Yard ramps are designed for loading and unloading cargo from truck trailers with a forklift. They can also be used on loading docks and platforms, rail cars, and more. Typically, yard ramps are constructed of steel with large weight capacities, ranging from 15,000 lbs to 30,000 lbs. Most of these ramps have wheels for convenience when moving and setting up in a yard or on a lot; they also have a raising/lowering mechanism for setting up on the loading surface. Ramps that usually come with wheels also offer a transport device such as a tow bar which allows the ramp to be transported with a forklift. Some can be setup as permanent structures with stationary support stands allowing trucks to back up to it, such as a standard loading dock.
The difference between a standard model and a level off is that the level off has a flat end which allows for greater maneuverability of forklifts and a standard has the same incline throughout the entire ramp. Many yard managers prefer to use a “Level Off” model as it is generally safer.
When it comes to finding a ramp that suites your needs, you should start off by knowing what weight capacity is required. To determine the required weight capacity, you need to know the weight of the heaviest forklift that will be used on the ramp combined with the heaviest load the forklift will carry. The ramp you will need should have a weight capacity no less than your calculated combined weight.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a ramp is the width of the ramp. You will need to know the width of the widest equipment and the cargo that will be loaded or unloaded. You should also take into consideration the straight or level off design, which is dependent upon the loading and unloading application.