Installing a ladder rack on a vehicle is a very good idea but merely installing the rack is not the end of your responsibilities. You most certainly have to know what is the maximum amount of weight the ladder rack can carry.
Aluminum ladder racks sometimes serve purposes that go beyond the obvious. Obviously, the rack is designed to hold a ladder in place on a truck which allows for the easy and convenient transportation of the ladder from one location to another. While aluminum ladders may be able to fold up nicely, this does not mean they can easily fit into the back of a pick up truck or be secured with rope of top of the roof of a van. Ladder racks help overcome these issues and deliver a much better means in which one can get a ladder from one location to another.
The means in which the ladder rack helps with the transportation of the ladder also contributes to safety. An aluminum ladder sliding around in the back of a pick up truck or bending in the direction of the wind when fastened to the roof of a van would hardly reflect the epitome of safety. Properly installed ladder racks will keep the ladders perfectly still even when the ride might be a bumpy one.
You have to do your part as well though. You positively must also determine what the maximum weight capacity is for your ladder rack so that you do not have a major safety hazard from overloading. This hazard is not one to take lightly. If the ladder breaks free of the rack because it was simply too heavy for it, the ladder could end up causing major damage to property or even causing serious harm to a driver or pedestrian. Once you take these potentially disastrous scenarios into consideration, taking extra steps to be sure the ladder racks can handle the load capacity required of them takes on greater importance.
The good news is that ascertaining the load capacity of ladder racks is not very difficult. The manufacturer makes this information known on the packaging and product description of the racks they offer.
High quality ladder racks can handle enormous load capacities. A Sprinter aluminum ladder rack can handle around 750 lbs. The Nissan NV & NV-200 can handle 500 lbs. on a two bar system and up to 750 lbs. on a three bar setup. While you might not be transporting that much weight, the ability to handle such massive amounts of weight increases the likelihood of being able to safely transfer lighter loads.
Just be sure to follow all necessary steps required to safely secure ladders to the racks. The load is not going to stay in place if it has not been affixed in the proper manner.
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