Operating a yard ramp is easy. To position it, simply move it up against a loading dock or a semi trailer. Key aspects of yard ramp operation are: offloading, moving, positioning, securing, using, storing, and onloading. Yard ramps were designed to be used with forklifts and one is integral to the operation of your yard ramp.
Offloading the Yard Ramp from a Flat Bed Truck
Your new dock or yard ramp will ship on a flatbed trailer. If an overhead crane of sufficient capacity is not available, a forklift with a minimum capacity rating of 8,000 lbs can be used to unload a standard sized yard ramp. If you have ordered a yard ramp in a custom width, length or rated capacity, please contact your Handi-Ramp Representative for recommendations on the required forklift capacity.
A nylon sling of at least 96″ in length is recommended. The sling may be either the “2-Eye” or “Endless” configuration. A minimum capacity of 10,000 lbs for the “basket method” of lifting is recommended.
Push both tines of the forklift as close to the center of the forklift as possible. Position the forklift forks above the ramp. Feed the sling through the side mounted lifting lug and position one loop of the sling over each fork within 24 inches of the forklift carriage, thus creating a basket lift. Lift the yard ramp until it clears the floor of the trailer by a few inches. Move away from the trailer and lower the ramp to the ground.
Moving a Yard Ramp with a Forklift
- Using the forklift, manipulate the fork(s) into the ramp clamp.
- Secure the ramp clamp by hand-tightening the device around the ramp clamp.
- Before starting to pull or push the ramp around, the “landing gear” or wheels located at the undercarriage of the ramp should be deployed. If the wheels are not lowered, the bottom of your yard ramp will scrape against the ground, and the forklift will have to work against much greater drag.
Positioning the Yard Ramp at the Dock or Trailer
- Pump the hydraulic pump on the side of the yard ramp up to move the yard ramp lip above the dock or trailer edge.
- Using the forklift and ramp clamp, move the yard ramp onto a loading dock or into a semi trailer.
- Release the hydraulic pump pressure to lower the lip of the yard ramp.
- Check to see that the yard ramp lip is positioned flush on the bottom of the dock or trailer.
- Remove the forks from the ramp clamp and the ramp clamp from the yard ramp. Store ramp clamp in storage position on the side of the ramp.
Securing the Yard Ramp
The safety chains are used to secure the ramp. Two chains are located in the front of the ramp and should be chained to the dock or semi trailer. The chains will allow for vertical movement but keep the horizontal position fixed. Attach the chains before releasing the forks and removing the ramp clamp.
Forklift Ramp in Use
Forklifts that drive over the surface of the ramp should move slowly and be driven in a low gear. When forklifts are empty they should be driven with the forks up, about 12 inches off the ground.
Storage of the Ramp
To store the yard ramp:
- Remove the safety chains.
- Close the release valve of the pump.
- Pump the hydraulic system so that the lip of the yard ramp is above the dock or semi trailer.
- Use the forklift and ramp clamp to move the yard ramp away from the dock or trailer.
- Open the pump release valve.
- Lower the yard ramp to the storage position.
- Place the hand of the pump into the side of the yard ramp.
Onloading a Forklift Ramp
Ramps are loaded on a flatbed to be shipped to their destination. One or two yard ramps can be loaded on to the flatbed. Ramps can be loaded horizontally or vertically. If loaded horizontally only one yard ramp can be loaded. If vertically, two ramps can be loaded.
- Begin by securing the wheels
- Use a crane or forklift to place on flatbed in a vertical or horizontal position
- Strap down to truck bed with nylon string belts in at least 5 separate locations
These operation instructions are a guide. Details of operating your yard ramp may vary according to the make and model of the yard ramp.