When it comes time to paint the roof of something as cumbersome as a 50 year old Butler grain bin, nothing beats the safety and comfort of the Little Giant SelectStep adjustable height stepladder. The Little Giant SelectStep adjustable step ladder comes in models that are adjustable from four to six feet and from five to eight feet in height. Our Little Giant SelectStep adjustable stepladder is the taller model, and when it’s fully extended it makes a perfect platform for painting the grain bin’s roof. For safety sake, we set the ladder so that it leaned slightly into the grain bin and adjusted its legs to be equal height all the way around.
I’ve been a huge fan of Little Giant ladders for years – I bought my first to use as an infinitely adjustable and incredibly stable platform for shooting machinery photographs. Needless to say, that ladder, which can convert from an adjustable step ladder to an extension ladder has been used for everything from building a mudroom addition onto our 103 year old farm house to pressure washing the house's siding, to wiring the barn. What I particularly like about the new SelectStep’s design is that it is lighter, has wheels that make relocating the ladder really easy, and it has super-ergonomic height adjustment levers – in fact for the non-climbing legs, there’s a single swivel latch that releases both leg-locking pins at the same time. The climbing legs are adjusted with a pair of easy to engage and disengage locks (one on each side) that are so well designed it’s virtually impossible to pinch your fingers while working them.
When we used the Little Giant SelectStep stepladder to paint the grain bin’s roof, we extended the ladder to its full height. To my delight, as the ladder was fully extended, a safety decal appeared to indicate that the particular setting was the highest that was safe. We also found the SelectStep’s AirDeck to be a fantastic addition. Finally, an adjustable stepladder with a tool platform and handhold that’s both large enough and secure. The AirDeck’s utility tray features slots for all standard-size paint cans, tools, extension cords, and even has a magnetic dish for loose hardware – this seemingly minor detail makes the SelectStep even safer than the average stepladder, not to mention much more convenient.
I’ll be the first to admit that painting 50 year old metal bins isn’t exactly my idea of a fun time – especially because there’s generally no easy way to get all the stuff you need right next to you up at the work end of most ladders. The last time I tried painting such a structure, I wound up with about as much paint on me as I did on the roof. However, with the Little Giant SelectStep, I found that my Partner In Culinary Crime was in competition with me for getting that job done – she likes to paint but not on ladders. So we shared the task – I painted the upper areas because I have a bit more reach than she does and she did the details and fine work that I totally detest. I’m happy to report that her brown Rosies coveralls came away from the task without so much as a spot of paint on them – my Dickies coveralls have a few spots on them and they all resulted from some drips caused by my slopping the Rust Oleum on too thick.
If you feel daunted by painting tasks such as this one, or any other kind of stepladder work because your rickety old wooden ladder just makes you anxious, it’s time to step up to an adjustable stepladder that’s designed with your safety, comfort and convenience in mind.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.