What is a Car Ramp?

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  • Written By: Robert Ferguson
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2019
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A car ramp provides a simple method of raising a vehicle from the ground in order to access its underside. There are various types of car ramps. Commercial hydraulic car ramps are capable of lifting the entire vehicle off the ground. Simpler versions for home use raise the front of vehicle only.

A hydraulic car ramp implies lifting equipment using hydraulic components to lift and lower vehicles. This type of ramp is used in professional garages and small repair shops. The car ramp is available in varying sizes and dimensions. This allows for easy access to the underside of the vehicle to perform various inspections and repairs.

Another type of car ramp is made of steel and is sold in sets of two. The car ramp is placed on a solid surface. The vehicle is driven onto the ramps, which raises the front end. Do-it-yourself mechanics use these ramps for performing regular maintenance on their vehicles, such as oil changes and lube jobs.

Car ramp manufacturers have produced a newer version of a do-it-yourself car ramp. The car ramp is made of structural foam and heavy plastic. These ramps are sold in sets of two, are lighter than their steel counterparts and interlock for convenient storage. These newer type of ramps are actually stronger than their steel cousins.


Early versions of car ramps were made of concrete. These fixed types of ramps were the norm in garages and small repair shops before hydraulic lifts became common. Installing a pit between the ramps gave mechanics a larger work area.

Numerous injuries and death have occurred because of improper use of car ramps. One should always take extreme caution when working underneath a vehicle. Car ramps should be set on a hard surface, such as concrete. Car ramps should never be used on dirt, grass or gravel areas, because the ramps can suddenly sink from the weight of the vehicle. These ramps should always be placed on solid surfaces such as concrete or asphalt.


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