Setting up and operating a portable yard ramp can seem straightforward, but it’s worth taking a moment to review best practices to ensure safe and efficient operation. Key aspects of safe yard ramp operation are: offloading, moving, positioning, securing, using, storing, and onloading. Yard ramps were designed to be used with forklifts, so having access to one is integral to the operation of your yard ramp.
Your new dock or yard ramp will ship on a flatbed trailer. If an overhead crane of sufficient capacity is not available, a forklift with a minimum capacity rating of 8,000 lbs can be used to unload a standard-sized yard ramp. If you have ordered a yard ramp in a custom width, length, or rated capacity, please contact your HandiRamp representative for recommendations on the required forklift capacity.
A nylon sling of at least 96″ in length is recommended. The sling may be either the “2-Eye” or “Endless” configuration. A minimum capacity of 10,000 lbs for the “basket method” of lifting is recommended.
Position both tines of the forklift as close to the center of the forklift as possible. Place the forklift forks above the ramp. Feed the sling through the side-mounted lifting lug and position one loop of the sling over each fork within 24 inches of the forklift carriage, thus creating a basket lift. Lift the yard ramp until it clears the floor of the trailer by a few inches. Move away from the trailer and lower the ramp to the ground.
The safety chains are used to secure the ramp. Two chains are located in the front of the ramp and should be chained to the dock or semi-trailer. Each chain should loop around a fixture like a bollard, and then be secured in place using the snap hook. The chains will allow for vertical movement but keep the horizontal position fixed. Attach the chains before releasing the forks and removing the ramp clamp.
Forklifts that drive over the surface of the ramp should move slowly and be driven in low gear. When forklifts are empty they should be driven with the forks up, about 12 inches off the ground.
To store the yard ramp:
Mobile yard amps are loaded on a flatbed to be shipped to their destination. One or two yard ramps can be loaded onto the flatbed. Ramps can be loaded horizontally or vertically. If loaded horizontally, only one yard ramp can be loaded. If vertically, two ramps can be loaded.
Note: These operating instructions are a general guide. Details of operating your yard ramp may vary according to the make and model of the yard ramp.