Recommended Slopes for Yard Ramps

Written by krista martin
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Recommended Slopes for Yard Ramps
Containers may have their own movable yard ramp. (container image by Marcus Scholz from Fotolia.com)

A yard ramp is a metal device that is installed on to the back of a trailer or shipping container to allow for easy loading and unloading of materials. The size and the slope of the yard ramp depend on the ramp's capacity to handle the materials that will be unloaded, as well as the height of the vehicle. Yard ramps, if used successfully, will allow for safe and quick loading and unloading, whether by hand or forklift.

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Ramp Height

Adjust the mobile ramp to the height of the vehicle bed. On average, a slope from 1 to 1.7 meters, at about a 5 to 25 degree angle, is generally used for most shipping containers. This must also take into account the height of the vehicle when it has been unloaded, as it will rise higher, compared to the height of the vehicle when it is loaded.

Safety

Do not set up the yard ramp on a slope that is too steep, as this will make it difficult for the forklift to manoeuvre up and down the ramp. It could also pose a safety hazard. Also, the forklift has to be able to turn around and collect items from a 45 degree angle, so the lower and more gradual the ramp, the better.

Ramp Supports

The yard ramp should not be raised into position until the vehicle is ready. The leading lip of the ramp must be firmly situated on the floor of the container or truck body. The yard-ramp supports are raised to fit the slope's height. The yard ramp supports will add strength to the weight of the ramp and the load that is removed.

Hydraulic Lever

Some yard ramps are operable with a small hand pump. This will allow the user to adjust the height of the slope. However, hydraulic yard ramps are often unreliable in estimating the slope and correct height. Lower the yard ramp on to solid ground only, to ensure the ramp doesn't slide or create a bigger slope and pose a safety hazard.

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