Whether you’re an avid ATV rider, a motorbike nut, or a typical outdoor sports enthusiast, chances are you have a great need for loading ramps, and you’ve probably transported your gear, including your motorbike or ATV, from one location to another using a pickup truck or a trailer. The bottom line is, without the right loading ramp and pick up truck bed extender, transporting motorcycles, ATVs, or even a motorized lawnmower is not only a challenge; they present a number of safety concerns as well.
Loading ramps come in a variety of shapes, designs, and sizes. There are pickup bed accessories and ramps that are designed only for loading motorcycles, there are snowmobile ramps, and there are those that are constructed to handle almost any 2- or 4-wheeled outdoor sports vehicles, including snowmobiles. All the user has to do is adjust the ramp to accommodate the type of equipment he is trying to load up to a truck or trailer.
One of the most popular types of ramps used by avid bikers and ATV riders are aluminum type loading ramps. Aluminum loading ramps for motorcycles and ATVs provide several advantages, such as portability and strength. They are lightweight, sturdy, and rather easy to maneuver. Because aluminum can easily be molded and transformed into virtually any shape or design while retaining its strength and lightweight characteristics, it is the perfect material to use for loading ramps and other pickup truck and trailer accessories.
Choosing the Right Loading Ramp to Accommodate Your Needs
When choosing a loading ramp, the first thing you need to consider is its weight-bearing capacity. Not all loading ramps are created equal. Some ramps are only capable of handling trolleys and carts, while others are designed to withstand bigger cargos like cars and SUVs. And since a motorcycle or ATV ramp is what you need, you will want to find a ramp that can more than handle the weight of a motorcycle or a quad, with ample weight allowance, of course, of the person who’s going to be doing the loading.
Consider the weight of the ATV or bike, then factor in the average weight of the person loading the equipment, as well as any accessories attached to the sports bike or quad. If you add all those up, you will have a clear idea of how much weight capacity you need from the loading ramp. And it’s quite obvious that a pair of two by fours just won’t cut it.
With the minimum weight capacity in mind, you can start choosing styles, features, and designs of the various types of ramps available. If you travel quite frequently, from your home to the motorcycle or ATV trail where you and your buddies often ride, a nice folding ramp is a good option for you. It makes for a secure and easy storage. Most rigid loading ramps are too long for the pickup truck bed. You often end up transporting your equipment with the tailgate down.
Some aluminum loading ramps, however, have a bed extender feature where the ramp itself is securely attached to a truck bed extender. And once the bike or ATV is safely loaded on the truck, the ramp doubles as a nice and tight aluminum tailgate. The best part about this particular design is that you don’t have to remove and reinstall the bed extender and ramp every time you want to go out and ride your quad or motorbike. You can just fold the ramp neatly and securely on the truck bed.
Another design that you’ll want to consider is an arched loading ramp. The arched design keeps the rider from bottoming out while loading the motorcycle or quad onto the truck bed, thus minimizing the risk for accidents and injuries. And since arched loading ramps are also available in a folding design, storage and transportation are still rather easy and convenient.
Loading Ramp Safety Tips to Remember
Just because you’re a seasoned rider doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from accidents, especially while loading equipment to a trailer or truck. Believe it or not, many motorcycle or ATV accidents don’t actually occur on the trail. Some accidents happen during the loading and unloading process, before the tires of the quad even touch the dirt. This is because of unsafe loading/unloading practices. To make sure that you continue to enjoy the sport you love, consider these loading ramp safety tips:
• Check and Double-Check Attachments – Before you start hauling heavy equipment onto the truck bed or trailer, be sure to carefully check all attachments and that every nut, bolt, and lock are tight and securely fastened. You don’t want the thing crashing down on you halfway up the ramp.
• Keep the Angle Low – Keep the angle of the ramp as low as possible. The lower the incline, the safer and easier it will be to load your motorcycle or quad onto the pickup truck. To do this, you have to make sure that the loading ramp is long enough in relation to the height of the truck bed so that it forms a fairly low angle between the ground and the bed. If the ramp is too short, the angle will be too steep for you to safely maneuver your bike over the ramp and onto the bed of the truck.
• Take It Slow and Easy – Even though you can barely contain your excitement to get on your quad or try out your new motorcycle on your favorite trail, you should always remember to take things slow and easy while you’re loading/unloading your ride. Focus on the process before you start thinking about anything else.
• Be Mindful of the Numbers – No matter what you are trying to load onto your truck or trailer, always remember to consider the weight of the equipment and the weight capacity of the ramp you are using. If you bought a pre-owned loading ramp, be sure to ask the previous owner or the person you bought it from about the weight capacity of the ramp.
When you are in the market for a new or slightly used loading ramp, remember that safety should always come first. Consider the most important factors like weight capacity, construction quality, and material used before anything else. Safety should begin at the loading/unloading process and not at the start of the trail.
Check out how you can utilize the Shark Kage for your events in this video below.