How to safely use cargo loading ramps

cargo loading ramps

Those who regularly haul cargo in their trucks or trailers rely on cargo loading ramps day in and day out. As many of them can attest, when using cargo loading ramps significant risk of personal injury or property damage exists. With that in mind, we put together some tips to help even first-time ramp users safely and effectively use ramps.

Cargo loading ramps are a simple machine you may have learned about back in science class, the inclined plane. The ramps flat supporting surface is tilted at an angle, with one end higher than the other, used as an aid for raising or lowering a load.

Be sure to consider the ground clearance of the item you wish to load. Items like ATV’S or dirtbikes with high clearance may load easily. Whereas vehicles with less ground clearance like lawnmowers or tractors pose more of a challenge. Specially angled ramps are designed for just these types of issues. The curve of the ramp allows for greater distance between the edge of your loading surface and the bottom of the item to be loaded.

Before you’re able to safely use your loading ramps to move cargo to your vehicle or trailer, make sure the ramps are securely fastened to the vehicle/trailer. Securing a loading ramp to your vehicle is very important for safety. An unfastened ramp could slip from its position under heavy load or from friction produced by spinning tires. This can result in serious injury or even death of the operator.

Position and fasten your cargo loading ramps

First, position your ramps with the flat end situated on level ground. Hook the other end of your ramps to the lip of the trailer or tailgate. Next, you will need to fasten the ramps to the vehicle with a pair of safety straps. Locate the point of the ramp where the second rung closest to the tailgate and the center rail meet. Feed the hook end of the safety strap through the strap’s looped end, so the strap is wrapped around the center rail below the second rung. Then locate a secure spot beneath the vehicle.  Never tiedown to plastic parts of your vehicle. The inside of the bumper, the receiver hitch, or any part of the frame of the vehicle make for excellent places to attach the hook end of the strap.

Cargo Loading Ramp Tips

  • Avoid using oily, greasy, or wet loading ramps
  • Know your ramps maximum weight limit as well as your vehicles  GVWR  (gross vehicle weight rating) and NEVER exceed this limit.
  • Try to minimize the angle you must work against by parking your truck or trailer on a lower surface than the one you are loading from.
  • Remember that rear wheel drive vehicles have the potential to flip backward at steep enough angles. If you are capable of doing so, try to load RWD vehicles in reverse to avoid this issue.

Cargo loading ramps can be very helpful when used properly. A few safety measures will go a long way when using ramps to load your items for transport. And of course, once your items are safely loaded be sure they are securely tied down with a reliable tie down and anchor system like those we’ve made and sold proudly here at Bullring for more than 30 years.

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