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What is a Yard Ramp? Features Explained

 Posted on: Feburary 23rd, 2021

A yard ramp is a type of specialty ramp that essentially serves as a portable loading dock. The ramp can be transported anywhere in a shipping and receiving yard to ensure forklift operators have access to trailers or shipping containers, making loading and unloading significantly easier.

Yard ramps are designed to allow users to bring their heavy equipment or loads via forklift from ground level up to the level of the loading dock or truck trailer. This means there is not a need to bring the items all the way to a permanent loading dock area. With the help of these ramps, loading and unloading can occur at any location with sufficient space for a semi-trailer truck to enter.

These ramps are also frequently used to let vehicles enter warehouses through loading dock doors. So if, for example, you’re bringing in new forklifts or other equipment into your facility, it’s much easier to use the ramp to bring it in through the loading dock than to try to find a different, accessible area to get the equipment inside.

Common Yard Ramp Features
Common Yard Ramp Features

Some of the most common features of these ramps include:

  • Steel side curbs for safety and to prevent falls off either side
  • Heavy-duty steel construction for reliable use
  • Serrated steel grating surfaces for better friction
  • Approach aprons that have been reinforced for greater stability
  • Ramps that come with or without a level off area to suit your usage needs
  • A two-speed manual crank
  • Safety chains, which help to secure the yard ramp to the trailer or dock

There are several other types of optional features you might seek out when choosing a yard ramp for your facility. A trailer stabilizing jack is highly beneficial for securing a trailer if there is not currently a tractor attached to it. This will prevent the trailer for shifting while you are loading or unloading.

You might also select special attachments for your forklift so you can easily move the yard ramp from place to place. A tow bar or ramp clamp on your forklift can help push the ramp from either the front or back.

Choosing the right yard ramp for your property

The specific type of yard ramp you choose will depend on several factors.

First, you must consider the size of your forklift. Most forklifts will measure somewhere between 48 and 86 inches. Any ramp you select should be able to accommodate the width of your forklift.

Next, consider the weight capacity. It’s not enough to make sure you have a ramp that is capable of holding up your forklift—it must also be able to hold the cargo that forklift is carrying. To be safe, it’s recommended you find a ramp with a weight capacity that is approximately three times the weight capacity of your forklift. This will ensure plenty of stability during use.

Consider also how you will be using the ramp. Will it be used for accessing semi-trailers, or will you use it at loading dock doors? If you’re going to be using the ramp to access a loading dock, you will then need to consider the height of that dock when making your selection. If you’re loading on to a trailer, you’re going to need a level off to make sure you can safely get your forklift and its cargo in and out of the vehicles.

Aluminum Portable Modular Yard Ramp System
Aluminum Portable Modular Yard Ramp System

Finally, consider the location where you will be using the yard ramp. If it’s being used on concrete, and if you’ve got any flammable or combustible materials in the area, it can be a good idea to use an aluminum ramp rather than a steel ramp. When steel scrapes against the ground, it could create sparks that can be highly dangerous in an environment with combustible materials.

Yard ramps can significantly enhance the productivity of your facility and make loading and unloading much easier. Make sure you’ve carefully considered your needs before making your purchase.