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How To Load A Skid Steer Loader Without Ramps

man-trying to-load-a-bobcat-to-a-ute-without-a-ramp

Have you seen those videos flying around on “how to load a skid steer without ramps?”

Here’s the gist:  the skid steer loader operator reverses up to the trailer, balances on its front two wheels, and then uses the bucket to launch the bobcat up onto the trailer.

Skid-Steer-Loading-Ramps-boarded-on-the-truck

It’s impressive stuff, right? 

So, if you want to learn how to load a skid steer loader without ramps, here’s what we recommend… 

First step: don’t do it. 

Second step: buy a set of loading ramps.

Third step: say “I told ya so” to your mates when they damage their machine trying to load it without ramps. 

See, loading a skid steer loader without ramps is right up there on the list of things you shouldn’t try at home. 

We know, it seems like a favourable argument for us (we’re in the business of selling ramps). 

But truth is, it’s not even about making a sale for us — we’re telling you this because we care about safety. 

Because we’re often the first place operators come to visit after they’ve had a near miss or expensive mistake. And if we can see less of that, well, we’ve done our job. 

… But online trends like this aren’t helping our cause. 

So, let’s look at…

How To Load A Skid Steer Loader Without A Ramp

Loading a skid steer without a ramp takes some serious skills and guts. Not to mention countless hours spent operating the machine. 

So, it’s tempting to save a few bucks on ramps and try it for yourself. You know, try and impress a few mates along the way… 

But here’s why you should avoid loading this machine without a ramp… 

  • It takes serious precision 
  • We’re talking years of practice and serious skills. Even experienced operators can make costly mistakes when attempting this manoeuvre. Not exactly worth it when you can pick up a set of loading ramps.

  • Risk of tipping and serious injury
  • All it would take is some unstable soil or your weight being slightly off balance for you to tip, roll or seriously injure yourself. 

  • It can damage your machinery
  • The thing is, skid steer or wheel loaders aren’t designed to be used without a ramp. Trying to do so can cause damage to the undercarriage and put a strain on the engine, leading to costly repairs or even permanent damage. 

    Why You Should Use Skid Steer Loading Ramps

    skid-steer-loader-loaded-properly-using-the-loading-ramp

    It comes back to safety, efficiency and ease. Using loading ramps specifically designed for skid steer loaders offers numerous benefits that far outweigh the risks:

  • Enhanced Safety
  • Choosing sturdy and compliant loading ramps with a capacity rating matching your skid steer loader reduces the risk of injury and machinery damage.

  • Increased Efficiency
  • Put it this way: a trip to the mechanic after you’ve damaged your machine (or worse, the hospital) isn’t exactly an efficient way of working. Using the right set of loading ramps allows you to move from point A to B quickly and efficiently.

  • Ease of Use
  • Using skid steer loading ramps is simple. Carry them in your tipper, secure them at the attachment points and Bob’s your uncle. 

    What To Consider Before Buying Skid Steer Loading Ramps

    Before purchasing loading ramps for your SSL, there are a few key factors to consider.

    truck-attached-with-loading-ramp

  • How much does my skid steer loader weigh?
  • When you’re shopping for loading ramps, you’re looking for a load capacity that supports the weight of your machine. It’s a good idea to calculate this using the heaviest possible weight of your machine. That includes your body weight, liquids (like hydraulic oil and engine oil) and attachments (like buckets). Basically, if it’s moving up and down the ramp — include it in the weight.  

  • How long should my loading ramps be?
  • The ramp length you need will depend on the height of your trailer, truck or tipper. That’s because the higher the platform, the steeper it’ll make your ramp (which means you’ll need a longer ramp to compensate). As a general rule, we’re looking for a gradient between 16 and 23  degrees. 

    But before you get stuck in a head spin thinking of SIN, COS, TAN — know that we’ve got a handy ramp calculator that does it for you. Just punch in the height of your truck or tipper and the length of the ramps you’ve got your eye on. Then, it’ll spit out the gradient in degrees. It’ll also give you a visual diagram of how it will look. 

  • What ramp features do I want?
  • There are a lot of different ramp options on the market today. And the best way to separate the high-quality ramps from the cheaper alternatives is to look at the ramp features (and determine what’s important to you). Things like…

  • Material
  • We recommend high-quality, sturdy, lightweight or corrosion-free materials like aluminium. 

  • Connection points
  • Does it have connection points (like a locking pin) to secure it to your trailer or tipper? This gives you an added layer of safety. 

  • Side guards
  • Do you need side guards to prevent your skid steer loaders from slipping off?

  • Are they for sale as a pair?
  • A high-quality ramp brand understands that loading ramps should come in twos. 

  • Are they certified to international standards?
  • Looking for certifications like ISO 12100:2010 will tell you if they’re the real deal.  

    Best Skid Steer Loading Ramps

    So, now that you know you need a set of skid steer loading ramps (because loading it without a ramp is all fun and games until you’re sitting in the emergency room) here are our top picks… 

    AusRamp 4-Tonne Aluminium Loading Ramps

    AusRamp-4-Tonne-Aluminium-Loading-Ramps

    Manufactured in Australia using structural grade alloy, this pair of loading ramps is ideal for bobcats, skid steer loaders, mini backhoes and small excavators. 

    3 reasons we love it:

    • Designed and manufactured in Australia
    • An original triangular rung design that prevents bottoming out
    • Connection plate and pin for stability and safety

    Digga 4-Tonne Ezi-Loada Alumnium Loading Ramps

    Digga-4-Tonne-Ezi-Loada-Alumnium-Loading-Ramps

    Designed specifically for machines with rubber tracks and pneumatic (air) tyres. This ramp is heavy-duty yet still lightweight. 

    3 reasons why we love it:

    • Comes with an 18 month warranty
    • Available to use with multiple different connection point methods: pin, tongue and chain.
    • Enhanced beam strength

    Sureweld 3.6-Tonne Aluminium Loading Ramps

    Sureweld-3.6-Tonne-Aluminium-Loading-Ramps

    Designed for pneumatic (air) tyres, this set of loading ramps boasts the highest possible strength with the lightest possible weight. 

    Why we love it:

    • Designed and manufactured in Australia
    • NATA certified and tested (which means it’s strong stuff)
    • Unique rung design, making it incredibly strong yet still lightweight

    Heeve 3-Tonne 3.2m x 380mm Aluminium Loading Ramps

    3-Tonne-Aluminium-Loading-Ramps

    This pair offers the perfect solution for tradies, contractors and people alike looking for a high-quality set of loading ramps suited to rubber tracks and pneumatic (air) tyres.

    3 reasons why we love it:

    • Certified to international CE standards for quality and safety (EN ISO 12100:2010)
    • Connecting plate and pin for maximum stability and safety
    • Manufactured from strong structural-grade alloys 

    Think twice before you load a skid steer loader without a pair of loading ramps

    Loading a skid steer loader without a ramp not for you? You’re speaking our language.

    It is a risky and potentially damaging endeavor. Investing in the right loading ramps not only ensures your safety but also protects your machinery from unnecessary wear and tear. 

    We are Ramp Champ — Australia’s largest range of ramps. We offer a wide range of ramps specifically designed for skid steer loaders. 

    While a lot of stores will focus on a broad range of products, we focus solely on ramps. This means we do one thing and do it really well.  

    Simply work out the ramp measurements, capacity and features you need, and we’ll be bound to have one to suit your machine. 

    If you have any questions, call us on 1300 913 047 or email us at hello@rampchamp.com.au   

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