not any surprises.  The design puts additional weight at the very top and bottom due to widening of the ladder.  The bottom is great for stability, but at the top it adds weight where you might not want it most.

Just my 2 cents.

Peter

And related to the traditional Little giant, I agree that it can get unwieldy.  Although, while looking for information on the hyperlite, I found some tips to help with that.  Mainly to only extend the top initially, and wait to fully extend the bottom until you’ve raised the ladder, hand over hand, with the base against the structure. 

Unfortunately, I just have an old articulating ladder that has to be completely extended before being raised.  These days I have better step and extension ladders, so it only gets used on stairs or other oddball situations. 

Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 362
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 08:43 PM »
I have been a professional carpenter for almost 25 years. I have not ever used a ladder with adjustable feet. I can’t explain it...maybe I’m just lucky. Yes there have been times that should not have done things with a typical extension ladder, so please don’t tell OSHA on me.  I believe Werner and Louisville both make a leg attachment for extending one or both legs as needed.

Personally, the end user is the best judge of what type of ladder works best for their needs.  For me, I have a 2’/4’/6’/8’ step ladders, (2) 16’, (1) 28’ and (1) 40’.  None of these have let me down or prevented me from getting to where I needed to go.
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2017, 10:55 PM »
I have been a professional carpenter for almost 25 years. I have not ever used a ladder with adjustable feet. I can’t explain it...maybe I’m just lucky. Yes there have been times that should not have done things with a typical extension ladder, so please don’t tell OSHA on me.  I believe Werner and Louisville both make a leg attachment for extending one or both legs as needed.

Personally, the end user is the best judge of what type of ladder works best for their needs.  For me, I have a 2’/4’/6’/8’ step ladders, (2) 16’, (1) 28’ and (1) 40’.  None of these have let me down or prevented me from getting to where I needed to go.

I grew up in western PA and have been in WV for 25 years, and very rarely have flat base where I need an extension ladder.  I normally use a rock, brick, or block of wood, but last year I picked up an old Werner ladder with a single leveling leg that switches to whatever side you need it. It works great!   Then I found an automatic unit that looks even better, but by the time you add that to a new ladder, you’re nearly at the cost and heavier than the hyperlite. I really appreciate the solid foundation the leveler provides. I figure the wider base of the sumostance will be even better. 



Offline Alex

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2017, 01:12 AM »
I work regularly at height with my own 9 meter/30' ladder (Altrex Rocky 3x12) which is a bit heavy but rock solid, professional grade. When I look at a ladder like this, I cringe. Those adjustable extensions look awful. When I work high up, I don't want to put my full weight on something that's adjustable and clips on. Wide base, yes, of course, but in one piece please. These moveable parts, they're gonna fail.

Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2017, 08:39 AM »
I work regularly at height with my own 9 meter/30' ladder (Altrex Rocky 3x12) which is a bit heavy but rock solid, professional grade. When I look at a ladder like this, I cringe. Those adjustable extensions look awful. When I work high up, I don't want to put my full weight on something that's adjustable and clips on. Wide base, yes, of course, but in one piece please. These moveable parts, they're gonna fail.

This is definitely food for thought, but you would also cringe at my efforts to level my ladder. This is what had me looking at add on leveling devices.  I just didn’t like the idea of cutting/drilling/screwinging into my ladder(the one I have was already done when I got it). I like the idea that this comes complete from the factory.  That being said, I’m sure proper care and regular maintenance and inspection is required to keep this ladder in good condition, but that is true for any ladder.  I would like to see it in person, but I can’t find any stores that actually keep it in stock. Well, I planned to place an order today, but I may wait until I can see it or get some independent reports from actual owners. 

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2017, 09:12 AM »
Threads like these are great!  They benefit members and readers alike both now and in the future.  What I wrote was not aimed at any particular brand nor any products being considered.  It was offered as food for thought for anyone doing a Google search for advice on extension ladders who might not be as knowledgeable as so many of our members.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3554
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2017, 09:29 AM »
I have the 17 ft Little Giant.  I no longer use it for constrution, bu often for pruning projects.  It gets heavier every time  i use it now, but when i was only 38, it was a joy to work with. I still keep my old  twenty footer just to get onto my own house and barn roofs. When i waist masonry biz, I had several twenty footers, couple of 30 footers and a 40 footer. Also had a 30 foot ladder with a trolly for bringing materials  up onto scaffolding. I even used that one for lowering myself down into some old (pre revolution) chimes for inspection of the insides.

After I retired from the masonry biz, i kept the forty footer for one specific job.  every fall, one of my favorite customers would ask me to clean her gutters for her. I would bring my ladder and two men (a contractor buddy) and my friend would climb the ladder while two of us would anchor ropes from each side of the ladder in hopes that we ould prevent the ladder from sliding to either side.  I have used ladders for 75 years but it is the only  wayy i will use such a tall ladder, especially for cleaning gutters where thee tendency is to reach out just "another 6 inches".

One year, the  lady had not called me, so I asker her if she still wanted me to clean her gutters.  "Your not going to like it, but my husband and his dad are going to do them this year."

"That's ok.  there is plenty of work for every body."

"Is that all you have to say?"

"Yes."

She  knew me better, so she asked, "Don't you have any thoughts about it?"

"Oh yes. I would suggest you go to the  library."

She looked  puzzled. "Why the library?"

"To go to the section where they have books telling you how to live s a widow."

She laughed and replied, "I knew I could count  on you to have great advise."

She must have taken me up on the arise.  Within a couple of months, she got a divorce.

I have had several other clients who have used ladders  improperly and ended up in emergency rooms. It is usually people who hav no experience with ladders and do not have a respect for what can happen if the lean outs for "just that little  6 inches further." or stand a ladder too steep or don't level at the bottom. Or any of a number of other hazardous habits. Ladders with spread feet are a great invention.  Some, you can attach a wide set of  feet at the top.  I don't think those add to the safety of a ladder as it just  increases the temptation to reach out. I have never used them.  If i think a ladder is not set up in a safe place, I will secure it with ropes and  a solid structure to tie the other end of the ropes. Today, I only use ladders  for pruning and  have 3 legged orchard ladders. Even those can go over if one is careless in the setting up.
Tinker
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Offline Pnw painter

  • Posts: 117
Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2017, 09:44 AM »
Personally, I'd stick with Werner or Louisville Type 1 or 1a extension ladders. Both brands have a proven track record.

I'd also recommend adding Extenda Leg levers to your ladder. I use them on all my aluminum extension ladder and I couldn't imagine using a ladder without them. You can quickly adjust the legs with your feet to compensate for uneven surfaces or hillsides. Compared using scrapes of wood, bricks, etc... it's much safer and faster method to help you set up your ladder.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005J4BS6M/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1511027089&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=ladder+levelers+for+extension+ladders&dpPl=1&dpID=41AUMJeYS9L&ref=plSrch

FWIW, I've been a painter for 8+ years. When I'm painting exteriors I'm constantly moving 16'-32' extension ladders around a house. For the average homeowner some of the features on the Sumostance like the red rings and bubble levels are cool, but not really needed. If you follow basic ladder safety practices and use common sense you can work safely on a extension ladder.






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Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 62
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2017, 10:46 AM »
I own a 32 foot Little Giant Sumostance. Bought it August 2016. I did a ton of research before buying, but the interwebs had little information on real world use, so I bought it sight unseen based upon their reputation. I already own a 22' LG Revolution and love it, but fully extended it has way too much flex for my comfort.

I'm scared of heights and a ladder with flex makes it 10 times worse. My gutters are 24 feet above the ground. A 28' model would have just barley cut it fully extended. So I bought the 32 because it would leave a lot more overlap and stay rigid. I'm glad I did. It's the first extension ladder I've been able to climb past 12 feet. Yes, there is a little bounce at 24', but the build quality and complete lack of side to side shift gives me confidence. I ordered it with the V / Corner house pad at the top, which keeps the ladder stuck to the house. The levels are awesome and quite sensitive. The leveling legs are easy to adjust when upright. All in all, an awesome product. I'd buy it again in a second.

FYI, I'm 40, 6' 2", 200lbs, and in good shape. If you are a ways outside of these measures, you might want to enlist the help of a buddy when setting it up. I can do it by myself with little trouble, but there isn't much room for error. It can get away from you quickly if you don't pay attention.

Also, I bought it directly from Little Giant. You need to work the sales department to do a direct sale, but it can be done. They are made at time of order, and the fewer times it gets shipped, the better. Took 2 months, roughly.

Tag me if you have further questions. I'd be glad to help.

Offline Tom Gensmer

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2017, 11:10 AM »
As a general contractor, I regularly have to set up ladders on uneven grades. I've been looking at this product from Qual-Craft that seems to combine a wide stance, with the added benefit of accommodating uneven grades. I'd be looking at using this product with my 28' fiberglass extension ladder.

https://www.qualcraft.com/construction-safety-products/ladder-safety/product/13696-basemate-ladder-level-system
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Offline RogerConnerTN

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2017, 01:15 AM »
We have a Little Giant A-Frame 17 foot extension ladder in our shop that I bought used.  It's an older model that doesn't have some of the features I see on the newest models I see on their web site. 

I highly recommend this ladder.  Our shop has a 15 foot ceiling and I go up and down the ladder frequently to repair lights, install dust collector tubes and add electrical outlets.  I'm 70 years old, so a) I've had a lot of experience with ladders, b) I can't afford to risk falling, and c) I want a real solid feel when I go up high.  I highly recommend this ladder, as it meets all my needs.  It is heavy, and right at the limit of what I can haul around.  Recently purchased the optional wheels, and that helps.  Definitely recommend it. 

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3554
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2017, 04:41 AM »
One thing about he Little Giant ladders, (I have the 17 footer)keep the working parts lubricated. Mine is kept outside storage and every time I use it I give a little shot of oil to all of those slide locks. I've had the ladder for nearly 20years (don't remember when i actually bought it) and like @ RogerConnerTN says, it is near my limit to carry around, and i am only 39. It was a lot lighter when i brought it home the first time. Must be the residue from all the oil. But I'll keep it lubed and worry about the weight later.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 495
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2017, 10:27 AM »
As a general contractor, I regularly have to set up ladders on uneven grades. I've been looking at this product from Qual-Craft that seems to combine a wide stance, with the added benefit of accommodating uneven grades. I'd be looking at using this product with my 28' fiberglass extension ladder.

https://www.qualcraft.com/construction-safety-products/ladder-safety/product/13696-basemate-ladder-level-system

I like the wider stance it adds, but I'm not sure about the ladder itself with yours and ladders weight being elevated above grade. It does look interesting and I have been eyeing up a few different options. Anyone using a ladder on uneven ground needs a leveler of some type though.

Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2017, 11:47 AM »
As a general contractor, I regularly have to set up ladders on uneven grades. I've been looking at this product from Qual-Craft that seems to combine a wide stance, with the added benefit of accommodating uneven grades. I'd be looking at using this product with my 28' fiberglass extension ladder.

https://www.qualcraft.com/construction-safety-products/ladder-safety/product/13696-basemate-ladder-level-system

I like the wider stance it adds, but I'm not sure about the ladder itself with yours and ladders weight being elevated above grade. It does look interesting and I have been eyeing up a few different options. Anyone using a ladder on uneven ground needs a leveler of some type though.

This is the leveler I liked best before finding the sumostance:
https://www.wernerco.com/us/en/view/PK80-2

But, since finding the little giant hyperlite sumostance, I'm even less interested in the drilling and cutting required to install these levelers.  The hyperlite has all sorts of pros, but the only cons I've found are the price and not being able to try it first.  I'd really like to try it out to see what bounce there is when climbing.  I think I could mediate that by stepping up from the 1A to the 1AA.  It raises the cost by $61, but only adds 2lbs.  The more I think about it, the less problem I'm having with the cost.  It's like buying Festool:  It may sting a little when buying, but it's a pleasure after that.  Here's a loaded model:
https://www.1800ladders.com/little-giant-hyperlite-sumo-cable-hook-vrung#

I don't really want the hooks, but they add very little weight, and if they end up getting in the way, I can probably remove them while keeping the v-rung.

As far as going with a ladder with a proven track record, I think many of these responses show that LG does have a history of well performing, long lasting ladders.  Yes, this is a brand new model, but you can see the evolution from other well-rated models.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3023
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2017, 12:58 PM »
The LG Hyperlite 1AA looks like the best you can get at this time.

A lower cost alternate (clearly not as good as the all in one package) is the Louisville 28' with the Qual-craft
Basemate Ladder Leveler
.

There is a puzzling price anomaly on this Home Depot page. The 28' Louisville is only $10 more than the 16' version, less than either the 20 and 24 footers.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 495
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2017, 02:57 PM »
The LG Hyperlite 1AA looks like the best you can get at this time.

A lower cost alternate (clearly not as good as the all in one package) is the Louisville 28' with the Qual-craft
Basemate Ladder Leveler
.

There is a puzzling price anomaly on this Home Depot page. The 28' Louisville is only $10 more than the 16' version, less than either the 20 and 24 footers.

I noticed this last week in the store. Very unusual.

Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 62
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2017, 11:34 PM »
@sgt_rjp  Here is a picture of the SumoStance house pad option. I couldn't figure out how to send it in a PM.

Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2017, 07:24 AM »
@sgt_rjp  Here is a picture of the SumoStance house pad option. I couldn't figure out how to send it in a PM.

Thank you @egmiii .  I finally found a picture that gave me an idea what it is, but not nearly at this detail.  Of course this pad is either from a LUNAR, or the earlier SUMOSTANCE and would probably be too wide for the hyperlite.  I called LG directly yesterday but they weren't much help.  You can no longer purchase direct, and it's such a new ladder that the rep I talked to didn't know anything about it.  He found a house pad kit but the description doesn't match the picture you sent and doesn't sound like it's compatible with the hyperlite.  He is going to research and get back to me.

It's very strange.  Everything points to this being a very recent release and the LG rep said as much.  Many of the reviews are from Sept-Oct, but there are a bunch from February.  And these weren't just mistakenly associated with the wrong model.  They are very detailed with pictures attached.   I don't think they would have been internal people trying to prop up the rating as at least one was very critical.  The best thing I can come up with was that they had a limited early release, and maybe even made updates before the final recent release.

I think I've mentioned all but 2 of the items from the critical review.  One of them is no longer an issue, if it ever was.  He said that the rungs were screwed into the rails, but all the pictures I've seen show rivets.  He also points out that rails are solid, with no opening at the rungs which would prevent the use of some third party accessories.  Where this is true, I wonder if it was by design as they probably wouldn't fit properly since the ladder is more than 2 inches narrower than traditional ladders.

He also expresses concern that the more narrow ladder is less stable laterally than others.  I agree with this, but it only applies to the non-sumostance models.  The sumostance models are nearly 3 times as wide once the outriggers are deployed.

The remaining gripe was the placement of the bubble level.  I'm not too worried about this one as it's a nice feature that most ladders don't have.  I'll agree that it's location is a little awkward, but anywhere else would have left it more vulnerable and probably wouldn't last as long.

I plan on ordering one, but I'm waiting to see what information I can get about the housepad before ordering.  If I can get the housepad direct from LG, I may order from HD.  Otherwise, I'll probably get the loaded one from 1800ladders.

Offline Goz

  • Posts: 78
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2017, 03:00 PM »
I just noticed a review of this ladder on Pro Tool Review. Looks like it was published a couple days ago.  Not sure it will tell you anything you don't already know, but might be worth checking out.

Offline sgt_rjp

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2017, 09:24 AM »
Thanks @Goz, but nothing new there.  It is curious that there is no mention of flex in the review on that site for the sumostance, which @egmiii noticed was so prominent.  It would be nice if there was a measurement for flex/bounce that was included in the specs for all ladders. I guess it’s not necessarily a safety thing, but comfort thing for those of us that aren’t on ladders every day.

Offline rst

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2017, 09:41 AM »
In regards to the flex issue.  When I went to work for a commercial painting company I was not comfortable with heights.  The boss had been a union bridge painter and had a reputation for being fearless.  He told me that whenever I was unsure to shake the ladder, scaffolding, of plank vigorously.  His theory was that if you were going to fall it would be better to do it while ready than as a surprise.
I still do that, even on four foot ladder.  Shake, shake, shake... [big grin]

Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 62
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2017, 10:09 AM »
Just for context, the flex on a Little Giant aluminum folding ladder is 10 times the flex on a fiberglass extension ladder. I've never been able to use my 22' Revolution at full extension. The fiberglass ladder (32' in my case) retracted is rock solid. Almost like climbing a staircase. At around half extension, you will notice the flex. It's minimal and doesn't prevent me from climbing to to the top. Extending further will cause me to really question the need to climb. I then use ropes to anchor the top, or park a car at the bottom to prevent kick out if the terrain is soft.

Everyone has different comfort levels. This happens to be mine.

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2017, 11:19 AM »
One of the things I didn't like was one of the answers to the question about using the ladder with ladder jacks/plank on the Home Depot site.  The answer was the HyperLite hadn't been tested with jacks/planks so it wasn't recommended.  I don't know if its unsafe or just a cautious answer t avoid liability.  @sgt_rjp if you talk with the rep how about you ask him about jacks and planks. 
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Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3554
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2017, 01:38 PM »
Just for context, the flex on a Little Giant aluminum folding ladder is 10 times the flex on a fiberglass extension ladder. I've never been able to use my 22' Revolution at full extension. The fiberglass ladder (32' in my case) retracted is rock solid. Almost like climbing a staircase. At around half extension, you will notice the flex. It's minimal and doesn't prevent me from climbing to to the top. Extending further will cause me to really question the need to climb. I then use ropes to anchor the top, or park a car at the bottom to prevent kick out if the terrain is soft.

Everyone has different comfort levels. This happens to be mine.

I Was 19 and just getting acquainted with the mason trade.  At that point, i was strictly a "helper" or a "gofer".  We were building a high chimney that required18x24 flue liners. I don't know how much they weighed, but they were considerably more than i can lift now at the ripe old age of 39.  When we got to about 30 feet I decided he ladder had too much flex in the ladder.  Of course, i was probably plenty strong to carry my 100 #'s, but those darned flue liners kinda shook me.  I took a  16 foot 2x6 from the lumber pile and  lashed it to a wrung somewhere  as  close to the center of the ladder  as possible. I hoisted a flue ontmy shoulder and stardted climbing. About the time I  got to the end of that 2x6, the ladder had no flex >>> up and down that is.   he darned thing  just started to sway back and forth in an ever  increasing arc. I was about to fling the flue dinnerinto space  when I heard below, "Let igt  go.  I'll catch it."

I yelled, "Get the ---- out of there." I could just imagine  what would happen if the guy actually caught it.  We would have a pancake.  besides, since it was the property owner who was volunteering his body, i probably figured nobody would pay us for the job if he got squashed. I started down the  ladder at an ever increasing speed. The owner  kept shouting he would catch it.  i kept shouting to get out of there.  Evidently, we  had a situation where both people were either crazy or stubborn.

I ended up on top of the owner with the flue liner on top of me. I was not very polite when I finally got to my feet. We both cooled down and both laughed  and joked with each other afterwards.

I have braced ladders since, but always using two planks spread out in opposite directions at the bottom so they  did not sway.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

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Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2017, 03:22 PM »
One of the things I didn't like was one of the answers to the question about using the ladder with ladder jacks/plank on the Home Depot site.  The answer was the HyperLite hadn't been tested with jacks/planks so it wasn't recommended.  I don't know if its unsafe or just a cautious answer t avoid liability.  @sgt_rjp if you talk with the rep how about you ask him about jacks and planks.

I called their upport line.   The answer I got was slightly different:  They didn’t recommend against using jacks, but rather they couldn’t recommend or guarantee their use.  The recommendation was the same for this as well as my questions about ladder flex/bounce and use of other third party accessories:  try the ladder for thirty days and return it for a full refund if not satisfiied.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2017, 04:22 PM »
You have to wonder how they reduce the weight and still satisfy the 1A or 1AA ratings.
Or, do other manufacturers maintain a higher safety factor?
I'm guessing the use additional equipment comes down to the strength of an individual rung.
If the ratings are legit you should be able use the extra equipment.

Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 78
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2017, 04:59 PM »
Many thanks for the great discussion!

I have recently transitioned to working on my own.  I own only a 6 foot fiberglass step ladder at this point and wonder what to get next, especially an extension ladder.  My mentor suggested a 22 foot ladder.  One school of thought is to get the ladder (tool) I need for the job at hand and not to acquire it until the job requires it.  That works for the most part but it is better to be prepared with the right gear to begin with or at least to not acquire a tool that has short comings that are not readily apparent. 

This thread gives me lots of insight, personal experience, and well reasoned recommendations.  Thanks! 
Semper Fi,
Jeff

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Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 362
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2017, 07:05 PM »
One of the things I didn't like was one of the answers to the question about using the ladder with ladder jacks/plank on the Home Depot site.  The answer was the HyperLite hadn't been tested with jacks/planks so it wasn't recommended.  I don't know if its unsafe or just a cautious answer t avoid liability.  @sgt_rjp if you talk with the rep how about you ask him about jacks and planks.

I called their upport line.   The answer I got was slightly different:  They didn’t recommend against using jacks, but rather they couldn’t recommend or guarantee their use.  The recommendation was the same for this as well as my questions about ladder flex/bounce and use of other third party accessories:  try the ladder for thirty days and return it for a full refund if not satisfiied.
I’m wondering if we will see the end of jacks and planks soon?  Personally, I love the combination when properly used, but I’ve seen a lot of situations where people don’t use the combination properly.  Couple that with Uncle OSHA’s requirements and one never knows.
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2017, 07:33 PM »
You have to wonder how they reduce the weight and still satisfy the 1A or 1AA ratings.
Or, do other manufacturers maintain a higher safety factor?
I'm guessing the use additional equipment comes down to the strength of an individual rung.
If the ratings are legit you should be able use the extra equipment.

You rise some good questions.  I find it hard to believe the HyperLite's rating isn't legit because of the liability it would open LG up to.  The thing that comes to mind is if other manufacturers have a higher safety factor, compared to the HyperLite, would any of these ladders have a lower rating?  What I mean is wouldn't all of these over-built ladders have the highest 1AA rating?  We know that isn't the case because there are ladders with different ratings.
   
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Offline sgt_rjp

  • Posts: 92
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2017, 09:14 PM »
You have to wonder how they reduce the weight and still satisfy the 1A or 1AA ratings.
Or, do other manufacturers maintain a higher safety factor?
I'm guessing the use additional equipment comes down to the strength of an individual rung.
If the ratings are legit you should be able use the extra equipment.

Little giant says it’s their resin-fiberglass that reduces the weight, but there are some other noticeable differences.   The ladder is over 2 inches narrower than some ladders, mainly due to shorter rungs.  Done on a normal ladder, this would present a couple of issues.   It would reduce lateral stability as well as crowd your feet with the fly lanyard.   These aren’t issues for the sumostance with the rope moved to the side and the outriggers. The rungs are also triangular rather than round or d-shape.  I don’t know if that makes it any lighter, but at 1.36”, the treads are wider than many.   

I was curious about exactly what the ladder standards cover.  Here’s an excerpt:
“It does not cover special-purpose ladders that do not meet the general requirements of this standard, nor does it cover ladder accessories, including, but not limited to, ladder levelers, ladder stabilizers or stand-off devices, ladder jacks, or ladder straps or hooks, that may be installed on or used in conjunction with ladders.”

So they are meeting the standards but not opening themselves to more liability by saying you can use any random third party accessory with their ladders.  Nor will they say that those accessories won’t work.   

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3554
Re: Thoughts on new extension ladder
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2017, 05:05 AM »
No matter what ladder, or stabilizing device one uses, it still boils down to "the most important tool to use is the one above, and attached to, your neck."
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker