Using a loading ramp is an absolute necessity when it comes to loading larger items and vehicles into trailers, UTE’s, flatbed lorries etc. Without using loading ramp, you would be faced with the prospect of having to try and lift something like very heavy; with something like a quad bike this might be possible with a few people helping, but good luck trying to lift cars or heavy machinery unaided.
Benefits of aluminium
For almost all of the heaviest of loading tasks, an aluminium loading ramp is a perfect solution. The aluminium construction makes the ramp comparatively lightweight for its size, as well as providing excellent protection against rust and corrosion. Aluminium loading ramps may not quite have the strength of steel, but they are very tough and so long as you pay attention to the maximum load ratings that any reputable ramp will be supplied with, then you will have no problems with weight.
Setting up your ramp
Once you have bought and received on or our high-quality loading ramps, there really isn’t much to get ready. When you wish to set up your loading ramp you simply need to position your vehicle appropriately so that it is easily accessible and then make sure that it is properly secured. This means the handbrake should be firmly applied and ideally the vehicle placed in a gear opposite from the gradient it is facing. So, if it is facing uphill leave it in first gear, if it is facing downhill, leave it in reverse. This may not apply to automatic vehicles but is definitely a good idea for those with manual gears.
Once your vehicle is secured, you should unload your loading ramp and rest it in place, so you can get an idea of where it will meet the ground. This is a step that many people overlook, but it is more important than you might think to ensure that the area the ramp will rest is free of medium and large obstructions. Having a reasonably sized stone, that might not even be visible when the ramp is in place, under the edge of one of the ramps can potentially lead to tipping and instability when the ramp was weight applied to it. With the ground having been cleared, you can now properly attach your loading ramps.
Attaching your ramp
Depending on the make and manufacture of your ramp, the way it attaches to your vehicle might vary. Here at SureWeld, all of our aluminium ramps have to main attachment features, every ramp has a well-designed and generously sized connecting plate to ensure that the ramp makes a great connection with your vehicle and minimising the risk of it slipping off once in place. The second feature all of our aluminium ramps share is that they come with a steel pin that fits through the top of the ramp and locks it into place on your vehicle so that it cannot slide off. With those simple steps, your loading ramp is in position and attached to your vehicle and could be used. However, there are more advisory safety measures that we would strongly advise you to take before beginning loading.
Fitting safety measures
There are a few different options when it comes to adding safety measures to your ramps, and it should be noted that you will always find people who tell you doing so is not important and they have been working in the industry for decades and never had an accident. If that is true then good for them, but it isn’t worth the risk and any professional company or building site would insist on such measures anyway.
The most convenient safety measure is an auto-locking system where the ramp has a special fitting on the vehicle that it slots into. This is very convenient but there is no industry wide, global standard for these, so it is not an all-encompassing solution at present. This would also be akin to having your ramps fitted with a hinged connection option, so that they can simply be folded upright when you are not using them. This is considerably more expensive to have fitted and is really only of direct benefit to vehicles that are going to be used for this purpose regularly.
The second option is to use safety straps to secure your ramps. This is not really any different to using tie down straps to hold things to the roof of your vehicle or to the walls inside vans. These should be attached to the ramps by first looping the unhooked end through itself and around the second from top rung of each ramp. Once this is secure, the hook end can be attached to a suitable place on the vehicle such as the tow hitch, towing points under the rear of the vehicle or the rear bumper. It is important to note that plastic bumpers will not be able to take the pressure and will most likely bend and crack, thus not hold the ramps securely, and should not be used. Now simply tighten the straps until there is no movement left in the ramps.
The third option is very similar to the second accept that it utilises steel safety cables. With these cables you need to loop it around the second from top rung, just as before, and then tighten the cable into a loop using the security screw attached to it. The other end should have a hook on it or you will need to it one, and this should then be attached to the vehicle in the same fashion as the safety strap. Tighten the screws on the safety cable until you cannot move the ramps from the vehicle.
By using these steps and some simple safety precautions, you can make certain to get the best user experience from any of our fantastic range of high quality aluminium loading ramps. We value repeat customers very highly, so keeping you safe is very important to us.