The Henchman tripod ladder
.The Henchman tripod ladder was offered to me to review and I jumped at the opportunity!
I’d heard how good these were but had been able to justify actually owning one.
How wrong I was and I now use mine at every opportunity!
Let’s be clear, this is a product review blog of the Henchman tripod ladder generously given to me by Henchman of Melksham in Wiltshire.
The lightweight Henchman tripod ladder
My first reaction on taking delivery of this ladder was to doubt that it was all in the packaging! This is an ultra-light product but incredible strong too. So light is it that I was able to lift it with just two fingers!
In fact when lending it to a friend I moved it through our village by balancing it on my bicycle. I hasten to add that I was not riding it at the time!
Inspecting the way it had been manufactured closely I could see that it had been expertly welded and I believe that to weld aluminium requires a high degree of skill.
The tripod ladder features
The unit has a wide based ladder reminiscent of the tall ladders that used to be used to harvest fruit from standard trees. I recall working from the top of such a ladder in the late 1960 s and finding that the flared base gave great stability.
The legs on the unit which I was trialing were not adjustable. However other models are available with adjustable legs.
My model was 8 ft high but there are 6 ft, 10 ft and 12 ft options.
Whilst the ladder legs are not adjustable on mine the third leg is! This allows you to work on sloping ground with ease and safety.
A feature that I especially like is the step close to the top of the ladder. This is more of a platform than a step and allows you to stand close to the top in comfort. It also allows you to free up and work with both hands – vital if you are using a pair of hedge cutting shears. I found this especially useful when picking wild bullace plums from a tall hedge. Standing on a narrow step for a long time can be very uncomfortable for your feet.
This ladder allows you to get in close to trees and hedges. It also allows you to be that little bit further removed from a hedge or tree when it is better to not be in too close. I am thinking in particular of how difficult it can be to cut a hedge from a ladder lent against that hedge. For the same reason I have found a tripod much easier to use when clearing gutters of fallen leaves and moss. No doubt this will help me when I need to apply a coat of paint to my home.
How I’ve used the Henchman tripod ladder
So beside foraging for delicious [and free!] wild bullace plums I’ve also picked elderberries from my garden.
I used the tripod ladder to do some remedial summer pruning of a much neglected apple tree. This I was able to do in complete confidence without worrying about falling off.
Reviews from others
I lent the Henchman tripod ladder to five friends during the peak fruit tree harvest time.
One declined my offer as he already had a Henchman product and knew just how good it was!
The others gave glowing reports of how stable they felt when using it. Fruit that had been out of reach for years was picked and even picked on sloping ground.
David gave me a written quote here and included a nice pun –
“I found the ladder a ‘step up’ from my ones! At first I was a bit skeptical of only three legs, but it was extremely stable. The solid feet meant I did not need anything under them to support the ladder on soft ground. (Note I see from the website you can also get rubber feet to fit to the metal feet for hard surfaces) The width of the steps made it comfortable and safe climb. The support bar to rest against on the top step meant I could confidently release both of my hands from the ladder to pick fruit or do jobs. At no time at the top did I feel unsafe or that the ladder would topple over. This even on sloping ground! The ladder is so light I could easily carry it with only two fingers.”
David gave the ladder 4.5 out of 5 only knocking 0.5 of a point off since he felt that it was a little pricey.
Another friend who borrowed it twice has now taken delivery of his own!
I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this product. It’s strongly made, light weight and will outlast me! It also has a range of uses in the garden and around the house. The ladder would no doubt be very useful to a builder or DIY enthusiast.