Ladders

by AnneWareham on October 18, 2013

Post image for Ladders

I don’t advertise anything here except Veddw and my excellent Christmassy -present – book, The Bad Tempered Gardener, which are possibly excusable. Nor do I, in spite of endless tedious requests, sneak in little mentions of products under the guise of copy.

However, just sometimes I think I want to be appreciative of something, and one such something is Niwaki.  In particular I wanted to tell you how good the ladders are. We had one, we just got a bigger one.

Niwaki ladder at Veddw copyright Anne Wareham

Big ladder.

O – I suppose I do also advertise Jeff, for similar reasons of quality, but he is in short supply and ours first.

What’s good about the ladders?

1. One leg. Anyone who has had to squash the contents of a border with the two legs and bar of the conventional stepladder will instantly realise how liberating it is to be able to just put the one discrete little foot of this ladder wherever you need. Easy to locate a little safe spot for it. And no damage done.

Niwaki Ladder at Veddw copyright Anne Wareham

Jeff approves too.

2. It’s light. I can carry it, one hand, even the big one. Nuff said.

3. It’s safe – the legs are wide with feet on and the triangular formation is very stable. So that I – always scared of the least little things and especially heights, – will dare go up it. It means I can cut bits of hedge that have annoyed me for years because they are out of my reach. No more waiting waiting waiting for a man.

Beech Hedge, Veddw copyright Charles Hawes

This is one of the worst, unreachable bits

So, if you can afford one, (I think ladders will be cheaper at B&Q, sadly) they are excellent. And lots of people die every year falling off ladders. It may be possible to fall off this one but I think it may be much less likely.  I may have saved your life.

Anne Wareham

(disclosure  disclosure- Jake, of Niwaki does advertise on thinkingardens, where I do take paid adverts)

Niwaki Ladder at Veddw copyright Anne Wareham.

He’d go up too far and risk his neck whatever it was like.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles October 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

The ladders are excellent indeed as is that first pic of yours. So is Jeff (even though he was in short supply this week, the big wuss).

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AnneWareham October 18, 2013 at 11:10 am

There was a little rain, I understand…..

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John October 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Yes, that first photo, of a Veddw that (on 25 September) is otherwise unseen by us mere mortals, is stunningly colourful. But on the subject of the ladder, have you bought the standard or platform model? I’ve been thinking of buying one of these for ages but cannot decide which type to buy and tracking down someone who has bought the platform model would be helpful.

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AnneWareham October 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm

We already have a Henchman platform – didn’t know Niwaki did one. It has a little platform at the top, but you don’t mean that?

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John October 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm

After my ladder accident in May, I’m after something that’s not going to break under me! The platform at the top of the standard ladder will be useful as a temporary rest for tools of course but the Niwaki platform ladder I’m on about is at http://www.niwaki.com/store/platform-tripod-ladder/

Apart from the £60 difference in price, I’d need the 3m standard model, which I can accommodate in the garage, but the corresponding platform model would be 4m long in total and would have to be kept outdoors somewhere. I don’t have an uninterrupted 4m stretch of wall so I’d have to rig some sort of secure fixing against a fence.

So really it’s a case of finding out whether the advantages of the platform model are enough to justify the extra cost and dealing with the storage issues.

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AnneWareham October 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Difficult. I’m sure Niwaki would answer any queries..?

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Clare P October 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Ah so – glad to read this. Been looking at splurging on one of these since we struggled with father-out-law’s scaffolding platform to cut beech hedge this year – way too heavy & cumbersome. Good to hear positives from someone with many hedges to cut …

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AnneWareham October 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Love them. But you do know that I don’t really cut them all….

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Clare P October 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Shocked!!! X

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AnneWareham October 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Shucks. Should have kept my mouth shut. Reputation ruined.

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Jack October 19, 2013 at 6:52 am

What mystifies me as that a 3 legged ladder can be described as ‘more stable’ than a 4-legged one. We have 5 ladders of different sizes, including one of those nifty 4-part ones that can double as a workbench or scaffold, but I would never look twice at a three-legged ladder because of stability issues. Sure a milking stool never rocks, but a little effort can make a 4-legged ladder stand quite still. Please enlighten me, o oracle! 😉

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AnneWareham October 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

Google it – the answer is out there!

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John October 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm

It was the result of one of the hinges on one of those nifty 4-part ladders springing apart (when I was using it as a normal step ladder) that my feet fell about 3 metres, and my head about 5 metres, to the ground, that I was out of action from early May until mid-September this year, am still taking pain-killers and have limited movement in one arm. I will never touch one of those again.

A tetrahedron (aka triangular pyramid) is the most stable shape there is because its centre of gravity is, well, central and will not move substantially even if you lean, or swing a hedge cutter or similar, to the right or left of the ladder face!

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AnneWareham October 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm

You mean a four legged stepladder nearly killed you?! That’s terrible. I was not aware of that. But it was the usual four footed type?

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John October 20, 2013 at 11:56 am

One of those ladders that you can transform into different configurations like platforms, “A steps”, stair ladders and so on. I was using it in a “straight up extension ladder” config. Two feet on the ground and two feet up the wall so to speak. One of the hinge assemblies came apart. I’d checked all the hinge locks but didn’t think to check the rivets! I’d had good use out of it – very versatile bit of kit – but won’t trust one again. I was up it with a screwdriver but if I’d been using a petrol tool of some sort I dread to think what might have happened.

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AnneWareham October 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm

We also have one of those – not much used because so heavy. Your experience of it duly noted and thank you.

Sara Venn October 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I have worked with 2 sizes of Niwake ladder and I can confirm, that however weird that something on 3 legs would be more stable than something on 4, that I have never felt safer up a ladder in my life. And when you are 20 feet up a ladder pruning whatever it is that has tangled itself around the polytunnel or glasshouse and trying to control it back onto its 12/16ft tripod, surounded by the public and very close to a sales office from which you know you are being watched, it’s very comforting to feel that safe.
They are also ridiculously light and although their height makes manouevering them a tad awkward, they are light enough for me(5’2″ on tip toes)perfectly manageable.

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Amy Murphy October 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Anne, Thanks for saving my life, potentially, with this post. What’s the upside, in terms of life expectancy, if I buy your book?

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AnneWareham October 22, 2013 at 8:21 am

Well, I have been told before now that I have published garden reviews which have nearly killed people,as they have been so upset by them. So unlike these ladders, I have to admit that Bad Tempered Gardener may be lethal. Xx

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