What is the bearing capacity of ice on a lake?

The following chart indicates the maximum safe load. It applies only to clear lake ice that has not been heavily traveled. For early winter slush ice, ice thickness should be doubled for safety.

Ice thickness In/Cm Examples Max safe load Tons/Kg
2in / 5cm One person on foot
3in / 7.6cm Group in single file
7.5in / 19cm Car or snowmobile 1 / 907.2
8in / 20.3cm Light truck 2.5 / 2268
10in / 25.4 Medium truck 3.5 / 3175
12in / 30.5cm Heavy truck 9 / 8164
15in / 38cm 10 / 9,072
20in / 50.8cm 25 / 22,680


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