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Weight-Loading Capacity and Their Classification

A piece of information that can make or break your product, literally.

Weight-Loading Capacity is commonly used in construction to quickly identify if the product is suitable for a project. You might also come across some acronyms or codelike data like “BS EN 124:-3:2015” or “BS EN 1433:2002”. They are the classifications that have been graded into different loading applications, and users can check this to see rather the products can hold the necessary weight for their project.

Loading application should be the first thing to consider in manhole cover selection because it will help narrow down what is applicable for your project. There is no point in picking a manhole cover you think is correct, then realised it can’t hold the minimum weight for traffic in that area.

What Is Weight-Loading Capacity

Weight-Loading capacity, loading capacity, or loading-bearing means the amount of weight an item can take for an extended period of time without the risk of breaking.

This term can be used in different objects for various information. For instance, using the term in building materials such as manhole covers or channel drains refers to the maximum stress that can be applied safely.

This information can help you pick the right product and make it long-lasting.

As for vehicles’ load capacity, it refers to the amount of weight a vehicle can lift safely, normally for vehicles like cranes or forklifts.

This information can ensure you are using the correct vehicle for the job and lower the risk of accidents.

Weight-Loading Capacity Classification

In the UK, we follow the British Standard (BS) which is the UK implementation of the European Standard which is published by the British Standards Institution (BSI) Group.

These standards will give you a clear guide on the minimum class to be used against the installation group.

BS EN 124 Standard

BS EN 124 classification is formed from 6 parts that represent different environments where manhole covers or threshold drains may be used for vehicular and pedestrian use.

BS EN 124-1:2015 – Definitions, classification, general principles of design performance requirements and test method. Together with EN 124-2:2015, EN 124-3:2015, EN 124-4:2015, EN 124-5:2015 and EN 124-6:2015, they have overruled EN 124:1994.

BS EN 124-1:2015

Definitions, classification, general principles of design performance requirements and test method

EN 124-2

Gully tops and manhole tops made of case icon

EN 124-3

Gully tops and manhole tops made of steel or aluminium alloys

EN 124-4

Gully tops and manhole tops made of steel reinforced concrete

EN 124-5

Gully tops and manhole tops are made of composite materials

EN 124-6

Gully tops and manhole tops made of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE) or unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC-U)

EN 124-1 is a supporting standard, which means group 1 can only be applicable in combination with at least one of the harmonized standards EN 124-2, EN 124-3, EN 124-4, EN 124-5 or EN 124-6 as an integral part.

BS EN 124 Classification

As for the classes, BS EN 124 standard rates are based on the item’s static load capabilities. The classes were matched with the correct groups that provide the recommended minimum weight load for each one. The classes are shown from A15 to F900.

Weight-Loading Groups



Test Load

Group 1

Pedestrian only


1.5kN (1.5 tonnes)

Group 2

Car parks, driveways and pedestrians. Infrequent vehicle addess


125kN (12.5 tonnes)

Group 3

Vehicles and pedestrian access with slow-moving, heavy traffic and certain carriageway areas


250kN (25 tonnes)

Group 4

Carriageways, hard shoulder and parking areas


400kN (40 tonnes)

Group 5

Are areas with high wheel loading


600kN (60 tonnes)

Group 6

Any areas with extremely high wheel loading


900kN (90 tonnes)

The following are not European Standard applicable:

  • EN 1433 specified for threshold drain and manhole cover as part of prefabricated drainage channels
  • EN 1253 (all parts) specified for floor and roof gullies in the building
  • Surface boxes

People who will find this technical data useful:

  • Manhole cover and threshold drain manufactures
  • Installers
  • Safety regulatory bodies

Product example: A Ductile Iron Manhole Cover from

This manhole cover has stated the cover meets the BS EN 124-2:2015 – Gully tops and manhole tops are made of cast iron.

BS EN 1433:2002 Standard

BS EN 1433:2002 – Classification design and testing requirements, marking and evaluation of conformity, is a harmonized standard, the drainage channels requirement for vehicular and pedestrian areas.

According to the document published by the BSI Group, this standard specifies:

the application and use of drainage channels both as single or multi-part assemblies. An assembly is defined as a single unit and can be used in conjunction with other similar units to provide a drainage system.

BS EN 1433 uses the same classification as BS EN 124 according to the intended use: A15, B125, C250, D400, E600, and F900.

Product example: Our Aesthetic Threshold Drain


Weight-Loading capacity is important information and crucial in making the product long-lasting. Underestimating the loading application and choosing a product that doesn’t have the appropriate load class will cause the product to break before its lifespan.

Even if the product is slightly more expensive with the correct classification, it will be very beneficial and cost-effective in the long run. For instance, it can lower the risk of the product breaking, which prevents the extra cost of replacement or avoid the potential legal issues if someone gets injured.

We hope you find this post useful and that it can help you understand more about the technical classification.

Next time you look for a manhole cover or a threshold drain, think about where the new product will be installed, pair it with the appropriate load class and search for a product that meets all the requirements.

If in doubt, just ask!

You are all set to order!

With over 35 years of experience in the hard landscaping sector,
we are passionate about our products. Including weight-loading information, we provide quality aluminium recessed manhole covers, threshold drains and flexible edging.

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