If you’re reading this blog post, you probably don’t own a yard ramp. But you’re probably in desperate need to rent one, and fast. If that’s the case, read on! We’re here to help.
Do I Really Need a Yard Ramp?
The first question you should ask is, “Do I really need a yard ramp?” In most cases, a yard ramp serves as a mobile loading dock. If your cargo requires the use of a forklift, and you don’t have a loading dock, then you need a yard ramp. Alternatively, if you’ve got a raised loading dock, and want the ability to drive vehicles up and onto the factory or warehouse floor, then you need a yard ramp.
Yard ramps are the beasts of burden in the commercial transport and warehousing industry. They’re designed to handle three times the capacity of a forklift. As a result, even the least capable yard ramps, with a load rating of 16,000 pounds, can safely support a forklift and two and a half tons of payload. That’s the equivalent of a forklift carrying a Ford F-150 from the ground into a trailer with hundreds of pounds of capacity to spare!
Once you’re sure that you need a yard ramp, the next questions typically are, “How much does renting a yard ramp cost, and how quickly can I get one?”
First, it’s worth noting that the vast majority of yard ramp rentals we do at Handi-Ramp are for several months. Occasionally we offer weekly rentals at $750 per-week, but as we’ll discuss, it’s often the cost of transportation, not the cost of renting the ramp, that makes very short-term rentals pricey.
In the end, the cost of renting a yard ramp is determined by three factors: where you need it, when you need it, and how long you need it.
Where Do You Need Your Rental Yard Ramp?
Yard ramps are both heavy and big. A yard ramp is typically 30 feet long, but with a level-off, can extend to 36 feet. Steel yard ramps weigh 6,000 pounds or more and require a dedicated flatbed trailer for transport. As a result, the cost to move a yard ramp to and from its location is often equal to, or more than, a month’s rental cost.
Fortunately, Handi-Ramp has yard ramps strategically stationed across the country, and a network of hundreds of companies with ramps for rent. This allows us to minimize the distance and thus the time and cost between you and the ramp you’re going to rent. In gentler times, we could predict the transportation costs for a yard ramp fairly easily but there are still a wide range of factors (such as mileage, day of the week to be shipped, flat bed availability, etc.) that could drastically alter the shipping quote. If the ramp had to travel 100 miles, we could get it to you within a week at an estimated cost of $500 or so. If you were a bit farther out, say 500 miles, the cost would predictably rise to around $1000 or more. In 2020 and the season of COVID-19, however, calculating transportation costs is not so simple, as you will learn below.
When Do You Need the Yard Ramp?
If transportation is a major factor in determining the overall cost of renting a yard ramp, the more lead time we have to locate and ship the right rental ramp, the lower your rental cost will be. Time allows us to check our inventory and rental ramp network, shopping around to find the right ramp at the right price. If the ramp owner knows you’re in a bind, they’re going to charge a higher rental rate.
As we hinted above, trucking costs have become very volatile during the season of COVID-19. There have been instances in recent months when we’ll get a transportation quotation of $1,800 to move a yard ramp on one day, only to see the cost drop to $800 the next. Why such a big difference? Trucks are in great demand and you really need to work with your transportation brokers to find an empty trailer that’s driving from where the ramp is to where you are. This takes time and patience.
How Long Do You Need the Yard Ramp?
The last factor to consider when renting a yard ramp is the amount of time you’ll need it. As the table below indicates, the average monthly cost of renting a typical yard ramp goes down significantly based on the amount of time you’ll use it.
(*Pricing may vary)
Obviously, there are a lot of moving parts to consider when you’ve got an immediate need for a yard ramp. Can we make a suggestion? Call us at 800-876-7267 and let us put our 50 years of experience and nationwide network of rental ramps to work for you.
What If I Can’t Afford a Short Term Yard Ramp Rental?
Before you decide that the cost to rent a yard ramp is too high, challenge yourself with a couple of questions. First, what would the cost be if the cargo you’re trying to load or unload was damaged because you didn’t use a forklift and yard ramp? What would happen if you or one of your employees was hurt trying to “brute force” the equipment into, or out of a trailer? If the
answer still comes up that renting is too expensive, here’s a couple of options for you to consider.
Break Down the Pallets and Hire a Crew
If you’re unloading items from a container that are on pallets that can be broken down, you can always unload the cargo by hand and, if necessary, re-palletize the items once you’ve moved them into your warehouse. Unfortunately, if you’re moving large pieces of equipment, or if the pallets are sealed for security purposes, unloading a trailer or container by hand isn’t an option.
Find and Rent a Loading Ramp Near You
Drive around the industrial parks in your area and look for a yard ramp sitting out behind the buildings. A company that owns a yard ramp may be willing to rent their equipment for a short period of time. Knock on their door and see if a few hundred dollars might entice them to rent it to you for a week. Of course, you’ve got to find a tractor and flatbed trailer to take the ramp to and from your location, so that’s another hurdle to consider.
Buy a Yard Ramp and Re-Sell It When You’re Done
If you’re in a hurry to rent a ramp and you only need it for a short amount of time, buying a used ramp and then reselling it can be an excellent option. It might sound counter-intuitive, but hear us out!
When you rent a ramp, you’re paying for the transportation of that ramp both to and from your location. As we’ve discussed, transportation costs can easily exceed the cost of renting the ramp for a short period of time.
When you buy a ramp you pay for shipping one way to your location. After you’ve used the ramp, you can sell it yourself, or you can call us and we’ll work with you to find a buyer. That buyer will then pay for the shipping from your location to theirs. You’ve just saved on shipping!
Even better is the fact that high-quality USA-made ramps like ours hold their value. While you may take a small hit on the commission if someone else finds you a buyer, the value of the ramp will largely remain intact.
How about that for an out-of-the-box idea that can save you both time and money!
Whatever you ramp renting needs, give us a call or hit the chat button to speak with a yard ramp expert. We’ll offer our best advice on how you can safely and efficiently load or unload your precious cargo. Call Handi-Ramp at 800-876-7267