Electricians use ladders all day, every day. We use fiberglass ladders rather than metal (conductive) ladders as it offers an additional layer of insulation against the travel of electric current. I’m fond of my Louisville and Werner ladders, but I got to test out this Gorilla ladder that Home Depot sent me, so let’s see what it’s all about.
I only use fiberglass ladders, never metal. That’s not talking about the rungs of the ladder, as all ladders have metal rungs that you stand on. But the sides of the ladder that go vertically up and down the ladder. The reason is that this is the part that connects to the ground, so with a clear conductive path to the earth there is a high potential to get electrocuted on a metal ladder. Having these sides made of fiberglass won’t allow you to get shocked….most of the time. So this Gorilla ladder is fiberglass, check.
The other reason we stick to fiberglass is because it’s lighter than a lot of metal ladders. Now there are some really cheap aluminum ladders out there that are extremely light-weight, yes. But these are the crappiest of the crappy. They bend, break, and fall apart very easily. Fiberglass ladders break too, but they generally stay together better the best, especially if you take care not to damage them. This Gorilla ladder is surprisingly rigid for it’s size and appearance. It looks, at first glance, that it would be a cheap crappy ladder, but in fact it’s rather durable and lightweight – another check.
This Gorilla ladder is a 5 1/2 ft ladder, made of fiberglass. But it’s really not a “ladder” like we think of for job-sites, rather it is a step-ladder (step stool with some added height). This ladder gives you 3 steps to climb, as well as a 4th step that is actually a platform that you can stand on at it’s max height. When wiring homes and buildings with ceiling-heights anywhere from 7-12 ft (depending on your height) this little step-ladder works great.
It has a working load capacity of 250-lbs, so it’s not meant for really heavily-built people. The hardware used to construct this step ladder is not high-grade material. Even the folding arms are made of thin guage metal so this would break under weight because of the hardware and fasteners used, not because of the aluminum steps or fiberglass rails. I see this is a negative for the ladder. I think most GORILLAS out there weigh more than 250 lbs, and so do many people in the trades. So for this to be called a GORILLA ladder….makes you think…maybe more of a CHIMP or ORANGUTAN ladder? I digress…
Last thing worth mentioning is the top rung of the ladder. All ladders worth their salt have some interesting plastic forming in the top of the ladder that allows for you to hold materials and tools. Many these days are magnetic, but this Gorilla ladder is not…big bummer for me actually. But the tray on top does have a great area for holding materials, and some slots for holding small tools. It’s about what you’d expect a typical ladder to have. It meets my standard, but does not exceed it. I’ll give it a check.
Info from HomeDepot.com
Climb with confidence using the newly designed Gorilla Ladders Fiberglass Hybrid Ladder, the perfect tool for all your indoor and outdoor projects at home or on the job site. This 2-in-1 hybrid ladder offers the reach height and stability of a ladder combined with the ease of use and lightweight comfort of a step stool. with 2 large platform top steps and a functional top cap, you’ll always have plenty of comfortable, sturdy and convenient working room. The non-conductive fiberglass rail construction makes this ladder safe to use around electricity. with an ANSI type 1-duty rating and 250 lbs. load capacity, this ladder is ideally suited to take on any project, big or small.
2-large top platforms provide standing comfort
10 ft. reach height same as 6 ft. step ladder
Space-saving design folds to 4.25 in. storage depth
Easy to use set up with 1 hand
Fiberglass rail construction safe for use around electricity
Convenient top cap keeps tools and accessories organized and easily accessible
ANSI type 1-duty rating 250 lbs. weight capacity
Limited lifetime warranty
This ladder actually surprised me quite a bit. I was expecting to be disappointed when it got delivered to my studio, but in fact it’s actually a really handy step ladder to have around. It’s like using one of my 5-ft Louisville A-frame ladders but with the 4th step being a platform. It’s perfect for doing electrical rough-ins and trim outs it small homes and businesses. Definitely not my main-stay ladder, but it’s a good back up. I may even just use it in my shop so I have something to pull down materials with that’s not a full-sized ladder of my truck. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.