Yard Ramps Tips

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What kinds of things should I consider purchasing for use when I transport a portable yard ramp?

Yard Ramp Options Part Two

Did you know that your portable yard ramp may come with an optional accessory kit for towing? The portable yard ramp kit includes brake lights and turn signals which will help keep you legal as you move down the road with your load.

Remember that you may need to purchase sway bars if you are towing with a ligthweight vehicle. In cases like these it's much better to err on the side of caution. Why risk getting pulled over for an "unmarked" load or for engendering other drivers for lack of the right equipment?

Ask your vendor for information about sway bars and what vehicles may be required to use them in transit. Your portable yard ramp comes with many optional items for purchase that will help you stay in compliance with safety regulations and the rules of the road.

   
Can I use motorized equipment on a mobile yard ramp?

Mobile Yard Ramp Capacities--Check Before You Buy!

Aluminum mobile yard ramps are lighter and easier to use than their steel counterparts. These mobile yard ramps are available with aluminum grating or steel grating.

These ramps are especially handy when no dock is available for a loading or unloading. Capacities for these yard ramps range from 16,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds and come in a wide range of lengths and widths. If you are renting a mobile yard ramp it's very important to check the width of the ramp you are considering--does your material handling equipment have the clearance to operate on the ramp you are buying?

This not only includes tire width, but also the width of the cargo loaded on the forklift or other equipment. The mobile yard ramp can easily accommodate cargo and equipment, but be sure to double check your cargo weight ratios against the capacity of the ramp before renting.

   
What should I know about portable steel yard ramps?

Portable Steel Yard Ramps

The portable steel yard ramp is good for construction sites where no dock is available. Steel Yard Ramps are available for rent or purchase. The safety features of a portable steel yard ramp include a manual crank for adjusting height, chains, and rubber bumpers. Additional features for portable steel yard ramps include pneumatic tires and either a hand pump hydraulic lift or a DC powered lift.

Be sure to check carefully with the model you are considering owning, as these features are different or nonexistent on a Byrd model portable steel yard ramp. You'll need to double check on Byrd models to see how they differ from the other models you are considering and whether these differences affect your intended use of the yard ramp. If you need a different size portable steel yard ramp than what you see in the catalogue, as your sales rep about your other options, as specials sizes are often available.

   
What are some of the features of a yard ramp rental contract?

The Yard Ramp Rental

Some models of yard ramps are available as rentals for your convenience. These models include capacities between 16,000 and 20,000 pounds. Your lease agreement will spell out the terms of the rental contract, but keep in mind that the rental period may begin as early as the day after the ramp leaves the yard at the rental facility.

It's also important to keep track of your rental payments--late payments can incur additional fees as spelled out in your contract. It's common for the rental contract to include a pro-rate amount for rental terms that fall short of full weeks--make sure you know in advance what the pro rated amount comes to and what the minimum lease term is specified for your yard ramp.

   
Can I rent a yard ramp as opposed to purchasing one outright?

The Yard Ramp-A Different Kind of Ramp

Yard ramp models can accommodate railroad cars, trucks and trailers. Yard ramps are high-capacity and far exceed the smaller load ratings of fiberglass and aluminum ramps. Additionally, these ramps are often designed to compensate for a different or uneven height between the ground and the dock.

One very important feature of some yard ramps is the "lease potential." Some models are available for rent as well as purchase, making the yard ramp an affordable rental solution for those who don't have the budget to purchase one outright.

Most of these yard ramp rentals include a clause in the rental agreement stating that the lessor agrees not to use the ramp for any work above the rated capacity. Doing so makes the lessor liable for all damage to the ramp. Read the agreement carefully and know your yard ramp's capacity rating before the job begins!

   
Do accessories come with a portable yard ramp rental?

Yard Ramp Options

Did you know there is a wide variety of optional equipment available for your portable yard ramp? These items include tow bar hitches and loops, plus optional fork lift pickup slots and handrails. These options are available for purchase, but if you have special needs which require these extra items for a rental agreement, it's best to check with your rental agent on the availability of the additional equipment.

If it's not spelled out in the rental agreement, chances are you may need to make special arrangements for any optional accessories you need to properly use the portable yard ramp model you are renting.

   
How do I figure out what capacity I need in a yard ramp?

Formula for Judging Your Yard Ramp Capacity Needs

If you are trying to figure out just how much weight your steel yard ramp needs to hold, here is a good formula for figuring it out, courtesy of beacontechnology.com.

Judge the greatest anticipated load and add the weight of the fork truck. Then purchase a dock yard ramp with a capacity of several thousand pounds greater than that combined weight. This will ensure you have enough capacity on your yard ramp for the job.

   
Why would I want to use a portable dock ramp?

Why Use a Portable Yard Ramp

Portable yard ramps are very useful in the material handling industry. Here are some reasons why you would want to use a portable yard ramp:

  • If your dock space is overcrowded and a truck cannot pull in to unload
  • Its versatility. You can unload trucks anywhere
  • If you simply have no dock area at all
  • Your business will not suffer due to unloading delays
  • They are heavy duty

   
What kinds of yard ramp accessories are available?

Yard Ramp Accessories

While it's true that two or more workers can manually transport a yard ramp, many models come with optional accessories that can be a good investment. The ramp clamp is one such yard ramp add-on, helpful for moving the ramp short distances. More efficient is the yard ramp tow-bar, which can be connected to a Bobcat vehicle or other motorized equipment for towing over long distances. These kinds of accessories are profitable in the long run because they reduce the potential for back injuries that may occur when people attempt to lift and transport a yard ramp by hand.

   
What are load binders and overload bypass?

What Is Are Load Binders and Overload Bypass?

An overload bypass is a safety feature included on some models of yard ramp. This is designed to prevent damage from a load being put on the yard ramp while the wheels are still engaged. Some yard ramps come equipped with an overload bypass as standard equipment. If you have routine heavy transport that requires a yard ramp, it's best to purchase one with this safety feature included for maximum protection. Other safety features that are equally important are called load binders, which are used to secure the ramp to a dock or other work area. Never work with a yard ramp that is not secured to the work surface.

   
Should I buy a yard ramp or build a concrete ramp?

Why A Yard Ramp?

Yard ramps are often overlooked as a cost-saving method. If you are moving into a new building that has a dock area or warehouse storage section without a ramp, a yard ramp may work just as well in some cases as having a concrete ramp built to order. Those who need ramp access in "long-term temporary" situations can use a yard ramp in such a way. The key here is to check the weight ratios. Your ramp must be rated for the amount of weight you'll need to put on it on a daily basis. If the math matches up, the yard ramp can be an excellent alternative to having a ramp built to suit.

   
Why do yard ramps have steel grating?

Why Yard Ramps Have Steel Grating

When loading and unloading materials on a yard ramp, you must be sure that your footing is secure. And when the loading is done outside, you must be sure that elements such as rain and snow don't pile up on your yard ramp to cause a slipping hazard as well. There is a simple solution to these problems -- steel grating. You may not realize it, but steel grating is everywhere. It is used for airfields, highways, industrial floors, in subways and tunnels and on docks and driveways as well as on ramps.

The steel grating on yard ramps serve two main purposes:

  • It is serrated for good traction
  • It prevents build up of water, snow, oil, grease and miscellaneous debris

   
Where can I find used yard ramps?

Buying Used Yard Ramps

A steel yard ramp will cost you between $9,000 and $20,000 and an aluminum yard ramp will cost you between $11,000 and $21,000, depending on factors such as what capacity you need, according to beacontechnology.com. But you don't have to spend this much on a steel yard ramp if you buy it used.

There are Web sites that offer used yard ramps. Check out companies such as americansurplus.com and warehouserack.com for deals. View pictures of the used yard ramps on these sites before buying. American Surplus Inc. claims it is the premier used material handling equipment supplier in the country, providing customers the highest quality equipment at an affordable price. If you are in the material handling business and want to save some money, it's a good idea to keep an eye on companies such as this. American Surplus Inc. advertises monthly specials and other deals. There are representatives available to answer your questions about the used equipment as well.

   
Should I rent or buy a yard ramp?

Yard Ramps - Rent Or Buy?

Some vendors offer yard ramps with a rental option, but in the course of your rental you may decide that the ramp should be a permanent part of your operation. If you must rent, check with the vendor to see if they have an option that allows you to put the money you paid in rental fees toward the final purchase of the ramp. Renting may seem like a cost-effective option for yard ramps. but if you examine your needs carefully, you may discover ahead of time that the yard ramp should be purchased. You can save yourself a lot of time by purchasing up front after giving your operation a hard look. If you buy and later change your mind, selling the ramp to another company is always an option. If you do decide to rent, tell your vendor up front that you may wish to buy. They can get the necessary paperwork ready for you just in case.

   
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