how long for ramp

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Commonwealth LC, May 9, 2005.

  1. Commonwealth LC

    Commonwealth LC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    Ok, i want to put my riding mower in the back of my truck. I need to know how long the ramp needs to be in order for this to work.

    the mower is a yard-man 8.5 hp, rear motor.

    the truck is a f-150 and when the tailgate is down it measures 3 feet 8 inches.

    Does anyone have a clue of how long the ramp needs to be/ thanks
  2. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,640

    I would say 6-8 feet long, the longer the better. Go to HD or Lowes and get Ramparts ends and get to loading!!
  3. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,510

    Rampart ends are designed for 15 degrees. At 3' 8" height the 2 x 10 boards would be 14' 2" long. Open the box and take a look at the chart on the directions before buying and you will see this isn't far off. You will need a real good strongback like a 2 x 6 x 10' screwed on under each ramp or some kind of intermediate support in the middle of the span.

    If you know an engineer, have him do a Z-modulus on what you use and what you load on it to check the safety factor, or lack of one.
  4. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 578

    jayray is right.

    Also remember that the angle at the gate to ramp interface is important....the mower deck will get hung up while loading/unloading.

    Lift your deck all the way up and measure the distance to the ground. Now consider the wheelbase and you get an idea of angle. Thats why ramp makers look at the 15 degree level. Also take into consideration that your truck won't always be on perfectly level ground, and that one ramp will be slightly higher or lower than it's companion.

    With regard to safety, jay rays right again. You need to consider the maximum weight (you and the mower) at the midpoint of the ramps. The good news is that your mower shouldn't be that heavy. The bad news is that the height you listed is going to require a LONG ramp. Remember one more thing----when making the transition from the truck to the ramps, the truck is likely to bounce some...the ramps then act like a diving board LOL!

    For reference, I used to load a rear engine rider (11HP snapper) on a toyota pickup using 2 X 6 x 8' ramps. I spent a lot of time looking to make sure the truck was either level or with the rear end pointing slightly down. The deck at full height BARELY cleared and its not something I'd do now with less than a 10' ramp. I don't recall the height of the tailgate but I know it was lower than yours. There were a LOT of times the deck got hung up.
  5. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 578

    sorry, forgot to add,

    estimates of your mower....

    10" diameter wheels, 28" diameter deck, maximum 3" deck to ground clearance, 48" wheelbase.

    Using these assumptions, and a 15 degree angle on 14' ramps, your mower deck would slightly hang up on the ramp to tailgate interface if the truck didn't move (drop lower) due to the weight applied (it should). If the truck doesn't move, you'd need to make your ramps about 14' 6" long to clear with the given assumptions. Obviously if the deck clearance is more or the wheelbase shorter, then you would clear OK.

    I suggest you look into the curved aluminum ramps. They will be shorter (fit in your truck), lighter and stronger overall. More expensive too! I think Northern Equipment has them. I don't think splicing wooden ramp lengths together to gain length is a prudent thing to do. Good luck and be careful--falling off the ramps can kill you! ;)
  6. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    they are made with an arch to allow better clearence, lowes and everyplace has them,

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