The new Werner Multi-Purpose Fiberglass Pro Ladder is similar to a combination A-frame and extension ladder with some added versatility. It’s similar to what you see from Little Giant’s Leveler Ladder with some Werner ingenuity applied to it. It comes in three sizes – 13, 17, or 22 feet. We have the 13-foot model to put to the test.
- Incredibly versatile design eliminates the need to carry multiple ladders
- Lighter and less expensive than its closest competition
- Simple pivot and height adjustments
- Extra base width adds some stability
- Wider rung design is easier on your feet than round rungs
- More compact than a 2-position combination ladder
- Increased cost of this style might be an obstacle for some Pros
- Heavier than other ladder styles
- 300-pound load rating leaves the two-user feature unavailable for many contractors
You’ll want to check on a couple of things before you buy this ladder. Do you really need fiberglass? An aluminum model will be much lighter. How important is the twin stepladder capability? With a Type 1A, 300-pound load rating, getting two contractors on the ladder at the same time is going to be tough. If those aren’t obstacles for you, the Werner FMT-13 is a highly versatile, incredibly helpful design to bring to your next job or project.
As a multi-purpose ladder, you have an adjustable A-frame ladder and an adjustable extension ladder. An inner section slides against the two outer sides to give you multiple working heights in both forms.
Werner goes with a two-person A-frame (twin stepladder) design, meaning you can climb both sides and have two people working on it at once. However, the Type 1A, 300-pound load rating means you might be hard pressed to find two guys with their gear that can be on it at the same time.
But wait, there’s more!
By sliding just one of the outer sides, the A-frame form works as a stairway ladder with different heights for the front and back. You can also use the same function to create a wall ladder that butts right up against the wall you’re working on.
Finally, you can separate the pieces from each other completely and use a plank and tie downs to create a scaffold system. You end up with a total of 5 different functions from the design.
- Extra wide base creates additional stability
- Non-conductive fiberglass rails
- Slip-resistant feet
- Compact storage position helps for taking the ladder up stairs or on lifts
- Wide rungs for standing comfort
- Impact resistant hand grips
- Shatter-Proof J-Locks
- Werner FMT-17: 9 to 15-foot extension, 4 to 7-foot stepladder
- Werner FMT-22: 11 to 19-foot extension, 5 to 9-foot stepladder
From it’s most compact form, you press the two top push knobs in and pull the ladder into an A-frame position. At first, it feels like you should rotate the pins so you can make the pivot, but you don’t need to. Just pushing the knobs in releases them and they will pop back into the next position when it reaches it. Repeat the process to swing it all the way to its extension ladder form.
The idea of having to push the knobs again for each position sounds like more work than it needs to be. However, it ends up being easier than trying to hold the ladder in the correct position with one hand and try to work the pins back in place with the other. This way, you control the ladder with both hands during the pivoting process.
The J-locks for height adjustments require you to pull and twist to release them. Unlock all 4 to extend the A-frame function, or just two at a time to adjust the height for its wall, stairway, or extension functions. If you’re creating a scaffold, release all four and pull the center section completely out. No matter what function you’re setting up, the extensions have 1-foot increments you can adjust to.
Both pivot and height adjustments are agreeably easy in their movement. I haven’t come across an instance of either one sticking or acting sluggish so far.
A Weighty Subject
There’s no getting around the weight of the Werner Multi-Purpose Fiberglass Pro Ladder. It’s a subject that all ladders in this class have to deal with. At 33.2 pounds, it’s about 6 pounds heavier than Werner’s 300-pound load 12-foot fiberglass straight ladder. However, it is slightly lighter than their 375-pound load fiberglass combination ladder.
You can look to Little Giant for some competition. Their Velocity carries the same Type 1A rating and comes in 8 pounds lighter with its aluminum construction. But if you’re searching for fiberglass, there’s usually a job-specific reason. In that realm, Little Giant’s Dark Horse (a Type 1AA model for this size) is a whopping 5 pounds heavier.
Price and Value
There aren’t many options available in this class and size with fiberglass rails. Little Giant’s Dark Horse is the closest you’ll find. You’ll pay about $20 less for the Werner Multi-Purpose Fiberglass Pro Ladder at $330.99. You save some significant weight loss to go along with the cost savings. The trade-off is you lose 75 pounds of maximum load – something that’s important if you want to use it as a two-person twin step ladder and not have OSHA or your safety manager upset with you.
The Bottom Line
The Werner Multi-Purpose Fiberglass Pro Ladder can save you having to haul multiple ladders if you’re willing to carry the extra weight that comes with this incredibly versatile style. It costs a little less and is lighter than its closest competition but with a lower load rating.
Werner Multi-Purpose Fiberglass Pro Ladder Specifications
- Model: Werner FMT-13
- Style: Multi-position
- Load Capacity: 300 pounds
- Duty Rating: Type IA
- Rail Material: Fiberglass
- Closed Height: 43 inches
- Extension Ladder Height: 7 feet – 11 feet
- Stepladder Height: 3 feet – 5 feet
- Foot Material: Slip-resistant PVC
- Rung Type: Multi-directional
- Weight: 33.2 pounds
- Price: $330.99