Why You Need to Know Your Safe Loading Ramp Angle & How to Find It
Date Posted: 27 January 2023
If you regularly work with large-scale pieces of industrial equipment, you need a loading ramp. It’s incredibly difficult to move these beasts around and transport them from one place to the next without one. Not only is this type of equipment heavy and physically difficult to transport, but they are expensive, so you need to ensure that they are handled with care so no damage occurs. At the end of the day, these pieces of machinery aren’t cheap, nor are any repairs that may be needed due to poor handling.
Thankfully help is at hand. With a top-quality loading ramp — and the right know-how — you can load up and transport your heavy equipment the best way possible. Loading ramps are essential items in a large-scale agricultural or industrial setting where heavy and huge equipment needs to be moved. A quality loading ramp is a significant investment that will save you time and money, increasing the efficiency of your enterprise and having an overall positive impact on your bottom line.
With that being said, if you want to use a loading ramp properly and safely, it is important to have the knowledge to confidently do so. To that end, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about safe loading ramp angles, that includes step-by-step instructions on how to find your loading angle, as well as plenty of useful insights into other factors you should consider when using a loading ramp.
What Is a Loading Angle & Why Does It Matter?
Loading ramps are essential equipment for many industries, allowing operators to safely and efficiently load and unload heavy equipment and materials. However, to ensure that these loading ramps are used safely and effectively, operators need to be aware of the importance of loading ramp angles.
The angle of a loading ramp refers to the slope of the ramp or the degree of incline between the ground and the secondary surface. This angle can have a significant impact on the safety and efficiency of loading and unloading operations. A steeper angle can make it more difficult to control the movement of heavy equipment or materials, while a shallower angle can slow down the loading process.
For maximum safety and efficiency, operators should be familiar with the recommended loading ramp angles for different types of equipment and materials. This information can usually be found in the manufacturer’s specifications or guidelines for the loading ramp. However, typically, you want your loading angle between 16–23 degrees. In most cases, setting the loading ramp at an 18-degree angle is perfect.
How to Find the Right Loading Angle Every Time
If your loading ramp is set at an incorrect angle, it can affect the stability and balance of the load being transported, as well as make it harder for you to get the job done. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know how to calculate your loading ang
To find the right loading angle, you will need to know the length of the ramp and the height of the secondary surface (the surface the ramp is leading to), like the back of the truck you’re loading the machinery onto.
If you’re keen to test your math skills, now’s the time to break out the pencil and paper, as well as a trusty calculator. In order to find the angle of your existing ramp, follow these steps:
- Begin by finding the ratio between the height of the secondary surface (the rise) and the length of the ground the ramp covers (the run), as opposed to the length of the ramp itself. This should be a 90-degree angle.
- To calculate the angle of your ramp as it stands, use the arctan (inverse tangent) function on your calculator with the following formula: slope (angle) = arctan (rise over run).
- Remember, as mentioned above, your desired angle for loading ramps is typically 18 degrees, with the safe loading angle range between 16 and 24 degrees. If your calculated angle is outside of this range, you may need to adjust the ramp’s length or the secondary surface’s height. Ensure this is done safely.
When it comes to the simplest safe way to decrease the angle of a loading ramp, refer to your ramp’s manufacturer’s guidelines. You may need to detach the ramp from the secondary surface and shorten or lengthen the ramp as needed, then measure it again.
Alternatively, if you don’t want the hassle of the trial-and-error approach, you can use the desired angle to calculate the required length of the ramp. The formula you need is: length of ramp = rise over sin (angle).
For example, if the desired angle is 18 degrees and the height of the secondary surface is 1.5 meters, the length of the ramp needed would be 1.5 over sin(18), which equals 4.85 meters. Make sure your calculator is set correctly to ‘degrees mode’ when doing these calculations, otherwise your numbers may not make sense.
Of course, if you don’t have a head for figures, you will find there are also several online calculators available that can make this task easier.
Also, remember that the safety of the load and the operator should always be the top priority when determining the correct loading angle.
What Else Do You Need to Consider When Using a Loading Ramp?
Along with your angle, there are a few other things to factor in when transporting heavy machinery around.
The Weight Limit of the Ramp
Each ramp has a maximum weight capacity that should not be exceeded. It is essential to check the weight limit of your ramp before using it to ensure it can safely support the weight of the load being transported. It’s also important for operators to be aware of the weight limits for the loading ramp and to take into account the weight and size of the equipment or materials being loaded or unloaded. This should also include the weight of any people who will be on the ramp too. Overloading a loading ramp can cause damage to the ramp and equipment, and even accidents that could put the welfare of the operator and those nearby at risk.
The Ramp Materials & Setup
The materials used to construct a ramp can affect its durability and stability. Steel ramps are often more durable than aluminium ramps, but they may also be heavier. Additionally, setting up the ramp on a level surface is important to ensure stability.
Ramps can also come in two different styles: rungs or flat. Rung ramps look like a ladder and are generally best for tyres. You’ll need to be sure that the rungs are an appropriate distance apart for your tyres. Flat ramps, however, are better for steel tracks, as rungs can get caught between the tracks.
The Quality of the Ramp
It’s important to purchase a well-constructed ramp made from high-quality materials. This will ensure that the ramp is safe to use and will last for a long time.
By considering these factors, along with the loading angle, you can ensure that you are using your loading ramp safely and effectively.
Ready to Find Your Ramp?
Loading ramps are an essential item if you find yourself working in any large-scale industrial or agricultural setting. Not only will it make operations more efficient when it comes to moving heavy machinery, but the use of a loading ramp will also help protect this expensive equipment and, more importantly, the safety of those working with said equipment.
Investing in a good-quality loading ramp made from the right materials to accommodate your ramp’s intended purpose is only the first step. To make the most out of your loading ramp and ensure it is used both safely and effectively, you need to ensure you know about safe loading ramp angles. Hopefully, the overview we’ve provided here will provide you with some useful insights in terms of setting the loading angle for your ramp.
Beyond learning how to calculate a safe loading ramp angle, it is essential to note that the world of loading ramps is far more complex than most people would initially think. There are several factors worth considering before purchasing a loading ramp. Beyond the price point itself, the loading ramp you decide to buy should take into account the type of equipment being transported, including both its weight and whether it has tyres or tracks.
Whether you feel confident enough to know what you want in terms of a loading ramp, or you still have questions, Bunyip Equipment is the place to go. When it comes to anything to do with loading ramps and other large-scale industrial equipment essentials, we’re more than happy to help. We stock an excellent selection of quality aluminium and steel loading ramps in a range of sizes. Furthermore, our friendly team of experts is always on hand to offer their industry insights or answer your questions.
So, find your ideal loading ramp today to safely move your machinery for years to come!