Duty Ratings for Ladders Explained

Duty ratings are commonly used to specify the maximum weight ladders can safely support. Whether it’s a stepladder, extension ladder or any other type of ladder, it may feature a duty rating. You can refer to the duty rating to determine the ladder’s weight limit. There are several different duty ratings, each of which represents a different maximum weight.

Type I

Type I ladders are considered heavy-duty ladders with a weight limit of 250 pounds. They are used for both consumer and commercial applications. Many homeowners, construction workers, contractors and utility workers use Type I ladders.

Type IA

Type IA ladders are considered extra-heavy-duty ladders with a weight limit of 300 pounds. They are available in many of the same materials as Type I ladders, such as aluminum and stainless steel, but they are able to support more weight.

Type IAA

Type IAA ladders are super-heavy-duty ladders with a weight limit of 375 pounds. They are used primarily for commercial applications.

Type II

Type II ladders are considered medium-duty ladders with a weight limit of 225 pounds. In terms of durability and strength, they rank lower than Type I, Type IA and Type IAA ladders. Type II ladders are used primarily for consumer applications.

Type III

There are also Type III ladders. They are considered light-duty ladders with a weight limit of 200 pounds. Type III ladders are commonly used for consumer applications, such as cleaning and painting household interiors. They support the least amount of weight of all rated ladders.

What Duty Rating Do You Need?

When shopping for a new ladder, you can’t ignore the duty rating. Duty ratings represent the maximum weight a given ladder can safely support. There are Type I, Type IA, Type IAA, Type II and Type III duty ratings. Each of these duty ratings has a different weight limit.

To determine the necessary duty rating, you’ll need to calculate the total amount of weight to which the ladder will be exposed during use. This includes your body weight, the weight of your clothes, and the weight of any equipment or tools that you are carrying.

By adding up the total weight to which the ladder will be exposed, you can determine the necessary duty rating. For consumer applications, a Type II or Type III ladder may suffice. For commercial applications, on the other hand, you may need to choose a Type I, Type IA or Type IAA ladder.