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Burchoid

Different take on ice thickness safety

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I found this on another state's HSOforum for ice safety. I think it really reveals a better picture of what might be "safe". My truck's curb-weight is 4000lbs (2 tons) plus gear, me, and 1 friend comes probably around 4750lbs or lets just say 5000lbs to be safe (2.5 tons). According to this chart I need 8" of ice to safely hold that weight.

Ice Thickness and Permissible Load

(clear, blue, lake ice)

2" One person on foot

3" Group, in single file

5" Group (6-8 people) together

7½" Passenger car (2 ton gross)

8" Light truck (2½ ton gross)

10" Medium truck (3½ ton gross)

12" Heavy truck (7 to 8 ton gross)

15" 10 tons

20" 25 tons

25" 45 tons

30" 70 tons

The MN DNR has a much more conservative and less detailed chart:

2" or less STAY OFF

4" Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" Car or small pickup

12" - 15" Medium truck

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You have to remember that is perfect clear black ice which rarely if ever happens in practice. Also just because it may hold you doesn't mean it is safe. Plus there is no where that ice is exactly the same everywhere you go. I think I would rather follow the MNDNR's chart so that you leave room to err on the side of caution I guess that is just my 2 cents though. Plus I don't have the money to get a truck pulled out of the ice so I will not be driving on 8" any time in the near future.

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You have to remember that is perfect clear black ice which rarely if ever happens in practice. Also just because it may hold you doesn't mean it is safe. Plus there is no where that ice is exactly the same everywhere you go. I think I would rather follow the MNDNR's chart so that you leave room to err on the side of caution I guess that is just my 2 cents though. Plus I don't have the money to get a truck pulled out of the ice so I will not be driving on 8" any time in the near future.

This time of the year most that ice out there is clear and black. When you drill a hole you can measure just the clear black part -- not all the white junk frozen on the surface. As soon as things start to melt in late winter that ice looses its structural integrity and becomes brittle. All charts go out the door at that point.

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agreed... early ice is almost always black, til you get snow and melting. and yes ice in march and april is very tricky. Ive fallen threw a foot of ice in april (walking).

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i just wieghed my pickup tonight at work it is a 85 1/2 ton chevy with a plow mount it was 5500 pounds with me and my portable and auger and a little gear i wont be driving on the ice anytime soon and my 97 s-10 wieghs 3500 without anything

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The figures you found are close to the minimum ice thickness to support a non-static load according the US Army.

The US ARMY Corp of Engineers has a great page on their site with charts and info for determining ice strength.

Click Here--> U.S. ARMY COLD REGIONS RESEARCH

wow that was pretty interesting

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