featured image showing ladder duty ratings

What are Ladder Duty Ratings and Ladder Load Capacities?

Duty ratings were setup to provide some consistency and standards governing the safe construction, design, testing, care and use of portable ladders of various types and styles.

Ladder styles include portable stepladders, step stools, extension ladders, trestle ladders, sectional ladders, combination ladders, single ladders, platform ladders, and articulating ladders.

Each duty rating relates to a correlating maximum weight capacity (or load capacity) the ladder can safely carry. The maximum weight or load is the combination of several factors:

  • Your weight, plus
  • Weight of clothing and protective gear you’re wearing, plus
  • Weight of tools and supplies being used and stored on the ladder

Safety standards require a Duty Rating sticker to be placed on the side of every ladder. There is no correlation between the ladder length and weight capacity. So do not assume that a ladder with longer reach has a higher weight capacity.

ladder duty rating stickers on side of ladders

Duty Ratings Explained

There are five categories of ladder Duty Ratings:

Type l
A Type I ladder is the most widely used for professional services like that of contractors, public utilities, and construction workers. Regardless of the material construction of the ladder, Type 1 ladders are built in lengths from 3 to 20 feet. This rating is broken down into three subcategories:

  • Type 1 step ladders are built for occupant loads up to 250 lbs.
  • Type1A step ladders are built for occupant loads up to 300 lbs.
  • Type1AA step ladders are built for occupant loads up to 375 lbs.

Type II
Type 11 ladders also run in lengths of 3 to 20 feet long. They are used in more commercial applications like painters, interior decorators, maintenance workers, and electricians. They have a weight maximum of 225 lbs. Type II ladders are manufactured in wood, fiberglass, and aluminum and are commonly used for medium-duty use.

Type III
Type III ladders are most typically household ladders. They only handle a load capacity of 200 lbs and are primarily used for light-duty use. These ladders are typically manufactured in lengths between 3 to 6 feet.

Here is a quick recap of duty ratings and load capacities:

Type III (Light Duty)200 pounds
Type II (Medium Duty) 225 pounds
Type l (Heavy Duty)250 pounds
Type lA (Extra Heavy Duty)300 pounds
Type lAA (Extra Heavy Duty)375 pounds

About Sunset Ladder & Scaffold
Sunset Ladder and Scaffold rents and sells the safest and highest quality ladders, scaffolding and related products available since 1929. We rent and sell ALL types of ladders and scaffolding that the industry offers including our own American-made Sunset Ladder Co and EZ Lift brands.