How to Choose A Steel Yard Ramp According to Your Forklift Loading Needs

When choosing a steel yard ramp, or really any yard ramp, there are a couple of things to consider when you make your purchase. You need to consider your ramp’s intended use and decide which type, width, length, and weight capacity will best suit your needs.

Here are certain guidelines to consider when selecting the right ramp for you:

  • What kind of ramp best suits you?
    • A Stationary Ramp that will have a fixed and permanent or semi-permanent area, for access to dock areas.
    • A Portable Ramp that has wheels attached. Can be moved around different spots of your warehouse. Works great for unloading and loading containers and vans.


  • Which is the correct capacity ramp I need to purchase?
    • The way to find out the best weight capacity is actually quite simple when using this formula. Take note of the capacity of the heaviest forklift you have, and multiply that number by three. For example, if the heaviest forklift you own has a weight capacity of 15,000 pounds, you will simply multiply it by 3: 

                  15,000 * 3= 45,000

                  So you would choose a ramp with a weight capacity of 45,000 pounds or greater.


  • What should the length of my ramp be?
    • It is typical to use about a 36-inch ramp when loading containers or vans. It is broken down to the 30-inch incline, and the 6-inch level off to get the forklifts down to have the load of the back of the containers or vans accessible.
    • When it comes to dock areas, they usually only need about a 30-inch straight ramp length.


  • What should the width of my ramp be?
    • When calculating the width for the ramp, it should be 15-inches wider than the widest forklift you own. If you are using other equipment on the ramps, then use that equipment as the basis for the ramp width.
    • A basic measurement for the width of Steel Yard ramps is 84-inches.
    • For an access dock, a basic measurement of 70-inches will complete the job.

If you are looking for a steel yard ramp, Medlin Ramps provides stationary and portable options. We provide custom ramps upon request. Our ramps can be bought or rented, call us at 877-4-MEDLIN.