Contributed by Jason Mueller
Loading an ATV into a truck seems like it would be a simple task to handle. However, it can not only be difficult but it can be dangerous. One thing to keep in mind is being safe when loading or unloading your ATV and you need to make sure you have the proper ramps to hold the weight of the bike and easily load it into the trailer. Whether you’re taking your ATV to the woods to get in a little playtime on a long trail ride or you just need to relocate the ATV, using the right ramps and loading techniques will go a long way to maintaining the condition of your ATV.
ATV ramps should not be pieces of flat wood or metal you may have laying around your tool shop. They need to be carefully chosen from a store or designed and crafted from the right material to handle the machine you want to load. You will need to be certain that the ramps are the right length for your truck bed or trailer. Modern trucks tend to be a little higher off the ground than some of the older trucks, so you will want to buy or build longer ramps if you plan to do the work on your own. You’ll also need to know how much your ATV weighs. This is extremely important when determining the materials to use on the ramp build.
In some instances, if you don’t own a truck or trailer to haul your own ATV, you can always contact an ATV shipping company (Canada, USA). The following ideas for building ramps to load ATVs in and out of trucks or trailers are great for those who are handy with building things, but alternatively, ramps can be purchased from an ATV shop or even a hardware shop locally.
Aluminum Diamond Plate Ramps
Using 3/16” aluminum diamond plate, a lot of weight can be held and it provides a sturdy, solid surface for ATVs. Making them around 5 feet long, you can bend up two channels and tie them together. Welding can be done for strength, but it is not necessary. Adding 4” tubes in the curls of the aluminum provides more strength to the ramps, making them ideal for moving ATVs.
Heavy Duty Steel Loading Ramps
Using 2×10 pieces of steel with a 3”x3/16 angle of iron down each of the sides provides more support. You do not have to weld the pieces together, but bolt each of the areas down. Adding ramp ends from a hardware store can provide even more stability and provide a way for the ramp to easily connect to the trailer or truck and ground.
Wood and Velcro
2×12 with 1/4” angled iron on one end of each board. Add industrial strength Velcro on the bottom sides of each one. This helped reduce slipping when pushing the ATV up the wood and into the bed of the truck.
Alternatively, you could screw eye bolts into the sides of the ends. Use tie downs to lock them in place on the bed of the truck so they do not slip, instead of the Velcro. Cutting the 2×12 in half so each is 6’ is ideal. Cutting them too short or keeping them too long puts too much stress on the wood. Remember wood is slick when wet so caution is recommended.
Wood with Supports
Using 2-2×6’s with 1×2’s every foot or so up each board provides more support when loading and unloading the ATV. Placing a 1×2 at the top of the board, as well as the bottom provides additional support so they do not slip out of place when being used. Again, slick when wet.
Treated Wood with Angles
Treated 2-2×12’s with 2×2 angles along each side of the 2×12’s provides additional support. The 2×2 angles helps with slippage since the angle holds onto the ends where they are placed. Making them just over 4 feet long is adequate to load the quads into a trailer without slippage and the treated wood is heartier, making them a more durable solution.
Remember, it is always recommended that you test for safety. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to loading your quad up, only to find out the ramp cannot hold the weight. Also, loading into the back of a trailer that is low to the ground, rather than into a higher elevated truck, is much easier to do when using ramps.