We’ve all seen those epic fail videos online; videos showing people doing some pretty silly things. You don’t want to be included in that group when you are using trailer loading ramps. So learn how to use your ramps correctly. Otherwise, you could find yourself appearing in a viral video.
For the record, trailer loading ramps take advantage of a few key laws of physics that make it possible to get heavy loads up onto a trailer without having to use a lift boom. Those laws can be just as much your enemy as your friend. It pays to know how physics relates to the ramps you are using and the load they will carry.
Things to Remember When Loading Ramps
Let’s take a look at five most important things to consider when loading ramps.
1. Securing Ramps
The trailer ramps we sell are designed to be used with an aluminum skid seat and a locking rod. The reason here should be obvious: ramps need to be secured in place before any loading begins. Insecure ramps are almost guaranteed to fall away from the back of a trailer.
Before securing ramps, check to make sure the skid seat and locking rod are in good working condition. Any abnormalities that even look like they might compromise skid seat integrity should be dealt with before loading begins.
2. Loading at too Steep an Angle
The laws of physics dictate that less force is needed to move a load the lower the angle of ascent. As such, avoid the temptation of trying to load at too steep an angle. If the angle of load is too high for a particular job, either use longer ramps or find a higher surface you can use as an intermediate step in the loading process. If neither are possible, another method of loading will have to be considered.
3. Check Clearance
Clearance is a big issue when loading heavy equipment onto flatbed trailers. The clearance we are talking about is the clearance that exists between the bottom of the load and the top edge of the flatbed. A lack of sufficient clearance could mean a load gets stuck half-way on to the trailer, creating a potentially dangerous situation.
The way around clearance issues is to use ramps with arches built in. The arches lift the back of the load as it approaches the trailer, solving the problem of limited clearance.
4. Control Speed
Moving a load up a set of ramps too quickly is a dangerous proposition. Uncontrolled speed could cause a piece of heavy equipment to veer out of control once it reaches the flatbed. It could cause the equipment to jump, subsequently leading to damage on impact with the trailer.
There are just so many things that could go wrong here. So, whatever you do, make sure to control your speed when you’re using loading ramps to load heavy equipment. It is better to go too slow than too fast.
5. Always Ask for Loading Assistance
It is better to load ramps with assistance versus going solo. Flatbed drivers should always have the help of at least two other people who can keep an eye on the ramps from either side. If you can get two more to watch the trailer as well, that’s a bonus.
Trailer loading ramps are great tools for getting loads onto flatbeds. But they have to be used with caution and according to the laws of physics.