When choosing ramps for utility trailers, several factors need to be considered.  Below is a partial list so Contact Us one of our trailer specialists who can help you with the best solutions to your specific needs.

  1. Weight Capacity: The ramp must be able to support the maximum weight of the load it will carry (vehicle weight plus contents).  Most manufacturers rate their ramps with a static load at mid-span, but check your literature and always use caution.
  2. Material
    1. Steel ramps are the most common ramps due to their performance at low cost.  Steel ramps are typically heavy so consider the ramp storage system and your back strength.
    2. Aluminum ramps are lighter but typically more expensive than steel.  Highly engineered aluminum ramps have impressive weight to performance ratios.
    3. Mixed materials, for example on a cargo trailer rear door that acts as a ramp, are verry common.  For a rear ramp door, it is helpful to know the frame layout inside the door vs. your intended load points.
  3. Length and Width: The length of the ramp should be sufficient for the height of the trailer to ensure a gentle incline; steep ramps can be dangerous. The width should accommodate the width of the load, providing enough room for safe loading and unloading.  Good trailers will have a width adjusting system.
  4. Surface Traction: The ramp surface should provide good traction to prevent slips and falls. This is especially important in wet or dirty conditions. Look for ramps with a textured surface or traction coatings.
  5. Storage.  Consider how the ramps will be stored when not in use.
    1. Fold Up Ramps (or “Stand Up Ramps” or “Knee Ramps”) are fast and convenient to use.  Many are constructed to act as a full or partial stabilizing jack when lowered.  Most Fold Up Ramps are stored vertically which creates drag underway and they can also be noisy; minor issues if you usually tow a full load.
    2. Slide In Ramps.  These ramps are nicely hidden in pockets somewhere around the frame.  We prefer the rear slide in ramps so they are easy to deploy and return.  Some manufacturers put their ramp pockets in the front which requires a constant wrestling match.  No one likes to wrestle a steel ramp.
    3. Mega Ramps.  Are substantial – big and wide.  Manufacturers are very clever on the engineering of their spring assist up and down, minimizing the muscle required for any direction.  Watchers will think you are incredibly strong when you effortlessly move those ramps, so have fun with it.
  1. Is that a Beavertail? Or are you just glad to see me?  The beavertail is not technically part of the ramps – it is the last few feet of a cargo or flat deck equipment trailer that is angled towards the ramp/ground.  It lowers the deck height and improves the load angle – very popular for many applications.

It’s important to thoroughly assess your specific needs and conditions when choosing ramps for a utility trailer.  Our trailer experts are happy to help you with your specific needs so just give us a call.