How Much Weight can a Ladder Really Hold?

Safety is always paramount when building or fixing a specific part of the house. Your well-being is more important than doing a fine job with the gutters, windows, roof, etc.

After all, a slight mistake can get you bedridden for life. That’s why you should be very meticulous when choosing ladders. Aside from design, put a weight limit on your buying considerations. So, how much weight can a ladder hold?

If the design, materials, and other factors of a good-quality ladder are good, it can hold up to 500 lbs.

Some other things are also responsible, but don’t worry; we’ve covered them all, so keep reading.

Knowing a ladder’s weight limit is very important. Aside from ensuring that it can accommodate you, the weight limit also helps you determine how many additional objects a ladder can carry.

So before clicking that purchase button, read this short educational article about ladder weight limits.

What Are The Factors That Affect Ladder Weight Capacity?

Factors that affect ladder weight capacity are as follows:

  • Material
  • Design
  • Type of ladder

Material is an obvious factor. For example, it’s already common knowledge that alloy ladders are more durable and bear more weight than steel ladders.

On the other hand, steel ladders can carry more weight than plastic or polyethylene ladders. Here is my top recommendation for a heavy-duty ladder.

Here are the specific weight limits of ladders based on material-

  • A fiberglass ladder can hold 500 pounds
  • The metal ladder can hold 200 pounds
  • A plastic ladder can hold 100 pounds and lower

Even so, some ladders with poor material can bear much weight. This is due to their designs. For example, some steel ladders do better than fiberglass ladders because manufacturers installed them with braces, rivets, and bolts.

Also, ladder type is another determinant of the ladder weight limit. Ladders are classified according to the following types:

  • Type IAAA – these are heavy-duty ladders that have a weight capacity of more than 300 pounds
  • Type IA – these are industrial ladders that have a weight capacity of 300 pounds
  • Type I – these are carpentry ladders that have a weight capacity of 250 pounds
  • Type II – these are warehouse ladders. type 2 ladder weight limit is 225 pounds
  • Type III – these are consumer ladders that have a weight capacity of 200 pounds or lower

Color Code for Ladder Type and Weight Limit

Determining ladder weight limit according to type might be hard to master. Manufacturers simplified the process by colorizing ladder weight ratings to make things easier.

Here is the common color code for determining ladder duty rating at present:

  • Pink or peach color pertains to type III ladder
  • Green or light green pertains to type II ladder
  • Blue or light blue pertains to type I ladder
  • Red-orange or orange relates to the type of IA ladder
  • Yellow relates to the type of IAAA ladder

That star rating may also accompany the ladder weight ratings by color, namely 1 star, 2 stars, etc.

Click here to learn more about it.

ladder weight color code

What’s The Best Ladder For a Heavy Person?

Heavy people should use type II ladders. Type II ladders are great because they are versatile. Going for type III or type IA ladders might be too much as these are large ladders used for building scaffolding, installing roofs, etc.

I highly recommend a Murphy one if you are looking for a heavy-duty ladder. It offers a maximum load capacity of 375 lbs with 1AA ratings.

Does Breaking Happen if You Exceed Ladder Weight Limit?

Before ending this article, I want to debunk a very popular misconception. The ladder doesn’t break immediately if you exceed its weight limit. Manufacturers take many safety precautions to prevent the ladder from suddenly snapping or breaking.

In reality, the ladder will display strange noises if it can’t bear your weight anymore. You might suddenly hear a sudden clicking sound on its joints or bolts. As you progress to work, this noise becomes louder and will be hard to bear.

After going down, you’ll see tiny breaks, cracks, or dents on the ladder’s frame.

Exceeding the weight limit doesn’t immediately cause the ladder to fall. As long as you’re attentive, you’ll still manage to go down before the ladder breaks apart. You can learn more about ladder ratings here.

If you still have questions about how much weight a ladder can hold, feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to reply. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Have a safe ladder-climbing experience.