Tips for Using Loading Ramps Safely

Truck drivers with loading ramp experience know that it is all about physics. The laws of physics dictate that it’s easier to roll something up a ramp than lift it straight up. But the same physics that make loading ramps so efficient also constitute their greatest weakness. Therefore, it pays to know the physics in order to use loading ramps safely.

Loading ramps make moving objects to a higher point easier by distributing the weight of the load across a larger area. Furthermore, pushing or pulling an object up a set of ramps requires less work than lifting that same item. Thus, you can get some pretty heavy objects onto the back of an open deck trailer with a pair of inexpensive loading ramps from Mytee Products.

With all of that said, here are some tips for using loading ramps safely:

1. Work on a Level Surface

Whenever possible, you should work on a level surface. Your trailer deck should be parallel with the ground and the ends of the ramps touching the ground should not be lower than the trailer’s rear wheels. A level surface provides for maximum efficiency during the loading process. It also reduces the risks of the load tipping backward or falling off the side of the ramps.

2. Watch the Load Angle

As efficient as loading ramps are compared to direct lifting, they are not capable of working miracles. Loading can be terribly unsafe if the ramp angle is too high. Therefore, watch the load angle. Keep it as low as possible on every single job.

This might facilitate purchasing new loading ramps if your current set is too short. Also bear in mind that you will need longer ramps and a lower angle for heavier loads. Remember the physics. The key is to get your load up onto the deck with as little work as possible. Load angle influences the amount of required work more than any other factor.

3. Send the Drive Wheels First

It doesn’t matter which direction you load all-wheel drive vehicles in. But if you’re loading a vehicle with only two-wheel drive, send the drive wheels first. This means a front-wheel drive vehicle goes up the ramp forward; a rear-wheel drive vehicle goes up in reverse. Again, it is all about physics.

If the drive wheels are to the rear of the vehicle as it’s loaded, those wheels are pushing the load rather than pulling it. This creates a natural pivot point over the axle. Too steep an incline or too much power to the engine could flip the vehicle backward. On the other hand, it’s impossible to flip backward if the power wheels are in the front.

4. Make Sure Ramps Are Tightly Secured

Even keeping the drive wheels to the front of the load doesn’t eliminate all risk of tipping over. There is a point just after the drive wheels reach the deck where the entire setup is inherently unstable. If ramps are not securely fastened to the back of the trailer, they could slip away and send the load crashing to the ground.

Always make sure your loading ramps are properly secured before you begin loading. What’s more, don’t cut corners here. Loading ramps come with fittings and pins for this very reason – use them for their intended purpose.

Loading ramps are must-have tools for open deck drivers. If you own a pair, please do right by yourself and your shippers by always using them safely. If you need a pair, Mytee Products has what you’re looking for. We carry a complete line of loading ramps and accessories.


Electric Fencing: When You Need a Fence Fast and Cheap

Imagine owning a herd of bison and suddenly learning they would have to be moved to a new piece of land. You buy the land, but then what? You have to build fencing to keep the bison in. That’s just what restaurant owner Connie Hale experienced earlier this year.

Hale keeps a herd of bison but due to a change in rent, she quickly had to buy a new piece of land and move her animals. Being a busy business owner didn’t leave her any time to actually work on the land, so in jumped the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and the Virginia Tech Department of Agriculture.

They immediately went to work to build an electric fence covering a large enough area to contain the animals. Once that fence was done, they began working on the rest of the property.

Connie Hale’s story is not all that unique. Both large cattle ranchers and hobby owners can find themselves in a world of hurt if they need a new fencing solution quickly. Thank goodness for electric fencing. With the right supplies and a little bit of time, you can put up a good electric fence fairly quickly.

Benefits of Electric Fencing

Why would someone choose electric fencing over traditional barbed wire? Because electric fences are better. There’s just no two ways about it. Check out the following advantages of electric over its barbed wire cousin:

Speed – There is no question that you can put up an electric fence faster than a barbed wire fence. You do not need nearly as many posts, the posts don’t have to be driven in so deeply, and you’re not fumbling with cumbersome rolls of wire.

Expense – The costs of electrified fencing have come down quite a bit in recent years. Again, it comes down to the number of posts you need. Fewer posts means a lower overall cost. Electrified fencing rope is also cheaper than barbed wire.

Safety – Barbed wire is not necessarily the safest for ranch animals. Barbed wire is sharp and painful to make contact with. By comparison, electrified fencing is very safe. Any animal touching an electrified fence receives a minor but very effective shock.

Maintenance – Electric fences are a lot easier to maintain. You can easily change out sections of damaged wire with very little effort. And as long as you make sure your energizers are kept in good working order, you will not have to worry about the effectiveness of your fence.

 

Electric Fencing can be Customized

Another great benefit of electrified fencing is that it is easily customized. Take the case of Norm and Donna Ward of Alberta, Canada for example. The two veteran ranchers own quite a bit of land in Canada’s heartland on which they raise beef cattle.

Due to the Ward’s philosophy of sustainable ranching practices, they are constantly rotating their grazing fields. But rather than dividing up the ranch into a bunch of smaller parcels, Norm decided it was better to come up with a customized fencing solution that allowed him to move his fences as needed.

He came up with the prefect tool by building a specialized trailer for carrying his posts and fencing wire. The trailer is pulled with a tractor or truck, reeling out the fence as he goes. He says he can fence an entire quarter section in less than 3 hours.

Electrified fencing is fast, cheap, and extremely easy to deploy. It is the obvious choice regardless of the size of your land or the scope of your operation.