There is probably no single piece of equipment that is more common in home shops and garages than the trusty old step ladder. For chores ranging from painting and framing to cleaning windows and changing light bulbs, step ladders are the ideal choice.

So what do you have in your garage? If you’re still lugging around a splintery wood behemoth you inherited from grandpa or are trying to make do with a wobbly aluminum misfit that you picked up one day because it was the cheapest one available, maybe it’s time to start thinking upgrade. All ladders are not created equal, and Werner’s new Contractor’s Jobstation certainly proves that point.

Whoever designed this ladder has actually used ladders on jobsites before. And while you don’t typically associate "bells and whistles" with a ladder, the Contractor’s Jobstation certainly has them.

The fiberglass Jobstation is available in two sizes — the 6-foot Model OBCN06, $140, and the 8-foot Model OBCN08, $165. It has a very hefty load rating of 375 pounds, and once it’s open and locked, you immediately see that it has a nice, sturdy feel. The metal treads are ribbed for better traction, and the wide ribbed feet, riveted steel braces and well-engineered leg locks add to the stability.

Now for some of the fun stuff — those little accessories that can change working on a ladder from shaky and precarious to comfortable and safe.

On one of the cross braces at the rear of the ladder is a large metal hook that faces toward you when you’re on the ladder. It’s an ideal size and location for hanging a level, hand saw, nail gun, or other tool that would normally be too large and awkward to balance safely on a ladder.

The top of the ladder — Werner calls it the HolsterTop — is designed with the user in mind. There is a strong magnetic strip running across the width of the ladder top that will hold larger screws, bolts, and even tools. In front of that is a large recessed well for keeping smaller fasteners and parts from rolling off. A large round hole in the top acts as a handy holder for your cordless drill. To one side of the well is a slot that allows you to clip your tape measure where it’s handy and secure but still out of the way. Along the back side of the ladder top are additional holes for screwdrivers. …CONTINUED

At the rear of the ladder top there are two unique rounded and tapered slots. These slots fit Werner’s ToolLasso system, as well as other optional accessories. The ToolLasso is a simple elastic cord with a large plastic ball on one end. First, loop the cord around your drill, air gun, or other tool. Then slip the ball into the slot on the ladder, and the tool is held securely in place but is still conveniently located when you need to grab it. Three Lassos are included with the ladder, and you can also buy a set of five additional ones (Model TL5-20, $10) or a set of two that also include a belt hook for more versatility (Model TL2BC-20, $9).

Another handy accessory is the Job Bucket (Model AC50-JB-3, $18). It’s a rectangular, high-impact plastic bucket with a padded metal handle that lets you load up all the tools and supplies you need for the job. There are holes for holding screwdrivers and other small tools, two sets of rounded indentations that hold hammers, pipe, fluorescent tubes and other awkward items, and a slot for holding a tape measure. In addition to the handle, there are two lugs built into the side of the bucket that fit into the two slots on the ladder top, giving you additional secure storage while you’re on the ladder.

The Werner Contractor’s Jobstation is a great ladder for any home project, giving you pro-quality safety, stability and convenience at an affordable price. Werner ladders are available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ace and other retailers, as well as online from Amazon and many other sources. The prices can vary quite a bit, so the figures given here are averages.

As with any ladder, be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s safety restrictions and recommendations. Never exceed the reach or the weight limit of a ladder, and never set them up or use them in a manner for which they were not intended.

To learn more about ladder safety and selection, visit the Werner Web site at

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at


What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. To contact the writer, click the byline at the top of the story.

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