How to Load a Golf Cart into a Truck
Due to their overall size and dimensions, loading a golf cart into a pickup is a task that requires precision and the right resources to be achieved safely. By following the steps outlined below you'll be able to select the right ramp and equipment to do the job and safely load and unload your golf cart.
Determine if your pickup is up to the task
Loading a golf cart into the bed of a pickup that can’t support it is extremely dangerous. It’s important that before any actual loading is done you make sure your pickup is up to the task of hauling the golf cart. Here are the variables you need to take into account:
- Bed length and width: Measure the bed of your pickup by taking width and length measurements at the floor. Compare these measurements to the width and length of your golf cart to make sure the golf cart will fit comfortably.
- Weight Capacity: Making sure your truck can handle the payload of your golf cart is another critical task before any loading is done. This is simply done by checking the owner's manuals for both the truck and the cart—the truck’s manual will give you the maximum payload capacity, while the cart’s manual will give you its standalone weight. If towing a trailer, remember that the towing capacity will be reduced by the added weight of the cart.
- Tailgate Considerations: If the fit and weight are right for hauling, the last thing left to consider is your truck’s tailgate. Check to see if you’ll be able to close the tailgate with the cart loaded and if not, make preparations to safely drive with the tailgate down. If the loaded cart rests on the tailgate, it can stress the tailgate and support straps, which might require additional supports such as tailgate supports. Finally, if you’re comfortable doing so, consider backing the cart into the bed of your truck to reduce the amount of weight resting on the tailgate.
Choose the right ramps
Choosing a reliable ramp and understanding how to properly use it is far and above the simplest and best option for safely loading a golf cart into the bed of your pickup. Take a look at the considerations you should have in mind when choosing a ramp:
- Capacity: Golf carts are imbalanced utility vehicles, meaning it’s necessary to check the axle weights before you make any choices regarding a ramp. A ramp’s capacity is based upon two axles with equally distributed loads, so taking the total weight of the golf cart at face value will likely lead to ramps that don’t measure up to your needs. As a reliable one size fits all solution, DiscountRamps.com recommends 3,000-lb capacity ramps as the appropriate option for most two-man golf carts. Also, make sure to factor in the weight of the person driving the cart into and out of your pickup’s bed!
- Offset wheels: If your golf cart has offset wheels, it’s important to factor this in to your ramp placement—ramps need to be wide enough to accommodate the different distances between the front two wheels and the back two.
- Ground clearance and wheelbase: Many golf carts have low ground clearance (under 4") and a relatively long wheelbase (98" plus), which makes them prone to bottoming out at the crest when using straight ramps. As a solution to this issue, DiscountRamps.com suggests using arched ramps.
- Load Height: As with any ramp application, the distance from the ground to the trailer or truck bed impacts the overall length of the ramp you’ll need—the greater the load height, the longer the ramp should be. DiscountRamps.com has a load height calculator below to help you determine the correct ramp length you’ll need for a safe load.
If you’re unsure of what types of ramps you’ll need to get the job done or can’t wrap your head around all of these variables, DiscountRamps.com recommends a heavy-duty capacity ramp as a plug-and-play solution—especially one with a punch plate design, which is better than the rungs of many ATV or UTV ramps when it comes to handling the smaller wheels of golf carts.
And, don’t forget that a DiscountRamps.com sales representative is only a phone call away if you need help choosing the appropriate ramp—just give us a call at 888-651-3431!
Load it up
If your pickup passes the test and you obtain the right ramps, the only thing left to do is get the golf cart in the truck! Here’s how to get it done quickly, smoothly and safely:
- Park the truck in a flat area or with the tailgate facing a slight incline, which can reduce the steepness of the loading angle by bringing the feet of the ramps up. Also, don’t forget to set the parking brake on the truck!
- Unfold the ramps and place the finger or plate edges on the edge of the tailgate.
- Use tie-down straps to secure the ramps to the truck via the bumper (steel bumpers only) or trailer hitch safety chain loops.
- Drive the golf cart carefully and confidently up the ramps into the bed of the truck.
- Set the golf cart's parking brake and tie it down. Tie-down strap placement will depend on the type of cart and pickup. Be sure to use only quality tie down straps, like the ones offered by DiscountRamps.com.
- If your cart allows for it, remove the roof. Golf cart roofs are not designed to withstand the wind speeds that the open road can generate, so it’s best to remove it entirely to prevent any damage or accidents.
- Stop periodically to ensure that your tie-down straps have not loosened and that the cart remains securely in place.
And there you have it! By following the pre-checks closely, purchasing the appropriate ramps and taking care to load your golf cart correctly, you should have no problem securing it for transport.
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