Ripping down the trails and carving through fresh powder is every snowmobiler's dream, but before you can spend your days riding, you'll need to make sure you can safely and securely transport your snowmobile to the area you’ll be using it in. If you’re a pickup truck owner, all it takes are the right ramps and a little know-how to get you and your snowmobile on the road this winter.
Picking the right ramps
Unlike the ramps you might use to load dirt bikes or ATVs into your truck, the ramps required for snowmobiles are slightly different: they need to support both the track and the skis. What this means is that the ramp you're using must provide enough grip for the track to propel the snowmobile up the incline, while also offering ski guides for the skis to slide up.
Discount Ramps takes the guesswork out of loading a wide variety of snowmobile makes and models by providing a full inventory of snowmobile ramps on our website, along with helper components for added safety, such as ramp extension pieces:
- Snowmobile ramp extension pieces are highly recommended when loading a snowmobile because they provide a sturdy foundation for the track to grip from the start, before the skis hit the ramp. If you’re trying to load from a slippery surface or pavement without this extension, the track could start spinning as you throttle up, ending with you launching your snowmobile into the cab of your truck!
Securing your ramps in place
Now, regardless of what type of snowmobile loading ramp system you pick, securing the ramps to the bed of your pickup truck is priority number one. If the ramps are not secured to your truck, the end of the ramp could slide off of it as you're driving up, leading to you and your sled crashing to the ground. Thankfully, securing the ramp can be easy and quick:
- Using a tie down strap for each individual ramp, securely connect the opposite end to the truck via a stable metal component, like a trailer hitch safety chain hook. Do not attach your tie down straps to anything plastic and make sure the connection points are directly behind the ramps; or they could cause the ramps to pull in that direction.
- By installing an Alumi-Loc Ramp Attaching System to the tailgate of your pickup truck, you'll be able to quickly attach and detach a number of ramps. The Alumi-Loc design provides a channel for ramps to lock into, preventing shifting or wiggling when a ramp is in place for maximum safety at all times. Because of the security of this system, tie down straps aren't necessary when securing the ramp to the tailgate.
Loading the snowmobile
With the right ramp system in place and secure, you can focus on the safe loading of your snowmobile into the bed of your pickup! A couple of quick reminders first:
- Position your snowmobile in front of the ramp and make sure everything lines up and is properly spaced out. This will minimize the risk of your track or skis running off the side of the ramps as you're throttling into the pickup bed.
- Always drive the snowmobile front-first into the bed of the truck; never back it in. This will reduce the risk of any damage to the snowmobile's windshield while you’re on the road.
- If your snowmobile has a studded track, make sure you’re using an appropriate ramp. DiscountRamps.com's ramps are not recommended for use with studded tracks.
Ready to load your snowmobile? If so, approach your ramp like you would a small hill, being careful not to overpower your approach and send your snowmobile flying into the bed of your pickup! If your ramps are solid and your approach is coordinated, you should have no problem getting up into your truck safely. And remember, once it's in there, be sure to secure it with tie-down straps before you hit the road!
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