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Loading Ramps: Everything You Need To Know About Ramps

construction equipment using a pair of loading ramps

Author: Ramp Champ | Published: | Updated:

Loading ramps. A simple way to move heavy things from the ground to a vehicle (without the need for Hercules' strength). 

We’ve all heard of them. Maybe you’ve even got a set in your shed. But have you ever considered the importance of matching your loading ramps to your needs? 

pair of aluminum ramps installed on a ute

Whether you’re loading a motorcycle, heavy machinery, ATV or wheelchair, loading ramps come in all shapes, styles and sizes. And it’s our job at Ramp Champ to find your perfect match. 

This guide will cover…

History Of Ramps

You’re probably not surprised to learn that ramps aren’t a new thing. 

In fact, it’s believed one of the earliest ramps dates back to Ancient Greece where it was used as a tool to drag ships and materials. Not only that, there’s evidence that ramps were used to move materials for the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge. In other words, a really long time ago. 

ramps in Egypt
The Temple of Queen Hatshepsu of Egyptat Deir al-Bahri, Thebes, Egypt (
old photo of ships with loading ramps
Three-masted LODORE in dock with crew and loading ramps, Washington State, between 1892 and 1906 (Washington University Libraries Digital Collections)

And over time, ramps have evolved to not only move objects — but people.

Today, they come in all shapes, sizes and styles — from alloy wheelchair ramps to folding motorcycle ramps to rubber kerb ramps.

But at the end of the day, they all share the same goal: to move things from A to B easily and safely. 

So, What Are Loading Ramps?

Loading ramps, more specifically, refer to ramps that are used to move objects, materials or people from the ground to a vehicle or container. 

But not all loading ramps are created equal. And for good reason, because the ramp you use for a wheelchair should be different to the ramp you use to load a 5-tonne excavator. 

So, let’s take a look at the different types of loading ramps, as well as their features and what to consider before you hit “buy”

Different Types Of Loading Ramps

What Are Motorcycle Loading Ramps?

Motorcycle ramps help you move your favourite toy from the ground to a trailer or ute so you can hit the open road in search of adventure. Because let’s face it, nothing will put a dampener on a weekend away like a motorcycle load gone wrong. 

man loading a motorcycle using motorcycle loading ramps

But first, there are different styles and features to weigh up. 

Our favourite (and most popular) styles are…

Motorcycle ramp features to look out for are…

  • A lightweight and corrosion-free material (like aluminium) 
  • Secure connection points (like a locking pin) for maximum safety
  • An anti-slip surface

To find the best ramp for your motorcycle, check out our buyer’s guide. 

What Are ATV Ramps?

An ATV ramp helps you move your four-wheeler from the ground to a trailer or ute so you can head out to the bush for the weekend. Booyah! 

ATV loading up a trailer using a pair of aluminium ATV loading ramps

But just like a motorcycle ramp, there are different styles and features to weigh up. 

Our favourite (and most popular) styles include…

ATV and UTV ramp features to look out for include…

  • A lightweight and corrosion-free material (like aluminium) 
  • Secure connection points (like a locking pin or straps) for maximum safety
  • Clearly defined load ratings (that match your ATV)
  • Ramps for sale as a pair 
  • An anti-slip surface

To find the best ramp for your ATV, check out our ATV buyer’s guide. 

What Are Loading Ramps For Heavy Machinery?

Whether you’ve got an excavator, skid-steer loader or bobcat, choosing the right heavy machinery loading ramp isn’t something you wanna mess around with. You wanna do the job right to minimise any safety concerns. 

Heavy construction machine unloading a ute on a pair of aluminium loading ramps

See, loading heavy and durable machinery requires a tough ramp to get the job done (not just any old ramp off the shelf).   

There are a few things to consider before you buy a loading ramp for your heavy machinery… 

      • How much does your machinery weigh? Hint: remember to include the “wet weight” of your machine, adding on fluids like fuel and oil. 
  • What rung type do you need? Steel track machines will need ramps specifically designed for steel tracks (like our Sureweld Steel Track range).
  • What size length do you need? This one’s a biggy, because if your ramps are too short (steep) for your machine, you run the risk of sliding or rolling!
  • Do they have secure attachment points? Like a locking plate and pin.
  • Are they certified to international standards? Looking for certifications like ISO 12100:2010 will tell you if they’re the real deal.  
  • Popular heavy machinery ramps are… 

    To find the best ramp for your heavy machinery, check out our Machinery Loading Ramp Buyer’s Guide or learn What Size Loading Ramp Do I Need?

    What Are Loading Ramps For Wheelchairs?

    Wheelchair ramps are an important part of everyday life for those with reduced mobility. And they come in many forms  — whether it’s a doorway ramp, vehicle ramp or permanent ramps outside public buildings. 

    man pushing a man on wheelchair using a pair of wheelchair ramps

    More specifically, wheelchair loading ramps are used to move wheelchairs or mobility scooters into vehicles and vans. For many of us able-bodied people who don’t think twice before we get into the car, it’s hard to imagine what this is like. 

    Our popular wheelchair loading ramps include…

    Wheelchair loading ramp features to look out for are…

        • A lightweight material (if you plan on moving them often)
        • High-traction surface and side rails for added safety
        • A suitable weight capacity for your situation
        • A suitable length to ensure the slope isn’t too steep (for occupied wheelchairs a slope of 10° is recommended, for unoccupied wheelchairs the slope can be up to 12 - 13°)
        • Secure connection points (like a locking pin) for maximum safety

    To find the best wheelchair loading ramp, check out our Wheelchair Ramp Buyer’s Guide

    How To Get The Right Loading Ramp

    At Ramp Champ, we have Australia’s largest range of ramps. 

    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.  

    We have thousands of high-quality ramps in our store so you can easily find a loading ramp that’s suited to your needs.

    Here’s how you can find the right loading ramp, whether it’s for a motorcycle, heavy machinery or something else entirely.  

  • Browse our range 
  • With Australia’s largest range of ramps, it’s best to start by browsing our website and filtering different options based on your situation, needs and preferences. 

  • Record your measurements 
  • Once you’ve found a ramp you’re interested in, record the height of your van, vehicle or trailer. This will ultimately determine the length you need to make it a safe gradient. Then, you can use our Ramp Calculator to make sure the ramp you’re interested in is the right fit. As a general rule, a safe gradient is…

        • Occupied wheelchairs: 10°
        • Unoccupied wheelchairs: 12 - 13°
        • Heavy machinery and motorcycles: 16 - 23°
  • Consider ramp features
  • Finally, weigh up what features are important to your situation. Do you want an added layer of safety? Choose a ramp with side rails. Do you want to move it around a lot? Choose a lightweight material. Do you need compact storage? Choose a bi-fold option. 

    At Ramp Champ, we’ve been helping our customers find the right loading ramp since 2016. If you have any questions, give us a buzz on 1300 913 047 or email us at   

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