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Ice - Safe Loads vs. Thickness

Safe loads vs. thickness for clear and solid ice.

Safe loads for clear solid ice are indicated below:

Ice - Safe Loads vs. Thickness
Thickness of IceLoad or Activity
incm
< 1 3/4 < 4.5 STAY OFF
1 3/4 4.5 One person cross county skiing
2 5 One person on foot or skates
4 7.5 Snowmobile or smaller ATV, groups of people walking in a single line
7 17.5 A small car
8 20 A 2 1/2 tons truck
9 22.5 A 3 1/2 tons truck
10 25 A 7 - 8 tons truck

Note that ice strength is influenced by many factors

  • age - newer black ice is stronger than old milky
  • distance to shore - ice close to shore is weaker than ice farther out
  • river outlets and inlets - ice close to outlets and inlets is weaker
  • obstructions like rocks, trees and plants
  • water currents
  • cover of snow

 This information must only be used as a general guide - KEEP OFF the ice if you are not absolutely sure.

Related Topics

  • Material Properties

    Properties of gases, fluids and solids. Densities, specific heats, viscosities and more.

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