An overview of yard ramps
A yard ramp which is many a time also referred to as a mobile yard ramp or container ramp is a movable metal ramp that is used for the purpose of loading and unloading of transportation containers and automobile trailers, without having the need for permanent docking bays.
Below is some information about yard ramps and its features.
How are yard ramps designed?
- Sometimes aluminum is used in the making of a yard ramp; however, despite the fact that this has weight advantages, commonly, their costs are much higher than their steel equivalents.
- Hence, most yard ramps are constructed from welded steel unless there are such conditions wherein aluminum needs to be used.
- There are a variety of alternatives available for the decking material as it is required to be both tough and non-slippery in various operating situations.
- The elementary layout of a yard ramp is with an inclined section of about 29’6″ in length and 7’5″ in width. This is accompanied by a flat approach section of about 8’3″ in length on the top with a lip to enter the truck or the container that is being loaded or unloaded.
- There are safety rails available on both the sides of the ramps to prevent forklifts from riding over the edges.
- The yard ramp is held up on an undercarriage or adjustable legs, outfitted with wheels that are used for moving the yard ramps around.
What are some important points to remember about a standard yard ramp?
- It is strongly suggested to use a “full width” yard ramp that is the width of a container for the total length of the ramp.
- The industry standard capacity of the ramp is rated at 22,000 lbs. Some manufacturers produce a light-duty 15,000 lbs models while others produce heavy-duty 26,000 lbs, 33,000 lbs, or even heavier than that models, depending on the customer’s requirements.
- In order to insert the load as parallel as possible to the floor of the truck or vehicle, the level of the section that is at the upper side of the yard ramp is required
- The working height of mobile yard ramps should be adjustable so as to suit the varying vehicle bed heights.
- A yard ramp with a fully mobile design and conveniently operated tow mechanism allows it to move quickly and easily into position on the vehicle.
How to select the right yard ramp?
- Capacity or rated load– The rated capacity of the ramp should always be more than the total moving load. If there are any probabilities of changes to operations, it is always better to over-specify than to under-specify.
- The frequency of use– Frequency of usage should also be considered because high-frequency usage can cause damage to the light-duty ramps, which are only designed for occasional use.
- The load to be moved– The ramp must limit on the movement of the load sizes required.
- Usable width– This is typically full vehicle width that will allow straight access into the vehicle without having the need for repositioning at the top of the ramp.
- Height range– The maximum inclination of a yard ramp that is suggested is 7 degrees or 1 in 8 while some yard ramps are even capable of raising beyond this angle.
- The type of fork truck– It is also essential to check the trucks to be used, whether they are capable of running safely on the incline at which the yard ramp will be working at and there are no under clearance problems.
- Yard surface– If the ramp is to be regularly used across rough or stony surfaces or at high speeds then rather than using inexpensive solid tires, it is preferable to fit the ramp with conventional pneumatic tires.
What are the safety instructions for using a yard ramp?
When using a heavy equipment like a yard ramp, it is crucial to understand as well as utilize some safety features. Ensuring to use the right safety protocol can make the difference between a complete disaster and smooth day-to-day operations. Below are some best practices to follow when it comes to yard ramp safety:
- Opting for a steel serrated grating is an ideal choice and it offers the best traction.
- As opposed to aluminum, an all steel structure is the best option. Steel provides long-lasting reliability and the best durability.
- For safe, easy, and a smooth transitioning on and off the ramp, front and back approach plates are used. It is recommended to opt for solid steel diamond plates as they offer maximum security and strength.
- On every yard ramp, there should be embedded safety chains as they are important and necessary for securing the stays in place while in use.
- Strength and protection from accidental run-off when ascending the ramp is provided by thick steel channels.
- For creating a safe, leveled, and an easy approach to the elevated surface of a yard ramp, yielding level-off is a must. The level off is recommended to be 6 feet long and must be in complete level with the ground.