In the truck transportation industry, moving companies prefer pullout-loading-ramps for getting the job accomplished. While not the ideal tool for every application, movers of private residences and corporate offices alike rely on ramps to load and unload customers’ belongings. Let’s take a look at the advantages and benefits of a pullout ramp for customer moves.
Most moving van loading ramps have several things in common. For starters, aluminum construction is almost universal. Aluminum provides adequate strength and durability while keeping weight as light as possible. Second, loading ramps are constructed with a non-slip surface. Movers can expect to work in every weather condition and a ramp must lend to safety when its wet outside. Another common trait of loading ramps is that they conveniently store between the frame of the commercial truck and are pulled out from the rear bumper area. This otherwise unused ramp storage space leaves the cargo area free for paying customers. Additionally, most moving van ramps have a weight capacity rating of 1,000 lbs. There are a few differences from ramp to ramp; however, their similarities are easier to spot.
Now let’s take a look at some of these not so similar characteristics that one may notice. Ramp length and width are the primary variables. The length of your cargo box is the leading factor for how long your loading ramp is. Pack vans with a 16’ cargo length are outfitted with a 10’ to 12’ ramp. While a 24’ bobtail on the other hand, is equipped with a 15’ ramp on average. Another important factor is ramp width. Usable ramp width can range between 22” to 30” wide. As a rule of thumb, the larger trucks usually have wider ramps. Ramp width in comparison to hand dolly specifications is an important item to consider. These specifications help determine the total functionality of your rig.
If you find yourself in the position of needing to have a loading ramp installed, there are three placement options to consider. As previously mentioned, a ramp that pulls out from the rear bumper area is most common. If a box truck with a rear step bumper or ICC bumper is not currently equipped with a ramp, one can easily be installed by a commercial truck fabricator. Another option is to install a ramp pocket on the side underbelly of the cargo box. To get the ramp into place at the rear of your bobtail, this application requires two workers to carry the ramp from the side pocket to the rear bumper area. This set up is useful when a lift gate is present. The third placement option is to mount a loading ramp that works in conjunction with a lift gate. This option gives the moving company the best of both worlds. The primary constraint to this placement is that it requires a lift gate with a specially mounted hydraulic cylinder that will be out of the way of the ramp sliding function. Most lift gates cylinders are not mounted in this manner.
Compared to the rivaling lift gate, loading ramps are maintenance free. Hydraulic lift gates are subject to electrical issues with pump motors, solenoids and wiring. Leaking hydraulics or drained batteries are also a common lift gate issue. Ramps on the other hand have not electrical or hydraulic parts to shut down your next moving job. Pull out ramp do have their own issues, but its minimal. Broken pull handles and worn out slide mechanisms are the most common problems. Neither situation however should prevent a moving company from completing that day’s job.
In all, movers prefer the speed afforded by a loading ramp in comparison to other unloading methods. With the use of a moving crew, a ramp allows for multiple points of access to the rear cargo area. While one man is navigating a hand truck down the ramp, additional crew members can access packages on either side. This work system multiplies moving speed tremendously.
While not the best option for every box truck in the delivery segment, most moving companies get the job done with loading ramps. Various lengths, widths and mounting options provide the versatility that movers need. With very low maintenance requirements coupled with increased jobsite efficiency, it’s understandable why movers rely on ramps. On your next move, be sure to ramp up productivity and revenue with the right loading equipment for the job.