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How A Yard Ramp Can Improve Your Loading Dock

How A Yard Ramp Can Improve Your Loading Dock

A yard ramp might be the solution if your company model relies on loading and unloading trailers and you don't have standard loading docks at your material handling, distribution center warehouse, or manufacturing site. Yard ramps are used to replace traditional warehouse docks or to provide a permanent or mobile egress into and out of a warehouse dock.

Yard ramps are available in both portable and fixed versions and can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Getting a forklift into and out of a trailer to make product handling easier & faster.
  • Transporting heavy equipment into and out of a trailer
  • Material handling equipment is moved from the warehouse to the yard and vice versa.
  • In congested places, loading and unloading equipment and merchandise

Portable yard ramps have wheels and may be moved about your yard to where they're needed to complete a task. Yard ramps that are bolted to the pavement and positioned at a dock are known as fixed yard ramps. Yard ramps that are stationary are mobile but meant to stay in one position for the most part primarily in the loading dock area.

Standard Portable Yard Ramps

Standard moveable yard ramps are normally composed of heavy-duty steel and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit your material handling and distribution center warehousing needs. Pneumatic or steel wheels are commonly utilized. Side rails and curbs help keep machinery moving in a controlled and safe way, while aprons and levels on both ends control the flow of product boxes and pallets being loaded and unloaded. Yard ramps may be customized to fit your particular needs, including width and length.

Because it is a key safety component, forklift operators must select the proper level off length. The level off allows the forklift to "level" at the top of the ramp, giving the operator good visibility. The majority of yard ramps have a 6-foot level off, although some have an 8-foot level off. The appropriate apron at the foot of the ramp will aid in the protection of your equipment and products.

A manual or hydraulic crank can be used to raise and lower portable yard ramps. Your choice of crank will most likely be influenced by cost, but bear in mind that if your yard ramp is used frequently, a hand-crank will not only slow down your staff – affecting productivity – but may also lead to accidents and injuries.

For the safe operation of your yard ramp, front safety legs – or at the very least jacks – should be a significant consideration. Yard ramps are meant to be raised over the lip of whatever they'll be resting on, then lowered flush. If the yard ramp is sitting on the interior of a trailer and the trailer's chaining shifts, the yard ramp might collapse to the ground unless it is stabilized and secured.

yard ramp

Picking the Right Yard Ramp

Our knowledgeable staff at Gold Key Equipment can assist you in determining what features and specifications you want when selecting the ideal yard ramp for your business. Here are some things to think about.


The first factor to consider when deciding on the size of your yard ramp is its weight capacity. The usual rule is to treble your forklift's typical load capability. Yard ramps may support anything from a few pounds to over 100,000 pounds. This is clearly a circumstance where you'll want to overestimate in order to avoid being caught short when trying to unload equipment or cargo.

Next, ensure your yard ramp is large enough to accommodate your forklift. Most forklifts require 48-inches to 86-inches of clearance. Will your yard ramp be used to access trailers, docks, or both? When selecting a yard ramp, all of these factors should be considered. Consider the broadest piece of equipment you may possibly be employing, just as you would with weight.

Many people choose serrated yard ramp grating because it provides greater grip and allows snow, rain, and other material to slide through rather than collecting and obstructing efforts or jeopardizing safety. Because trailer heights vary, the height of your yard ramp will be determined by your requirements. Most yard ramps go up to four feet in height, but they may be designed to go higher if necessary. The ramp slope is normally the safest and most efficient at 10%, while the ramp length is influenced by the dock or truck height, as well as whether the ramp is straight or includes a leveling mechanism.

Towing with a specific forklift attachment is the most common method of moving yard ramps.


Yard ramps can be found in a wide range of industrial applications. When a business is located in a congested, well-traveled area, employing a moveable ramp to load and unload vehicles is the only alternative when permanent ramps or a warehouse with a dock are not available.

Yard ramps are also useful in instances when heavy machinery must be loaded and unloaded from a flatbed trailer. During the busiest season, when trucks are continuously at the dock doors and others are waiting to be unloaded in the yard, yard ramps are also quite useful. Yard ramps are also used by construction organizations and others who handle extremely big cargo.


When you need a solution for your business, yard ramps can assist you boost your efficiency and production. However, as with any activity involving machinery and equipment, there are procedures in place to ensure that everyone engaged returns home safely at the conclusion of the shift. When utilizing a forklift on a ramp, OSHA offers a set of recommendations to ensure safety.

Yard ramps are available from Gold Key Equipment. Our knowledgeable team is ready to assist you in selecting the ideal yard ramp for your needs. To learn more, please contact us immediately.