- How To: Secure a Loading Ramp to Your Vehicle
Safety is serious business when it comes to using your ramps to load a motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile or lawn tractor into your pickup truck or onto a trailer. You may be tempted to skip the critical step of securing those ramps before loading or unloading your equipment, but the few minutes it takes can be the difference between a happy, carefree day of riding off into the sunset and costly damage or – worse yet – suffering personal injury.
The risk is that a non-secured ramp may pull away from the truck bed or trailer on which it is resting during the loading process. If an ATV’s rear tires begin to spin while the front tires are already in the pickup bed, the loose ramps can potentially shoot out from underneath, flipping the ATV backwards and landing on the driver.
A quality ramp system typically includes some type of securing devices, whether they are anti-kickback straps, wire cables or pins. Regardless of the form, you should always hook up the provided safety devices each and every time the motorcycle ramps are used, without exception.
Hooking Up Safety Straps to a Ramp
Step 1: After positioning the ramps on the lip of the tailgate or trailer the proper distance apart, locate the point of the ramp where the second rung closest to the tailgate and the center rail meet. Feed the hook end of the safety strap though the strap’s looped end, so the strap is wrapped around the center rail below the second rung.
Step 2: Pull the hook end of the strap to cinch the loop end, making sure it is tight to the main rail of the ramp.
Step 3: Locate a secure spot underneath the vehicle, such as the inside of the bumper or the receiver hitch, and attach the hook end of the strap. Make sure to attach the strap to a metal area only, since any plastic construction, such as the bumpers on some vehicles, will not hold it securely and may cause damage to the vehicle.
Pull the loose end of the strap until it is tight and the ramp feels stable and secure. Make sure the ramp cannot move backward, retightening the safety strap if necessary. You are now ready to slowly
load your machinery!
Hooking Up Steel Cables to a Ramp
Step 1: Place the lip of the ramp on the tailgate or trailer. Loosen the nuts on the safety cable’s U-bolt, and adjust the length of the cable so it reaches the underside of the vehicle’s bumper or hitch.
Step 2: Attach the S-hook end of the cable to the bumper, receiver hitch or other metal area. Do not hook the cable to the bumper if it is constructed of plastic, as it may cause damage to the vehicle.
Step 3: Make sure the lip or fingers of the ramp are completely on the tailgate or trailer, and pull the cable tight to remove all slack. Tighten the nuts securely. If the lip of the ramp can be pulled away from the edge of the tailgate, go back and retighten the slack in the cable and then the nuts as well. You are now ready to slowly load your machinery!
If, during the process of attaching safety straps to your motorcycle or snowmobile ramps, you have any questions, never hesitate to contact the ramp manufacturer or dealer. A reputable company will always take the time to make sure you are satisfied and using the product properly.
NOTE: All ramps need to be secured to the vehicle or trailer when being used! Follow these instructions as outlined and verify the ramps are properly secured before loading and unloading equipment. Never use damaged straps or cables, and, if loading onto a tailgate, check the tailgate cables for any existing damage to prevent tailgate failure.
By using a ramp safety device like straps or cables, your loading will be safe, efficient and have a happy ending.