If you want to invest in a mobile loading dock ramp, you should acquaint yourself with the impactful ways of choosing the right equipment.
Because you have to guard yourself against the wrong purchase as that will mean wastage of money, let alone bringing value to your business.
What is a Mobile Yard Ramp?
You can belong to either of the three types of readers of this article–you know what a mobile yard ramp is, you do not have a good idea, or you do not see what the equipment is all about.
If you belong to the first type, you can skip reading this section and proceed to the next section straightaway. But, if you find yourself belonging to the second or third sections, you should know properly what a mobile yard ramp is, as that will help you understand this article better.
In simple terms, you can regard a mobile yard ramp as a potential replacement for a permanent dock ramp. In other words, the former can effectively execute all latter functions.
You can move a mobile yard ramp anywhere in the shipping and receiving yards to give forklift access to a shipping container or semi-trailer at a loading dock level.
A mobile yard ramp can allow the movement of vehicles up and down the ramp. For example, it helps to gain access to a building without a drive-in door or load a vehicle into a truck for transportation.
The Factors to Look at Before Investing in a Mobile Yard Ramp
After having known what a mobile yard ramp is, you should prepare yourself to purchase the best equipment to derive the best value for your business and money. And for that, considering some relevant factors, such as the following, will help.
A mobile yard ramp has to be exceptionally robust to bear the weight of vehicles. And, it also has to prevent vehicle slippages. So, ensure that the ramp you choose is made of steel with a non-slip surface.
Usually, most mobile yard ramps are made of hard-wearing steel components for added durability.
A mobile yard ramp should also have a non-slip surface to prevent slip and fall that can lead to injuries.
A non-slip surface is necessary because the mobile yard ramp will get exposed to outdoor environmental conditions while operating rain or other adverse weather conditions.
In addition, you will find most yard ramps having a grated surface to allow water and debris to fall through the surface instead of collecting on the ramp, apart from creating traction with vehicle wheels and the work boots of employees.
Other essential safety components on the mobile yard ramp have to be apart from a non-slip surface.
Ensure that your prospective ramp has steel safety chains to secure the yard ramp to the dock or semi-trailer. It will prevent the ramp from drifting or moving when in use.
Also, it should have side curbs on either side of the ramp to ensure that forklifts and other vehicles do not roll over the sides of the ramp during operation.
Manual Cranks or Hydraulic Lift Systems
You will see either a manual crank or a hydraulic lift system fixed to the mobile yard ramps to raise or lower the yard ramp when in use.
Hydraulic systems usually call for less effort but come with a downside. They are more likely to require maintenance or replacement than a manual system.
On the other hand, the manual crank system has the option of multiple speeds. As such, it becomes easier to raise the yard ramp.
With or Without Level-Off
You can find mobile yard ramps with or without a level-off. And ramps without a level off, the yard ramp can directly lead up to the dock or trailer at a steady incline.
If you operate a forklift on a yard ramp without a level-off, the forks will likely be angled upward. As a result, the forks will not safely load and unload pallets.
But, things can be different with a level-off. You will get a flat platform, usually 6 to 8 feet in length, situated at the top of the yard ramp’s incline. Such yard ramps are ideal for uses, like unloading ground-level semi-trailers.
Mobile yards with the level-off allow forklifts to move straight into the rear of a truck. However, it disallows the movement at an angle.
In addition, it allows access to all of the pallets inside of the trailer.
However, you can use a portable loading platform to operate a mobile yard ramp without a level-off.
The Wheel Material
You should examine the wheels of your prospective mobile or movable loading dock ramp because the wheels impact significantly on the functioning of the ramp.
With the wheels, the ramp can move from place to place. Moreover, the wheels can prevent the ramp from touching the ground when in use.
Usually, you will find wheels made of three materials– steel, rubber, or a combination of the two.
Each of the materials poses unique benefits. For example, steel wheels are exceptionally durable and the perfect choice for shipping and receiving yards made of asphalt or concrete.
In terms of durability, rubber pneumatic wheels are also superior. They will not get damaged if punctured as they are filled with foam. Such wheels are ideal in workplaces without a completely level ground, like a gravel lot.
Mobile yard ramps with rubber wheels are a perfect choice for businesses executing work at various locations because the ground of the job sites may not be completely flat.
You should ensure that your prospective mobile yard has a ramp clamp to move and stow the yard ramp properly. Usually, you will find the ramp clamp attached to the bottom of the mobile yard ramp. And it wraps around a forklift’s loader to bind them together. The ramp clamp makes the ramp completely portable and easy to reposition to suit a loading dock or trailer.
Acquiring a mobile loading dock ramp entails an investment. So, you should not fail to choose the right mobile loading dock ramp for your business. You should ensure that the investment you make carries value for your business.