Slideology 101: What is a Heavy-Duty Slide REALLY?

Slideology 101: What is a Heavy-Duty Slide REALLY?

Search online for a drawer slide and you often find results described as “heavy-duty.” It’s a common term used broadly–and questionably–by marketers and manufacturers on generic, discount, and even some major brands. 

That begs the question: What is a heavy-duty slide really, and how many slides advertised as such meet the standard?

Spoiler alert: Fewer than you think. Let’s find out why.

What does “Heavy-Duty” Mean?

Let’s start with the word duty. Duty refers to how much weight a slide can handle. 


Accuride has four categories:

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy
  • Super Heavy

Accuride has a high standard when it comes to heavy-duty. An Accuride heavy-duty slide handles max loads from 170 to 600 pounds. Slides that handle loads beyond 600 pounds fall under the category super heavy-duty.

How Does Accuride Determine Heavy-Duty Load Ratings? 

Accuride uses several types of testing to determine a slide’s load

  1. Dynamic Testing
  2. Static Testing
  3. Slam Testing

Dynamic testing has slides attached to a loaded drawer and cycled open/closed for a certain number of times, usually from 2,000 to 75,000 cycles. (The number depends on the market.)

Static testing has the slide-equipped drawer extended fully and placed with double the dynamic load. Slam testing has the slide-equipped drawer forced open to ensure the slides’ integrity.

We have a blog that goes in-depth on how we achieve our load ratings

What is an Example of a Heavy-Duty Slide?

The Accuride 9301E is an example of a heavy-duty slide. 

Accuride 9301E  is a popular heavy-duty slide.jpg
The Accuride 9301E  is a popular heavy-duty slide that handles stationary loads up to 600 pounds. You can find the 9301E supporting large drawers in industrial toolboxes, utility trucks, and bottom-mount freezers.

This side-mount and full-extension slide handles stationary up to 600 pounds, which places it on the tail end of the heavy-duty spectrum. This rating is 20% greater than the earlier 9301 iteration thanks to the greater thickness of the slide’s inner and outer members.

Where Do You Find Heavy-Duty Slides?

You can find genuine heavy-duty slides like the 9301E underpinning large drawers and trays in vehicles, factories, and workshops. 

Utility trucks count on heavy-duty slides like the Accuride 9300 Series to carry tools and equipment. Always note that slides’ experience reduced load ratings when in mobile use. Most slides are not suited, much less tested, for mobile use.

These tend to be found in industrial toolboxes, utility trucks, and bottom-mount freezers where people need compartments to handle immense weight reliably and for long periods of time.

How and Where You Mount Your Slide Affects How Much It Can Handle

Some Accuride slides can be mount in different ways. 

The Accuride 9301E, for example, is a side-mount slide that can be mounted flatly. However, flat-mounting the 9301E lowers its max load from 600 to 180 pounds. That’s a 70% difference! 

Brackets like the Accuride 9300 Series Bracket Kit preserve a side-mount slide’s performance when flat mounting. Flat-mounting otherwise slashes a slide’s max load by as much as 70%.

The good news is you can preserve the 9301E’s 600-pound performance by using a 9300 Series Bracket Kit.

Using slides on mobile applications also lowers its max load. The 9301E handles up to 360 pounds in mobile applications, or a 40% drop in max load.

Beware When You See a Slide Labeled “Heavy-Duty”

It’s important to note that Accuride measures its performance at a higher standard than most of competitors.

For example: Everbuilt advertises its full-extension and side-mount slides as “heavy-duty.” But it rates these slides as handling up to 100 pounds. Under Accuride standards, a 100-pound load rating is strictly light-duty.

This is common among generic and discount slides that may use hazy standards in determining load ratings, much less durability. Always be cautious when using a generic slide.

How to Find a Real Heavy-Duty Slide

Use caution when considering a slide labeled “heavy-duty.” Find out the slide’s advertised load rating and see the manufacturer’s criteria, including industry certifications, for that rating. If you can’t find any, it might be best to opt for a major brand and save yourself headaches down the road.

Do you need a heavy-duty slide for your project? Check out Accuride’s wide selection of certified heavy-duty movement solutions. Our solutions include lock-in/lock-out slides for utility trucks, ADA compliant linear track systems for entryways, and much more!

Related Posts