Technology in the garden - Tripod ladder knowhow

If your yew hedge is getting out of control and you’re looking for a safe way to prune it this Easter Bank Holiday, you may want to invest in a tripod ladder.  Here’s what to consider
Why do you need a tripod ladder?
Unlike traditional ladders that need to lean against something, a tripod ladder can get close to a hedge by positioning the extending back foot into or alongside the hedge.  Tripod ladders are also broader at the base than at the top – making them extremely stable – perfect for tree pruning, hedge trimming, and fruit picking. Some also have three adjustable legs – so you can find a stable level to work at even on very uneven ground.

What are the options?
There are various different brands, which vary in price, depending on the number of features they have.  Henchman’s tripod ladders are at the top of the market.  They have a wide range of features, including adjustable legs and a comfortably-sized platform step with no rungs above it, that allows you to tuck your knees into the frame and lean forward.  The range comes in six sizes from 1.8m to a 4.8m.  They’re pretty light for their size and cost from £225 to £615 including VAT and delivery.

The Niwaki ladder is another premium brand with a wide stable base, double rung steps, an adjustable back leg and a shelf at the top.  The original tripod ladder is fine for domestic use, but the EN Pro-rated ladders, are more robust.  Unlike the Henchman, they don’t have a foot platform - instead you use the safe standing height of three rungs from the top and lean into the ladder.

Other options include Hendons tripod ladder or the simple BPS access solutions tripod ladder. 
Are there any disadvantages?
They’re more expensive than standard ladders and the wide bottom is harder to store and might be a bit bulky for garages.  But since they're made of aluminium they can safely be kept outside.  If you have the space and think you’re going to use it enough, they are great bits of kit!