Quote Originally Posted by Marco B View Post
18 kg is the weight of a small child... No ordinary photography tripod can carry that! Just imagine a 5-year old toddler sitting on top of your tripod


The 18kg is probably a figure that denotes the TOTAL weight the tripod might just be able to withstand theoretically, including how much weight you can hang BELOW the tripod to strengthen / stabilize it, NOT the weight on top of the tripod.
My Gitzo Series 5 will easily take the weight of this 42 year old toddler

I do think you are right though: there's a differnece between the payload that might damage the tripod and is likely to be the basis for the manufacturer's calculation of a quoted maximum load figure, and the amount of mass that you'd want to put on top of the tripod and expect it still to be stable and able to control vibration. Unfortunately I don't know any tripod manufacturer that adequately explains that distinction or the basis for the figures they quote. Surprise surprise...