Although the number of pool manufacturers are wide and varied, there are a handful of popular brands that our site will help you to learn more about.
- Louisville Ladders: A relative newcomer to the ladder business, Louisville rode the wave of post-war building, becoming one of America’s pre-eminent ladder manufacturers. Louisville has maintained its healthy market share by producing extremely high quality aluminum and fiberglass ladders and other “climbing products” priced for homeowners and hard-working tradesmen. Looking around a big jobsite, the casual observer will see at least as many Louisville ladders, especially their fiberglass designs as most of the other brands combined. Staying true to its core business, Louisville has not developed new products; instead, it has improved upon existing designs, making them safer, more reliable, and considerably more durable. Among their simpler-is-much-better innovations, Louisville was first in the industry to color-code its ladders according to their weight ratings, so that an orange always meets one ANSI standard, a green always meets another, and a yellow meets a third.
- Little Giant Ladders: The original, the most popular, and probably still the best multi-ladder, the Little Giant functions as a step-ladder, extension ladder, multi-level ladder, and work platform. Made of sturdy aircraft quality aluminum and outfitted with excellent hardware, the Little Giant has become the ladder-of-choice for many dedicated do-it-yourselfers, because it does the work of three or four different ladders, yet it folds-up and stores easily on a single hook or single shelf in the garage. Originally imported from Germany, Little Giants now are manufactured in the United States by Wing Enterprises, who purchased all the rights, licenses, and patents for the products. Since Wing has taken over design and production of Little Giants, the family-owned company has expanded and diversified the product line, offering a wider variety of lengths and weight ratings while preserving the best features of the original design. Wing also has developed a complete line of Little Giant accessories, many of which make the ladders safer or expand the range of their uses.
- The Ultimate Ladder: Made infamous in a typically loud infomercial hosted by Billy Mays, The Ultimate Ladder was a very poor and frighteningly inexpensive imitation of the Little Giant. No longer available from its original supplier, The Ultimate Ladder once in a while appears on e-bay or other auction sites. Made of aluminum and rated to support very little weight, The Ultimate Ladder duplicates all the other multi-ladders’ positions and functions, but it probably has more value as a post-modern object d’art than as a real ladder.
Werner and Keller Ladders: Considered the best in the industry, Werner ladders have earned a reputation for quality and value. Originally in the business of floor coverings and moldings, the Werner family perfected aluminum “extrusions” and adapted their processes when, during the post-war building boom, the demand for “climbing products” inspired the Werners to produce “end products” as well as raw materials. Known for their safety and durability, Werner ladders set the standards for step-ladders and extension ladders. In addition to making their ladders from their patented materials, the Werners invented and patented the safest and most durable rung joints, so that professionals trust Werner ladders to protect and support them even under extreme working conditions.
In 1999, the Werner Company purchased Keller Ladder’s manufacturing and distribution facilities, merging the two industry leaders into the unrivalled industry leader. The company elected to keep the two different product names, because their lines complemented one another: in the same way Werner dominated the aluminum ladder market, Keller dominated the market in fiberglass and wooden ladders. Acquisition of Keller gave Werner a full line of “climbing products,” all built to the company’s high standards for quality, safety, and durability.
- Gorilla Ladders: Manufactured by TriCam Industries, producers of lawn and garden carts, wheelbarrows, and a variety of “material handling products, Gorilla Ladders have carved out a niche in the “multi-ladder” market. Made of durable and lightweight steel, assembled with good-quality hardware, Gorilla Ladders are jointed to adapt to a variety of different working conditions, mimicking step-ladders up to about ten feet or straight ladders to approximately twenty feet. Slightly less sophisticated than some of their competitors, they have elegance and simplicity on their side; they are not as awkward and unwieldy as other more complicated multi-ladders.