Choices, choices, choices.
What brand? What size? Could I get away with X instead of Y?
With over 30 different models from Sureweld alone, choosing the ideal ramp for your application can be a hard decision. The team at the Sureweld HQ have a simple matrix, when helping our clients choose the best solution. We run through the following points, and in this order;
The Total Mass is the most important figure that will help us select the best set of ramps. It will eliminate a vast amount of unnecessary options, and will let us focus on the models suited to you. Being the industry leader, we confidently offer 2 years warranty on our ramps (Yeah, we’re pretty proud of this! 😊), so obviously we can’t be overloading the ramps, as this warranty will be void.
The best way to calculate the Total Mass is to add up the weight of everything that will be loaded on the ramps. This is usually formulated by;
Weight of Machine + Weight of Bucket/s (or other attachments) + Operator = Total Mass
It’s important to note, a 1.7T excavator, doesn’t always weigh 1.7T – In fact, some brands of 1.7T excavators can weigh up to 1.9T! If you are unsure of the weight of your machine, reach out to your local machinery dealer, or research it online.
This is the elephant in the room. So many factors, but actually really simple. A few things to consider; what fits in the back of your truck/trailer? What’s the deck height?
We mainly focus on the latter question. Our ramps are designed and manufactured with gradient matching angles, suited to 18°-22° – the recommended and safest angles to load machinery. This can be calculated using the simple rise over run method. (Just when you thought you left Pythagoras Theorem in the year 9 math’s room, think again!) Never mind, we’ve done the thinking for you, in this awesome table. Check it out:
|Minimum Deck Height
|Maximum Deck Height
Struts… rungs…. cross members…. Not only are there numerous terms used to describe the same thing, there are also numerous different options suited to various applications. Here at Sureweld we have a few common ones that are all perfect in their own different way.
These are exclusive extrusions, which were engineered in 1980. They were tried, tested, perfected and used ever since! These are suitable for multi-terrain rubber tracks and pneumatic tyres. These basically have a flat surface on top, which offers a smoother ride for machinery. The main difference between the Rubber and PT Series, is the width – which we will get into at the next point.
Up to the 4.8tonne track series we use an angle section that has been used for over 25 years. Once we hit the 6T rated ramps, we up the ante, and use a different exclusive extrusion. It looks like a simple angle section, and we won’t judge you for thinking that, however, it incorporates a bulb like feature, which provides extra strength (pretty cool, right?!) This “angle pointing upwards” cross member style is suitable for Steel Tracks, Rubber Tracks, Steel Tracks with rubber pads – It’s basically a good all-rounder. The track series are the most common ramps, for this reason. Two things to note; suitable but not optimum for rubber tyres (gets a bit bouncy) and only suitable for three bar grouser steel tracks. Single bar grousers are not a good fit for Aluminium.
Sureweld ramp cross members are set down between the two side beams, and it is important to note, that driving on these side beams can severely damage the ramps – learning from bitter experience, it can turn them into a metal banana (good for nothing, not even your morning protein smoothie!🍌)
There’s no real science behind the width of the track type, but we recommend a set of ramps that has an internal width of around 30-50mm wider than the track width of your machine. This gives 15-25mm on each side of your track.
When selecting the Track series of ramps, we strongly advise not exceeding the 30-50mm excess width, as it can point load the ramps, and cause the cross members to bend unnecessarily. However, the good thing is, we have numerous widths available, so we will be able to point you in the right direction!
Sureweld, established in 1976, has been the industry leader in Aluminium construction Loading Ramps for 45 years. Our range (check it out here) has changed, and developed over this time to reflect the majority of situations. Some applications are very unique, and that’s why we offer a custom ramp solution, in which clients can create a bespoke set of ramps to suit certain machines or certain dimensions.
Still not sure? That’s fine!