When you look at a yard ramp from the side, you notice its design and structure is similar to a bridge. One end of the yard ramp rests on the floor of a semi truck trailer while the opposite end sits on the ground, forming a bridge between the two uneven height surfaces.
Bridges, like yard ramps, are often made from metal, including alloys like steel. Steel forklift ramps can hold more capacity than aluminum and are less expensive; however aluminum yard ramps are more appropriate for use with flammable materials. Steel ramps may create a spark where an all aluminum ramp will not.
In the world of yard ramps, the main structural differences in the ramp are the straight forklift yard ramp and the straight with level off. The straight ramp is used at loading docks, whereas the level off ramp is used with semi tractor trailers. Straight ramps have an incline of 30 feet. Level off forklift ramps have an incline of 30 feet and then levels off for the last 6 feet entering the trailer. Other structural elements are the girders and the grating. The girders bear the load of the ramp and are welded together. The grating provides traction and prevents debris from accumulating.
Forklift yard ramps must be sized to carry three times the lifting capacity of the forklift.
Yard ramps have what we call in the business, “landing gear” which refers to the wheels that support the ramp when not in use. Landing gear can operate manually or hydraulically, and is important in landing the top edge of the yard ramp onto the loading dock or semi tractor trailer. The landing gear helps to adjust for the height of the lip of the ramp in order to engage with the trailer. The wheels of the landing gear allow the forklift to move the yard ramp in/out of the trailer.
Pick a Design that Goes with Your Application
Yard ramps come in different types of designs. In considering a yard ramp purchase a customer should look at the design elements to determine what works best for their application. Yard ramps are a big investment and one that you’ll want to make an informed decision about.
For more information about forklift yard ramps call us at 1-800-876-RAMP.
Having been a Handi-Ramp team member since early 2003, I have come to learn about the products current and potential customers care about, and work with them on the details so they have a clear understanding of what they are ordering. Connect with Chris on Google+