How Much Weight Can A Ladder Really Hold?

A ladder comes in different sizes and shapes that help to reach higher places and points safely. However,  climbing a ladder incorrectly or using the wrong type of ladder can put you and anyone bedridden for life.

Therefore, you always have to ensure how much weight can a ladder really hold and how to climb it appropriately.

There are around five types of ladders, and all of them come with different duty ratings with a specific weight capacity. In general, you’ll find ladders that can hold 200 pounds to a maximum of 375 pounds.

Learn more about the weight capacity of different types of ladders and how much weight they can hold throughout this article.

Do Ladders Have Weight Limits?

If you’re wondering do ladders have weight limits or not; the answer is BIG YES. Not all types of ladders can hold the same level of weight, and several things contribute to limiting their weight capacity. Such as:

  • Material
  • Design
  • Type of ladder

All of these factors are directly related to the weight system of any ladder. If you look at the most basic household ladder, they come in different designs or shapes for various tasks.

The household ladder is also designed with a weight limit. For instance, if you’re a painter or DIY painter, you also need to know the ladder’s weight capacity you want to use.

Since most people use a 2 story ladder for painting to reach each corner and surface, it’s essential to know the two-story ladder’s weight capacity. And most household and two-story ladders’ weight capacity is 200 pounds.

Not only two-story or household ladders, but all types of ladders also come with specific weight limits. So always check the weight limit before climbing in.

How Much Weight Can A Ladder Really Hold

How Much Weight Can A Ladder Really Hold?

How much weight can a ladder really hold? It’s difficult to answer as ladders come in different types. However, there are five categories of ladders used for different types of work, and they support various weight capacities. These five categories are:

  1. Type l
  2. Type II
  3. Type III
  4. Type lA
  5. Type lAA

We’ll talk about these five categories of ladders in detail. Here we’ll describe their weight capacity, where they are beige used, and many more.

1. Type l:

Type l ladder is a professional category ladder used for heavy-duty situations. This ladder is mostly employed in construction works and public utilities.

Typically, you’ll find a type 1 ladder with a length of 3 to 20 feet, and its weight capacity is 250 pounds.

2. Type II:

The Type II ladder is basically used for medium-duty conditions, and its weight capacity is 225 pounds.

This type of ladder also has a length of 3 to 20 feet, and you can use it for electricity, painting, maintenance activity, and many more. Type II ladders are mostly made of materials like wood, fiberglass, and aluminum.

3. Type III:

Type III is the most popular household ladder made in lengths between 3 and 6 feet. This ladder comes with 200 pounds weight capacity, and it should be used for light-duty situations.

4. Type lA:

Type lA is a heavy-duty ladder that offers a load limit of 300 pounds, and you can use it for construction sites, industrial jobs, and many more. Since type lA ladder can hold a huge load capacity, you can easily carry extra tools while climbing this ladder.

5. Type lAA:

Type lAA is a special category ladder used for particular jobs, and it can hold a huge load of 300 to 350 pounds. Type lA and Type lAA ladders can be a step ladder, extension ladder, fire escape ladder, telescoping, and many other types of ladders. And both of them allow carrying extra tools and accessories.

These are the five main types of ladder categories, and all of them offer different weight capacities. Here we’ve included a table to show you the differences in weight capacity, ladder type, and color. Have a look:

Ladder Type Ladder Duty Type Weight Capacity Color Code
Type III Light Duty 200 pounds Peach or light pink color
Type II Medium Duty 225 pounds Green or light-green color
Type l Heavy Duty 250 pounds Blue or light-blue
Type lA Extra Heavy Duty 300 pounds Red or reddest-orange
Type lAA Extra Heavy Duty 375 pounds Yellow

Along with the ladder types and duty ratings, now most of the ladder manufacturers use color codes to specify ladder weight capacity. So you can also look at the color code to select the right ladder based on your needs.

How Much Weight Can A Ladder Really Hold?

How Much Weight Can A Wooden Ladder Hold?

Basically, there are four types of materials are used to manufacture ladders, including:

  • Fiberglass
  • Plastic
  • Aluminum
  • Wooden

All of them come with different weight capacities, and if we talk about a wooden ladder, it can hold up to 300 pounds. The wooden ladder also comes in different types with different weight capacities. Check out the table to get a detailed idea:

Wooden Ladder Types Weight Capacity
Type IA 300 pounds
Type I 250 pounds
Type II 225 pounds
Type III 200 pounds

No matter what types of wooden ladder you want to use, you should remember that they are heavier than others. If you want to use a type IA category wooden ladder, you have to remember that the ladder will come with a weight of 50 pounds.

And wooden ladders are mainly used for a safe working environment. Another thing is wooden ladders are more affordable than other material-made ladders, and also they last for a long time.

How Much Weight Can a Wooden Ladder Hold?

What Factors Determine How Much Weight A Ladder Can Handle?

Want to know how to determine how much weight a ladder can handle? Well, it’s pretty simple, and you can calculate your ladder’s load capacity. First of all you need to know the ladder type, and then you need to add the below-mentioned things for accurate results:

  • Your body weight
  • The tools or equipment you want to carry with yourself while climbing
  • Your clothes and protective gear
  • And the weight of several supplies and tools stored or installed in your ladder.

First, find out the accurate weight of these things, and then check the weight limit or capacity chart. After that, you can easily find out what type of ladder you need and whether you need to reduce the weight of tools or not.

Does Ladder Length Effect Weight Capacity?

Not only you, like you many other people also think that ladder length contributes to the weight capacity. While the truth is the ladder length has nothing to do with the weight capacity. In short, there is no relationship between the ladder length and weight capacity.

The length of the ladder may not bring any difference in weight capacity, but the material can. If you look at the materials, then aluminum and wooden ladders can hold a weight load of up to 300 pounds. And wooden and steel-made ladders can hold up to 500 pounds.

Is It Safe To Exceed the Ladder Weight Limit?

You may not know, but more than 65,000 injury incidents happen because of ladders every year. Along with the big number of injury issues, more than 300 people lose their lives because of a ladder.

Well, we’re not saying all this incident happens because of not choosing a ladder with proper weight capacity, but the weight limit is relatively related to these incidents. And from minor to severe issues can happen if you exceed the ladder weight limit.

Since all types of ladders have specific duty ratings and maximum safe weight capacity, try to follow specifications appropriately.

Final Word

Ladders are designed and constructed to hold up to a limited amount of weight safely. Therefore, it’s essential to determine the weight holding capacity before using a ladder for any specific work. Since you know how much weight can a ladder really hold, try to use a ladder according to the weight holding capacity.

Using the wrong ladder with the wrong weight-bearing system can lead to both minor and serious incidents. Always measure the weight before climbing any ladder and never cross the weight capacity. Also, never use a high-duty or medium-duty ladder for household activities.

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