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Rungs vs. Punch Plate: The Best Applications for Both Ramp Surfaces

 Posted on: September 29th, 2020

In need of a new ramp for your trailer or pickup? There are a variety of styles to choose from, including ramps that feature a rung or punch plate design. Both rung- and punch plate-style ramps offer plenty of benefits, but there are certain scenarios in which one might make more sense than the other. It's important to do some research into the applications of each before you make your purchase. With this in mind, let's take a closer look at each of these two types of ramps.

rungs Multi-fold serrated rung motorcycle ramp
Multi-fold serrated rung motorcycle ramp


  • Ideal for: powersports vehicles and high-traction tires
  • Key benefit: lightweight and often portable
  • Key feature: serrated rungs for additional traction

Rung ramps feature a ladder-style rung design and are ideal for power sports vehicles such as ATVs, UTVs and motocross, which use high-traction tires. The rung design is ideal for those tires because it provides excellent traction and grip. The spacing between the rungs (usually three inches or more) helps to prevent slippage, which increases control during the loading and unloading process. Many rungs are also serrated, for even more traction—especially during inclement weather loading conditions.

Most rung-style ramps are manufactured from a high-strength, lightweight aluminum. With a rung design, there's also less material used in the development of the product—which contributes to its lightweight construction and makes it easy to transport to and from storage. As a result, many rung-style ramps are also foldable or collapsible.

The spaces between the rungs also come in handy for avoiding debris. For example, if you have an ATV or UTV caked in mud, dirt and other filth after a long day on the trails, this debris can easily fall through the rungs onto the ground below while you load it. This is much better than spinning your tires on a frictionless surface! All that loose debris might quickly turn into a safety hazard.

Punch Plate Zoom Muli-fold punch plate ATV ramp
Multi-fold punch plate ATV ramp

Punch plates

  • Ideal for: powersports vehicles and high-traction tires
  • Key benefit: lightweight and often portable
  • Key feature: serrated rungs for additional traction

Punch plate ramps are most commonly used for garden tractors and motorcycles ready for the road—but of course they, too, are highly versatile. Punch plates are metal ramps that feature holes evenly spaced across the surface, too add extra traction for loading and unloading vehicles. This design makes for an ideal surface for vehicles with tires that might not have as much traction.

In addition to providing better traction for vehicle tires, punch plate ramps also offer better traction for footing. For example, if you need to walk your motorcycle into or out of a truck, you'll want sure-footing on the way up or down—punch plate provides it. This added safety helps to prevent potential injuries from slip and fall accidents.

Most punch plate ramps weigh more than rung-style ramps, largely because there's more material involved in their construction. While this might make it slightly more difficult to transport the ramp to and from storage, it ensures a higher weight capacity and greater stability and sturdiness as you load. Moreover, the punch plate design is also ideal for wet conditions such as rain or snow.

Rung vs. Punch Plate
Benefits of Rung vs. Punch Plate

Which ramp is right for you?

As you consider which type of ramp you need, consider what types of vehicles you're most likely to be driving up and down it, and if there are any other purposes you'll rely on the ramp for.

With either style, weight capacity varies depending on the specific model of ramp you choose. It's important to investigate the weight capacity for a ramp before you make a purchase and adhere to that standard when loading. When all is said and done, you can't go wrong with a ramp that supports your vehicle appropriately, so long as you also take precautions to use it correctly and safely.