How Do You Choose the Best Portable Yard Ramp?

A portable yard ramp linked to semi-truckA portable yard ramp is designed for using a forklift to load and unload cargo from truck trailers, loading docks, platforms, rail cars, and more. Portable ramps are usually made of steel, have a weight capacity between 15,000 lbs and 30,000 lbs. They also have wheels for easier mobility and setup with a forklift as well as a mechanism to raise and lower the loading surface.

Similar to a standard loading dock, a portable yard ramp’s purpose is to create a freight loading station for incoming trucks. Some portable yard ramps may include handrails that allow them to be used as walk ramps into and out of trailers.

Before you buy, here are a few important factors to consider:

Step One: Calculate Your Minimum Weight Capacity

This can be difficult if you have multiple shifts and varying load weights. However, it’s a crucial part of ensuring that your portable yard ramp will be up to the challenge. The low end of your ramp’s weight capacity should start at three times the weight of your heaviest forklift or the weight of your heaviest forklift combined with the weight of your heaviest cargo.

Anything above will be suitable for your needs. Oftentimes, ramp manufacturers will have a range of capacities so you can find the best portable yard ramp for your facility or project.

Step Two: Measure the Width of Your Widest Equipment

Forklift accessing tractor trailer with a portable yard rampTo ensure that your forklift drivers have some leeway, your portable yard ramp should measure at least 15” wider than your widest piece of equipment or expected cargo. If you intend on using a yard ramp on a rail car, measure the car door opening to make sure the ramp will fit and is wide enough to prevent the forklift from hitting the curbs.

Step Three: Determine if You Need a Stationary or Portable Yard Ramp

For creating ground-level access to a loading dock, a stationary ramp is a solid choice. You will not need to move it as often if at all, but you can move it with a forklift if necessary. It will also ensure the safety of employees or anyone operating the ramp.

On the other hand, if you need to be able to load or unload a semi-trailer without a loading dock, consider a portable yard ramp instead. They are easier to maneuver into position or move from truck to truck. Usually, portable ramps will have hydraulic lifts to accommodate different heights.

Step Four: Decide If Your Need A “Level Off” Feature

When loading up a truck from the ground, a ramp with a level-off at the top is ideal because it allows your forklift to level off before entering the truck. Without a level-off, your load will enter at an angle which makes it more difficult to place.

Find a Portable Yard Ramp to Improve Your Operations

Green forklift entering semi-truck trailer with portable yard rampPortable yard ramps are a great addition to freight-loading facilities that need reliable equipment to get the job done right. When you choose the right ramp, you’ll have a safe, functional, and efficient addition to your space to streamline operations.

Keep in mind the capacity you will need when looking for the right portable yard ramp. In addition, you may want a ramp that remains stationary to ensure the safety of your employees. Or, you may need the ramp to be as portable as possible.

Talk with your ramp manufacturer to ensure you’re making the best purchase possible.

By Published On: February 12, 2018Categories: Yard Ramp and Loading Dock Equipment

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