How Much Weight Can a Ladder Really Hold?

Working on any ladders is surely scary, whether you are a professional or unprofessional ladder user. Since the accidental rate of ladder increases day by day due to unawareness of ladder safety knowledge and precaution.

Meantime, you should need to learn some basic knowledge about the ladder before you attempt to use it for any purpose

In general, 4 question answers can ensure the safe use of any ladder in a great way. These includes:

This article is all about question one: how much weight can a ladder typically hold?

And for the rest of the questions, we have included each question reference through the link. You can check and educate yourself about ladder safety and precaution.

Without further delay, let’s go to the point!

How much weight can a ladder really hold: The easiest and effective way to measure

You might wonder why knowing the ladder limit or capacity is so important. Let us clear, ladder load capacity not only ensures your safety. But also helps you to understand how many other accessories you can carry while working on the ladder.

So before buying any ladder for any project or job. It would help if you learned about your chosen ladder weight limit.

Now the question is how you can accurately measure ladder load capacity?

Well, there are a few ways you can estimate ladder weight capacity or load limit. And we have covered all of them gradually one by one. Continue reading.

First of all, ladder weight capacity is mainly dependent on 3 factors. These are-

  1. Ladder-type
  2. Ladder material
  3. Ladder design

Ladder-type is one of the most common and straightforward ways to figure out ladder weight limits. You will find it on the ladder specification label.

Mainly, ladder weight rating is divided into five categories. Ladder weight limits according to ladder type are given below.


Ladder duty rating or weight rating chart

Ladder-type or classificationWeight Capacity (pounds)Ladder specification
TYPE-IAA375 PoundsSpecial duty
TYPE-IA300 PoundsExtra Heavy-duty
TYPE-I250 PoundsHeavy duty
TYPE-II225 PoundsMedium duty
TYPE-III200 PoundsLight duty

Ladder Duty rating explained:

Now the question will definitely arise what are ladder duty rating or load capacity based on? So, we have explained in the below section, read carefully. 

Type-IAA and Type-IA

These two types of ladders are specially designed and widely used for special duty to heavy-duty professional jobs. Like- construction sites, contractors, public affairs, industrial jobs, and more.

Type A ladders can hold between 300 pounds to 375 pounds weight, including all the accessories, your weight, extra tool, and protection equipment.

Type-IAA and IA can be an extension ladder, step ladder, telescoping ladder, fire escape ladder, or other type ladders.

But here is the important thing to remember and maintain. Duty rating mainly indicates the safe load capacity of a ladder. So, no matter which kind of TYPE-A ladder you use for your job. The entire weight on the ladder must not exceed 300 to 375 pounds.


In terms of load capacity, Type-I is less than Type-IAA and IA. But it is also designed and featured for professional use. It is not recommended for use in the home unless you are doing any professional-grade job.

The Type-I ladder weight limit is 250 pounds. At the use time, be careful the weight must not exceed over 250 pounds.


Type-II ladder is chiefly designed and officially recommended for medium-duty work. For example, you can use this type of ladder for maintenance work, interior decor, painting, electrical projects, or other such types of commercial jobs.

Even if it can hold 225 pounds weight, it is highly restricted for any heavy-duty industrial work.

It is approved use for the household course for a heavyweight person.


Moving to the Type-III ladder, it has a maximum of 200 pounds weight capacity. Generally recommended and officially approved for light-duty household work.

One thing you must remember for the Type-III ladder. Suppose you need to use the extra tools or accessories. In that situation, you must measure the whole weight of accessories and your weight before using the Type-II ladder.

Color code for understating ladder duty rating or weight capacity

Nowadays, the maximum ladder manufacturer uses color codes and duty ratings to help users easily identify the ladder weight capacity.

Take a look at ladder color code indication to better understand ladder load capacity or duty rating.

  • Yellow color for special duty ladder
  • Red or reddest-orange color for extra heavy duty ladder
  • Blue or light-blue color for heavy-duty ladder
  • Green or light-green color for medium-duty ladder
  • Peach or light pink color for light-duty ladder
Ladder type or classificationWeight Capacity (pounds)Ladder SpecificationColor Code
TYPE-IAA375 PoundsSpecial dutyYellow
TYPE-IA300 PoundsExtra Heavy-dutyRed or reddest-orange
TYPE-I250 PoundsHeavy dutyBlue or light-blue
TYPE-II225 PoundsMedium dutyGreen or light-green color
TYPE-III200 PoundsLight dutyPeach or light pink color

In addition, the star rating with color code also helps users understand the ladder duty rating or capacity.

  • 5 star and yellow color for special duty ladder
  • 4 star and red or reddest-orange color for extra heavy-duty ladder
  • 3 star and blue or light-blue color for heavy-duty ladder
  • 2 star and green or light-green color for medium-duty ladder
  • 1 star and peach or light pink color for light-duty ladder

See the picture diagram for more clear idea.

ladder duty rating chart

Ladder Materials and Their Weight Capacity

Ladder material is another significant factor that plays a great role in ladder weight capacity. Obviously, in a general sense, an aluminum ladder can hold more weight than any plastic ladder. Plus, a wooden ladder is more durable than any steel or metal ladder.

But instead of simply relying on any guess. It is better to know how much weight a ladder can hold depending on ladder material. Have a look.

  • Aluminum material(metal) can hold up to 375 pounds weight.
  • Fiberglass material can hold up to 500 pounds weight.
  • Plastic material can hold hardly 100-pound weight
  • Wooden material can hold up to 300 pounds weight
  • Steel material can hold 500 to 1000 pounds weight

At this point, people often got confused. Why? Let us be clear.

Fiberglass material can hold 500 pounds weight. But it does not mean all fiberglass material can hold 500 pounds weight.

It simply means if fiberglass material is built up in a TYPE-IAA type ladder, it can bear up to 375 pounds; otherwise, not.

That means the material has the capacity, but another factor like ladder duty rating is also noticeable while measuring ladder load capacity.

Ladder weight capacity depending on ladder design

According to researches, ladder design also plays a role in ladder weight capacity. For example, steel material is not so good compared with fiberglass material in terms of safety, durability, and portability.

But it can bear a lot of weight if the manufacture built it with volts, rivets, or braces.

Here the design of the ladder defines its load capacity, not other things.

But when it comes to measuring ladder load capacity. Targeting on ladder design is not as reliable as ladder duty rating can do.

Ladder weight choice and safe use tips

  • Remember, all longer ladder is not capable of holding a high load capacity.
  • Measure your weight and compare it with ladder-type then go for ladder buying.
  • Make sure you have correctly checked the ladder duty rating before your final approach.
  • Make sure, along with ladder, accurate weight selection. You have placed your ladder on the ground by following the ladder safety rule.
  • Even if, your selected ladder can bear heavy weight but never try to use it, two-person at a time.
  • Examine the ground, where you intend to place your ladder.
  • Never exceed the ladder weight limit. Rather try to put less weight than the ladder recommended.

Frequently asked question about ladder load capacity

How accurate are ladders duty ratings?

Answer: Among all ladder weight measuring ideas, ladder duty rating is the most accurate and trustworthy. So, you can blindly trust it and select your ladder depending on the ladder duty rating chart.

Aluminum or fiberglass, which ladder material can hold heavyweight?

Answer: Well, both materials are capable of holding heavyweight depending on the ladder type. But fiberglass material is stronger than aluminum in terms of weight-bearing capacity.

Which type of ladder should I buy?

Answer: It depends on what reason you need a ladder and how much ladder weight limit you need. If you need a home use ladder then you can buy a TYPE-III ladder.

But if you need a professional-grade ladder. Then you can go for Type-IAA and Type-IA. It entirely depends on your work type.

How can I calculate ladder weight capacity accurately according to my job?

Answer: For accurate weight measuring of a ladder, you need to add your weight, your clothes, protection equipment, shoes, tool, and other accessories weight. Means all thing you are going to use in your job time.

Suppose you fail to calculate and forget to add all these item weights. In that case, you can never calculate the ladder weight capacity correctly.

What happens if I exceed the ladder weight limit?

Answer: Exceeding the ladder weight limit does not mean it breaks and you fall immediately. When you exceed the ladder weight limit, initially it begins to make little unusual noise.

If you continue to use it in this situation hour after hour. Therefore, it has a high possibility it will break or bend down. And you will find yourself in a hospital bed.

Final words

Hopefully, you have got the answer to how much weight can a ladder really hold. We have discussed all ways of calculating ladder weight limit accurately. If you find our information helpful, do not forget to share it with those who need it.

However, if you have any questions regarding ladder load capacity, feel free to contact us by email or comment.

We will always be there for you. Good luck and enjoy your ladder use with all safety.

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