How To Move a Portable Yard Ramp

So you’ve plunked down $20,000, and a semi just dropped off a shiny new 30 foot, three-ton behemoth of a ramp in your parking lot.  Congratulations!  Now what?  How do you safely move your new ramp to either the place it will be used or where it will be stored?

The most common means of moving a yard ramp is with, no surprise here, a forklift!

Will My Forklift Be Able to Move My Yard Ramp?

Mobile yard ramps are, as their name suggests, portable. However, you can’t just pull them around by hand, so a forklift is typically needed to move the ramp around your yard. When using a forklift to move a yard ramp, typically one of the forklift tynes is secured into a ramp clamp, enabling the forklift to pull or push the yard ramp around. We’ve seen chains used to pull yard ramps around, but that’s very dangerous because the chain could snap, becoming a projectile hurtling towards your forklift and you!

The ability of your forklift to move a yard ramp depends on the load capacity of the vehicle and the weight of the yard ramp. Of course, there are some forklift types that simply cannot safely maneuver a yard ramp. For example, stand-up forklifts, like order pickers or walkie stackers, will not be appropriate to move a yard ramp. 

In order to safely move and position your yard ramp, your forklift load capacity should be at least one-half of the approximate weight of the yard ramp.

(See the table below for approximate weights by yard ramp specifications). 

Most forklifts will have sufficient capacity to do this including warehouse forklifts, counterbalance forklifts, industrial forklifts, or rough terrain forklifts. 

In truth, you often choose a yard ramp after you’ve chosen a forklift because the ramp must be able to accommodate the loaded weight capacity of your forklift.  This essentially ensures that the forklift you own will have the required capacity.

The minimum weight capacity of your yard ramp should be three times the weight of the maximum loading capacity of your forklift. 

For example, a forklift with a capacity of up to 5,333 lbs should be paired with a yard ramp with a 16,000 lb capacity. This ensures that the forklift will be able to safely carry cargo up and down the yard ramp without risk of product or ramp damage. 

How to Move a Mobile Yard Ramp 

Now that you know that your forklift will be able to move your yard ramp, it is necessary to learn how to properly do so. Before moving the yard ramp, the wheels should be deployed so that the ramp can be properly moved without the sides of the wheels scraping the ground.

Use Ramp Clamp to move Yard Ramp with a forklift
STEP ONE: Insert the ramp clamp into the vertical slot at the bottom of the yard ramp and secure the forklift tyne into the ramp clamp.
Move the Yard Ramp into position with a forklift
STEP TWO: Use the forklift to push the yard ramp into position in front of a trailer or dock. Then, you can remove the forklift tyne and ramp clamp.
Lower the Yard Ramp using the crank
STEP THREE: Turn the manual crank on the side of your yard ramp to position the yard ramp lip just above the dock or trailer edge.
Move Yard Ramp into position with a forklift
STEP FOUR: Use the manual crank again to lower the the yard ramp. Ensure that the yard ramp lip is flush against the bottom of the dock or trailer.
STEP FIVE: Use the safety chains to secure the ramp to the dock or trailer.
Yard Ramp for loading material with a forklift
COMPLETE! You are now ready to safely load and unload your cargo using your portable yard ramp.

As outlined above, your mobile yard ramp is designed to be easy to maneuver and position so that you can increase the safety and efficiency of your business. We manufacture yard ramps that are meant to last for as long as your business needs them, so that is why they are affixed with robust features like the manual crank. While hydraulic pumps have the tendency to malfunction after a few years of use and require repairs, the manual crank does not require any additional maintenance. Safety features like the steel safety chains and guardrails ensure safe and reliable usage time and time again. Now that you know how to safely and properly move your yard ramp, you can confidently and more efficiently transport your most important cargo and equipment.