Anyone who regularly works with large-scale pieces of industrial equipment will tell you that a loading ramp is essential. Moving these beasts of metal is no simple feat. Not only is the equipment heavy and physically difficult to transport, but it also needs to be moved with care so that no damage occurs, and it arrives in complete working order. Such complex pieces of machinery don’t come cheap and nor do the associated repairs!
But help is at hand. Undoubtedly, the best way to load heavy equipment is by using a top-quality loading ramp. If you work in an outdoor, construction or agricultural setting where equipment needs to be transported from one place to another on a regular basis, it is worth investing in a loading ramp. Or a few really! A quality loading ramp is a significant investment that will save money and time, thereby increasing efficiency and having plenty of positive implications on your bottom line. What’s more, it will ensure you avoid damaging your machinery or equipment, saving you from having to fork out on otherwise unnecessary repairs.
With, purchasing a big-ticket item such as a loading ramp isn’t a decision that should be made lightly. It is worth spending some time doing your research to ensure the purchase makes sense for your business and finding out which loading ramp is right for you. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about loading ramps, from the various uses they have to all the factors you should consider when choosing a loading ramp. We’ll also provide a good overview of safety considerations you’ll need to have front and centre when using a loading ramp, plus some useful maintenance tips to help you get the most out of your purchase by ensuring its longevity.
So, What Is a Loading Ramp?
First things first, let’s get the basics straight. A loading ramp is an inclined device that compensates for the differences in height between a delivery point, say the building where a piece of equipment will be stationed, and the transport vehicle. A loading ramp does what it says on the tin and can be used for loading and unloading goods from a truck or container. You’ll commonly see loading ramps used inside warehouses and outside in shipping yards or agricultural settings. However, more importantly, you’ll find them also used for moving heavy machinery and equipment, like diggers or excavators, from site to site. Of course, the kind of loading ramp you’d use for moving a digger is quite different to what you’d use for getting boxes of goods off a truck!
Get to Know the Uses of & Types of Loading Ramps Available
Once you begin shopping around for a loading ramp, you’ll find that there are many types of loading ramps available, and each is designed for a particular type of function. However, you tend to be able to break them down into two categories.
Lightweight Mobile Loading Ramps
If you work in an environment that requires a moveable and versatile ramp, then a mobile loading ramp will be great for your productivity. Mobile loading ramps use heavy-duty wheels and castors, which allow for a degree of portability, and they tend to be a more lightweight option as they need to be moved easily. However, they won’t be able to take a lot of weight and may wear out more quickly than other options.
Option 2: Heavy-Duty Loading Ramps
On the other hand, there are loading ramps that are designed to be more durable with the capacity to support heavier loads; these are considered heavy duty. They require lower levels of maintenance, and, because of their increased levels of durability and superior degree of safety, heavy-duty ramps can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Just be sure to check if the heavy-duty loading ramp you pick can handle the weight you intend to move!
Finding the Right Loading Ramp for You
Even though there are plenty of choices when it comes to choosing a loading ramp, not all of them will be suitable for every situation. Therefore, it is important to spend some time figuring out what you need to ensure you make an informed purchase when buying your loading ramp.
What’s the Weight Limit of the Loading Ramp?
The weight capacity of a loading ramp is by far the most critical factor. You need to think of what you intend on transporting when choosing your ramp. When considering the weight of your machinery, don’t forget to factor in the wet weight — including all fluids such as engine oil and gear oil — as well as any attachments. It is also essential to leave a bit of leftover excess weight capacity to accommodate the weight of the driver moving the machinery. It is best to be on the safe side and find a ramp that can handle the heaviest possible weight combination you expect to be dealing with.
What Are the Loading Ramps Made of?
Loading ramps tend to be made from either aluminium or steel. The option you choose will depend on the environment you plan to use the loading ramp in. Both steel and aluminium loading ramps are durable and strong. However, aluminium ramps tend to be better from a safety point of view because steel tends to create sparks because of friction when it is dragged across the ground. You should also think about what you intend on transporting when making a choice about the material. For example, if your machinery features steel tracks, this will damage an aluminium ramp.
What’s the Ideal Length & Angle of Your Loading Ramp?
The length of the ramp you choose will depend on the type of load you want to work with, as well as the height you’ll be loading from. If your ramp is too short, the loading angle will be too sharp and present a safety hazard. The advisable angle for most loading ramps is usually 18 degrees, but any angle between 16 and 23 degrees is also safe. At the end of the day, you just need to make sure the loading incline isn’t too steep and that the ramp is secure so that the machinery and those operating it are protected.
What’s the Loading Ramp’s Rung Shape?
The type of rungs on a ramp differs and are designed to accommodate different types of machinery. For instance, the rungs designed for tyres aren’t as strong and won’t handle machinery that runs on steel tracks. If you want greater versatility, then a flat aluminium loading ramp will be your best option.
Taking Care of Your Loading Ramp
Naturally, you’ll want your loading ramp to work at optimal capacity for the longest possible period. After all, it is an investment that doesn’t come cheap. In most cases, loading ramps last between 3 to 6 years, depending on the frequency of use and how well they are maintained. Sure, these ramps are intended to withstand the pressure of heavy loads, but they will weaken over time as a result of constant use. However, proper care will help extend the ramp’s usefulness.
Store Your Loading Ramp Properly Every Time
Ensure your ramp is stored in a dry spot that is sheltered from natural elements. Proper storage of your loading ramp will ensure it doesn’t experience unnecessary wear and tear from harsh weather conditions. Whether it is heat damage from the sun or rust occurring as a result of exposure to rain, the elements can cause a lot of damage to any loading ramp.
Always Secure Your Loading Ramp Correctly
Your loading ramp should be placed horizontally on a flat surface when it is transported. It is wise to tie the ramp down to the vehicle to avoid damage caused by sudden bumps while driving. This will also stop the ramp from sliding back and forth. Similarly, it should not be stored vertically or propped against a surface, as this could cause it to fall and be damaged.
The Final Word on Loading Ramps
Investing in a good-quality loading ramp can have multiple benefits for those working in a range of industrial and agricultural settings. Not only will it make operations more efficient when it comes to handling heavy machinery, but the use of a loading ramp will also help protect expensive equipment and, more importantly, the safety of those working with said equipment.
However, the world of loading ramps is far more complex than one would initially think. There are several factors worth considering before purchasing a loading ramp. Beyond the price point itself, the loading ramp you decide to buy should consider the type of equipment being transported, weight limits and the angle at which it will be used.
Once you’ve got your hands on the perfect loading ramp, the work doesn’t stop though. It is in your best interests to extend the longevity of your purchase by ensuring you are following best practices when it comes to storage and proper usage of this tool. Loading ramps don’t come cheap!
Whether you feel confident enough to know what you want in terms of a loading ramp or have questions, Online shops is the place to go. They stock an excellent selection of quality aluminium and steel loading ramps in a range of sizes. Furthermore, their friendly team of experts are always on hand to offer their industry insights or answer your questions.
So don’t delay, shop online today! What’s more, if you find you aren’t fully satisfied with your purchase, they have a generous refund and exchange policy that’ll have you covered.