- 1 How to Transport your ATV or UTV With a Ramp
- 2 What types of ramps can I buy?
How to Transport your ATV or UTV With a Ramp
Whether you are headed toward your favorite fishing or hunting ground, or you are traveling to a new location for adventure, safely transporting your UTV or ATV plays a crucial role in the level of experience you’ll have.
When transporting your side by side vehicle, you have two options; you can either use a trailer or traditional ramps. Of course, your choice will largely depend on the type of vehicle you’ll be loading as well as the size and type of your loading truck.
Truck-load ramps have immensely revolutionized the UTV/ATV market by offering the easier, safer, and more efficient option, allowing you to effortlessly transport your UTV and gear from one location to another.
UTV ATV ramps boast numerous advantages over their trailer counterparts. They are not only easy to store, require very little maintenance, are DOT approved, but also guarantee a high level of convenience because they can safely load, unload, and transport UTV ATVs of up to 1,400 pounds.
What’s more, they provide more room for extra cargo in your truck bed and don’t suffer from any terrain-related limitations.
Regardless of your level of experience, the prospect of loading and unloading your ATV/UTV using truck-load ramps is always going to be a daunting and intimidating task. And without proper safety gear and adequate knowledge, you may not be able to safely load and transport your ATV.
However, loading UTV/ATV ramps shouldn’t be an impossible task! If you are currently seeking to transport your all-terrain vehicle, you are in the right place. We are going to provide relevant and accurate answers to your loading UTV/ATV-related queries. So, peruse the article and get to know.
How do you load a UTV/ATV with a ramp?
As we have earlier mentioned, loading a piece of heavy equipment such as your utility task vecle and an all-terrain vehicle can be challenging and dangerous at the same time.
First and foremost, you’ll start with your overall safety. After all, loading a 500-1,400-pound all-terrain vehicle onto a piece of metal can be overly dangerous. So, to minimize this type of danger, you’ll need to equip yourself with the necessary safety gear.
To free yourself from any sort of danger, follow these simple and effective steps:
- Always ensure everything is properly secured before driving your UTV or ATV onto the truck-load ramps.
- Purchase the recommended ramps depending on the height of your vehicle.
- The incline of the ramps should be as shallow as possible.
- Always ensure the ramps are correctly centered and balanced on the truck.
- Never exceed the recommended weight capacity of the ramps. The best UTV ATV ramp shouldn’t strain accommodating the weight of a standard off-road four-wheeler.
You’ll also have to equip yourself with the right tools and equipment including:
- Loading vehicle: You must have a van, truck, or even a trailer depending on the size of your off-road vehicle.
- Safety straps: These are very useful because they will keep the ramps secure to the pickup truck and prevent your vehicle from sliding off the truck.
- Loading ramps: These are what you are going to use to support the weight of your vehicle as you load and unload your UTV. You should use ramps that can support your vehicle’s overall weight. There are a lot of options to choose from, including single ramps, dual-runner ramps, trifold or heavy-duty ramps that offer optimal results.
Step one: Getting everything ready:
- Park the loading truck, whether it is a truck or van onto a flat surface free from bumps. Also, make sure that both your all-terrain vehicle and loading truck are at the same ground level.
- Move your UTV/ATV to the rear of the loading truck, ensuring there is enough space for the ramps.
- If you are using folding ramps, unfold them before you proceed.
Step two: Put the ramps into position:
It is important to properly position the ramps because this will affect how the weight of your ATV/UTV is going to be distributed. Start by placing the ramps onto the edge of the loading truck or van.
Many ramps feature simple tabs on the edge to help keep the plate top in place. If you are using curved truck-load ramps, ensure the arch is pointing upward. On the other hand, if you are using straight loading ramps, ensure the tabs are pointing upward.
I’d recommend using tri-fold ramps simply because they provide arguably the biggest surface area between the side rails on the ramp’s edges.
If you’ll be positioning your UTV in the rear beforehand, you should try matching the ramps with the spacing of the wheels of the loading truck. Position your all-terrain or utility task vehicle so the front tires are as close to the ramps as possible.
Step three: Securing the ramps:
After putting the ramps into position, you’ll now proceed to the next step which is securing the ramps. A significant number of ramps are designed to sit on the edge of the truck or van, implying that it is extremely important to tighten them up for enhanced safety.
By securing the ramps, you would be preventing them from falling off the truck. What’s more, it helps prevent your ATV from crashing. We are going to show you how to correctly secure the ramps later.
Step four: Loading your ATV/UTV:
After you have successfully positioned and secured the ramps, it is now the time to load your vehicle onto the truck, which is arguably the most difficult step. Follow the below procedures for a successful loading process.
- Carefully drive your utility task or all-terrain vehicle to the base of the ramps, ensuring the wheels are perfectly aligned with the ramps. And if in any case, the ramps aren’t in proper alignment, you should consider undoing the straps and reposition the once again.
- Move your UTV onto the ramps and drive carefully and slowly. As a rule of thumb, avoid driving and stopping on the ramps. If you didn’t know, you should maintain your movement to help prevent your all-terrain vehicle from flipping over. It is also worth noting that driving at relatively high speeds will put more force on your ramps thereby increasing the chance of damage to either your loading truck or the ramps themselves.
- Secure your utility task vehicle into position. Use either cables or straps to safely tie-down the ramps as well as your ATV into position. Check if every single strap is tightly secured.
Step five: Remove the ramps:
Now that the ramps have enabled you to safely load your utility vehicle, you can remove them at this point. This is a fairly easy step that you should complete within a few minutes. After removing the ramps, you must store them somewhere on your loading truck because you’ll still need them during your return trip.
How do you secure a loading ramp?
Loading objects is made easier, safer and more efficient through the use of the appropriate loading ramp. However, you’ll still have to get it right otherwise you risk getting injured or damaging both the ramp and your utility task vehicle.
When hooking up a ramp to your ATV, securing the loading ramp is arguably the most important task.
Securing the truck loading ramp to the truck will make a significant difference when it comes to your overall safety. This is why you want to secure the loading ramp using a chain, safety straps or hooks just to ensure it stays in place as you try to load our UTV onto the truck.
Thankfully, nearly every loading ramp out there comes equipped with safety straps that you should use to secure the ramps.
If you have never loaded a ramp to a vehicle, kindly follow the steps outlined below:
- Feed Hook End: After you have placed the ramps on the lip of the ruck, identify the point of the ramp where the second rung closest to the center rail and the tailgate traverse. Feed the hook end of the strap via the strap’s loop end, ensuring the strap is wrapped around the center rail beneath the second rung.
- Pull hook end: After this, pull the strap’s hook end to clinch the loop end while ensuring it is adequately tightened to the ramp’s main rail.
- Attach the strap’s hook end: Proceed by identifying a secure place below your truck, such as the receiver hitch and attach the hook end of your strap. Ensure that you connect the strap to a metal area only. This is because weaker points that feature plastic construction will not be able to strongly hold it into position. What’s more, securing the straps onto your truck’s weaker spots could easily cause damage to the vehicle itself.
- Pool loose end of the strap: For optimal safety and support, pull the loose end of the strap, ensuring it is tight as much as possible and that the ramp feels secure and stable. Also, you’ll have to ensure the safety strap can’t move forward and you should consider retightening it if need be. At this point, you may now load your UTV/ATV onto the truck!
How do you use truckload ramps?
Using load ramps to move bulky objects into a trailer or truck is very easy and offers numerous advantages. However, driving the UTV/ATV up the loading ramp should be carried out perfectly not only to ensure the process is a success, but to reduce all the associated risks as well.
If you were not aware, loading ramps come with their fair share of risks that should be mitigated accordingly.
Below are some practical and straightforward tips that you need to take into consideration when driving your utility task vehicle or all-terrain vehicle up a loading ramp.
- Proper positioning is key: The wheels of your side-by-side vehicle should be lined up with the center of the truck, and it should be perfectly straight.
- Take note of the center line: The ramp should be positioned in such a way that it is lined up with your UTV’s tires. If you fail to get this right, then you run the risk of your ramps tipping, implying that you’ll have to drive your UTV clean off the side.
- Keep the ramp angle as low as possible: The steeper the ramp, the higher the chance of an accident! If possible, consider parking the loading truck on a fairly lower surface so that the ramp will be fairly level. By keeping the angle of the ramp as low as possible, you are not only making your access into the loading truck easier, but equally ensuring the very little throttle will be required when loading your side-by-side vehicle.
- Consider putting additional blocks at the back of the truck: Heavy UTV/ATV cars can potentially cause the back of a truck to bottom out on loading. This is not only bad news for both the truck and your utility task vehicle but can also result in a tricky situation that could easily send your load stumbling off the ramps. Thankfully, you can avoid this by placing some blocks underneath the truck’s rear bumper structure. This will ensure the truck remains in a stable condition throughout the entire loading process. Besides, make sure the loading surface is strong and hard enough to bar the blocks from sinking under the load weight.
- Don’t fall off the side of the loading ramp: There is also the danger of you slipping off the ramp. You can solve this particular problem by using a ramp featuring a surface specifically designed for enhanced traction. Also, never drive up a wet ramp!
- Adjust the safety chains accordingly: If the safety chains connecting the ramp to the loading truck are excessively long, the ramp will likely sag, creating a gap between the truck and the ramp.
How do I stop my ramps from sliding?
Most UTV/ ATV ramps come equipped with a special surface on their base for enhanced floor grip. However, despite being designed to offer the effective gripping ability, loading ramps can sometimes slide over the surface.
For instance, if you are at a place that has smooth concrete flooring, it may be somehow difficult to prevent the ramps from slipping forward as you drive up onto them.
There are some simple solutions to this particular problem. For instance, you may consider placing a rubber carpet or an old towel under your ramp, allowing your car to run over them first just to give it enough grip to ensure it doesn’t slide forward.
You can also prevent them from sliding by mounting them on a long piece of wood, ensuring that your wheels are on the plywood as you drive up the ramp. This will guarantee enhanced gripping ability. You can also consider attaching wooden corks to the floor using concrete bolts.
How long should truck ramps be?
It is imperative to note that the load height of your loading truck is the most important factor to take into account when considering the length of your ramp.
In terms of the recommended length of your chosen ramp, a significant number of TUV-certified truck loading ramps are manufactured, tested and built at a 30% (16.5 degrees) loading gradient to ensure safe loading and unloading.
It has been proven that using a loading ramp at the wrong height and angle can be extremely dangerous.
For a ramp to be at this recommended gradient, a specific length must correspond to a specific height (loading height). This will ensure that the foot end of the ramp sits fairly flat on the ground when in use.
This not only enhances the life expectancy of the ramp, boosts your overall safety, but also makes for smoother and hitch-free loading.
To determine the right length of your UTV/ATV loading ramp, simply multiply the load height of your truck by 3.3. For instance, if your truck’s height is 450 mm, you should use a ramp that is around 1500 mm long.
While side-by-side vehicles offer numerous advantages over their ATV counterparts, the sad truth is that most of them will never fit in a pickup bed.
It is also important to note that most model trucks will only fit a 48-inch wide UTV, which are smaller sports models. Also, there are very few bigger trucks that will handle a few adult UTV models requiring extra equipment.
However, this doesn’t entirely imply that you won’t be able to use your truck to transport your side-by-side vehicle. You can consider getting a transport trailer and attach it to your truck’s tow hitch, load up your side-by-side and off you go!
The next option would be to use a truck rack. If you didn’t know, a truck rack refers to a frame that you attach to your truck’s bed and offers you the kind of space required to fit your side by side.
To be more precise, these racks enable you to safely drive the front wheels of your UTV up over the truck’s cab and keep the rear wheels in the truck’s bed. However, this will only work if your truck has adequate width.
Are load truck ramps safe?
Provided they are used appropriately by taking into consideration all the recommended safety precautions, these vital pieces of equipment guarantee a safe, easier and effective way to load your ATV onto the truck.
One of the most important safety requirements is ensuring that the type of ramps you are using is certified to support your vehicle. Always feel free to seek professional assistance when you in doubt of anything.
Can I load my ATV on my own?
Of course, you may technically be able to do this, but it can be very dangerous doing so. It is highly recommended that you have someone else to help you to carry out the whole process.
What types of ramps can I buy?
Loading ramps for side-by-side and ATVs are available in a wide range of styles. They are mostly made using either steel or aluminum. While steel ramps are relatively stronger, resilient and often much more affordable, they tend to be heavier and more prone to rusting.
On the other hand, aluminum ramps are not only easier to maneuver, but are also fairly more resistant to corrosion.
In terms of styles, these options are available:
- Bi-fold ramps: these are very simple loading ramps that will fold in half lengthwise for easy transport and storage. Though they can support four-wheelers, they can be too narrow for side-by-sides.
- Dual runner ramps: These are arguably the most commonly used UTV/ATV ramps. They feature two separate ramps and offer unrivaled versatility as they can be used to load a range of off-road vehicles. They also have a somewhat greater load capacity. However, they are quite difficult to set up.
- Tri-fold ramps: These are single ramps with the ability to fold three times lengthwise and tend to offer increased loading diameter. However, they are relatively heavier and more difficult to maneuver compared to their dual runner and bi-fold ramp counterparts.