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Also known as a yardramp, a yard ramp is a simple piece of industrial equipment used to help load and unload goods. Yard ramps may be used to unload stock from a container, such as a shipping container, or pallet. They may also be used for moving stock onto, or off of, a truck or other vehicle for transport when a permanent loading doc is unavailable. Though commonly seen in action at warehouses, docks, and other industrial loading facilities, smaller versions are used by farm owners, or anyone who occasionally needs to load and unload bulk goods or heavy equipment.
Yard ramps are available in many different types of materials. Lightweight aluminum ramps are a popular affordable choice among businesses that deal in lighter weight goods. Steel ramps may be used for heavy duty equipment. Most yard ramps feature durable wheels, typically made out of rubber, and adjusting mechanisms to help achieve the most perfect fit. Pneumatic tires may also be purchased for extra durability.
Many different designs and sizes of yard ramps are also available to accommodate company needs. As integral pieces of loading equipment, the ramp must be able to carry heavy burdens as well as withstand the force of friction while products are being moved across it. Yard ramps accommodating forklift trucks should be wide enough to allow enough room to maneuver the vehicle, while narrower ramps may be used for lighter loads being moved by hand, as might be done with a moving van. A typical yard ramp will feature grates or other types of grooves to ensure proper friction and minimize product loss.
Methods for raising or lowering the tow wheels of the ramp also vary. Hydraulic systems allow users to pump the ramp up or down with the least amount of time and physical labor. Manual hand crank models require more labor and time, but offer more affordability in terms of overall ramp price.
Depending upon the type purchased, a yard ramp may feature any number of accessories or modifications. Fork lift pickup slots may be included to make the ramp accessible for forklift use. The forks of the forklift conveniently fit into the slots, enabling the user to create a sure fit. Hand rails can be purchased to create a safer environment for employees who walk on the ramp. Some models may feature curbs, or raised edges, to help ensure the safety of both workers as well as the merchandise itself.
A set of tow bar loops is a particularly common yard ramp feature. These metal devices allow the ramp to be towed via rope, by a forklift truck, or even by hand. A tow bar hitch may also be added to most yard ramp models for similar purposes.