How to Properly Use Loading Ramps for Your Adventure Sports

Despite the adventurous lifestyle of ATV riders, the drive that motivates thrill-seeking behavior, many riders dread the struggle of hauling their ride into a truck bed for transportation. While ATV ramps are useful devices, they come with a learning curve, meaning that you typically can’t just use them straight out the gate. This guide will walk you through the process of loading your ATV the first time using ramps.

Safety First

Whether you use aluminum ramps or another material, safety is and should always be your primary concern. Most ATVs weigh a minimum of 500 lbs, which is not something you want falling onto your legs.  To stay safe when loading, follow a few straightforward tips:

  • Maintain a shallow incline by buying the right ramps
  • Maintain balance and center between the truck and ramps
  • Secure everything first
  • Do not exceed the maximum weight limit

Tools and Equipment

While there is nothing too shocking in the list of tools and equipment needed to load your ATV, there are still things worth noting. For example, make sure the truck, van, or trailer you are using has a long enough and wide enough bed to fit the ATV. You will probably want a little extra space for minor tweaks or adjustments as you load the vehicle. The loading ramps you purchase can be any style – bi-fold, tri-fold, dual runners, single, or other heavy-duty options – but you want to make certain the weight capacity can support your machine. Finally, invest in a good quality set of safety straps to secure the ramps to the truck, van, or trailer during loading.

Preparation of Loading Vehicle and ATV

Prior to securing the car ramps or ATV ramps, it is beneficial to get everything into position. Move the loading vehicle to a flat and level surface. Leveling is crucial to reducing the strain on the ramps. Position the ATV behind the vehicle, ensuring there is plenty of room for the ramps. Finally, prepare the ramps and determine an accurate distance.


Positioning, Securing, and Loading

Getting the positioning right with the ramps is crucial because it ensures the full support of the ATV’s weight. You want to first set the top plate of the ramp onto the loading vehicle; typically, there are tabs to hold it in place. With the ramps situated, adjust the spacing to suit the tire spacing of the ATV.

With the ramps positioned, you can run your safety straps. You want to run the strap through a rung on the ramp and part of the loading vehicle. With the ramp connected to the vehicle, remove any slack from the connection.

With the ramps secure, you can load the ATV. You want to perfectly align the tires with the base of the ramp and drive the vehicle onto the loading bed slowly. Once in the bed, secure the ATV with more straps or cables, ensuring a taunt connection.


Remove and Store Ramps for Return Trip

Remove the straps from the ramps and the loading vehicle. Collapse or fold the ramp and store it in the loading vehicle with the ATV for the return trip.

You can get some help with loading and unloading your ATV. Contact a local adventure sports shop to ask questions and get advice.