The people product-testing a lightweight collapsible ladder had good reason for interrupting their work.
“The same guys who are testing it are actually fighting wars, so they would disappear for six months and you wouldn’t get a simple answer,” said Jason Cardinal, director of engineering at Pilot Innovations.
They were members of the U.S. Navy’s special forces.
What they were testing is a ladder that you can’t buy at Home Depot. It’s an 18-foot ladder made from carbon fiber developed for the military; it collapses to about 2 feet and weighs a mere 16 pounds.
“You can hike with it, swim with it, jump out of an airplane with it,” said Nick Mercier, CEO of Pilot Innovations, a division of Hooksett-based Macy Industries.
Most civilians don’t need to be that hard-core with their ladders for fixer-upper projects – or pay nearly as much.
An 18-foot aluminum ladder found on Home Depot’s website costs nearly $656 and weighs 81 pounds. The Pilot Innovations version costs thousands of dollars and is designed to be used by U.S. special operations.
“It’s a very expensive piece of equipment,” Mercier said Friday.