If you've ever crossed the backcountry on an ATV, you know that off-roading is one of the most thrilling of all the extreme sports. You may also know that there's no thrill to moving your ATV from your suburban garage to the back roads without the use of proper ATV ramps.
Some people are absolutely lost when it comes to choosing and using ATV ramps. There's really no trick to using ramps, but it does take a little practice to get the procedure just right.
The following guidelines will help prepare you for the ramping experience, and walk you through the process. By following these steps, you should have a fairly uneventful experience:
Buying the Right Ramps
The most common rule of thumb is really common sense. The ramp must be wider than the ATV. Take careful measurements BEFORE you place your order. Having said that, on a wide-runner ramp, the width of your ATV's wheelbase should be used as the reference of the ramp's width. On the other hand, if you prefer a single-runner ramp, the width distance should be at least as wide as your tire.
Standard ATV ramp sizes are used on smaller pickup vehicles. Longer ramps are intended for larger trucks. Before paying for the ramp, be sure to check the capacity of the ramp and the load of your ATV. If you think that your ATV is heavier than the load capacity of the ATV ramp, consider the pairing of two ramps to enhance the overall load capability.
Using Your ATV Ramps
Step One: Park your truck on a flat and firm surface, and use the parking brake. Clear all materials out of the truck or trailer bed and secure the vehicle and the trailer before beginning the ramping procedure.
Second Step: Secure the ramp on hard-packed ground, position it at the lowest possible angle, and then connect the ramp to your truck or trailer bed. When using runners, make sure that each ramp is properly spaced to match your ATV's wheelbase. Double-check that the ramp is secure and has a snug fit.
Step Three: Install the safety cables with the ramps tightly supported against the trailer bed.
Fourth Step: Once again, check the current weight of your ATV, and compare it to the ramp's load capacity. You can remove any heavy, excess gear from your ATV to prevent overloading. This will prevent possible damage to your ramp and ATV.
Fifth Step: Use a winch if you have one. There is no better way to bring your ATV safely up the ramp and on to the trailer or truck bed. Riding your ATV up the ramp is an option if you don't have a winch, but you must ride slowly and cautiously with smooth acceleration.
At this point, the worst accidents can happen. Don't rush it. Accelerating abruptly or riding too quickly can cause you to fall off of the ramp or crash into the back of the truck cab. To be safe, buy a winch to ramp your ATV, particularly if you have no previous ramping experience.
Step Six: Secure your ATV. Once the ATV is loaded, carefully secure it to the truck bed or trailer.
It's really quite simple to use ATV ramps, once you get the hang of it, but it does require a little practice. Follow each of these steps carefully, and have another person on hand to help whenever possible. Accidents happen quickly and without warning, and it's important to have help available when you need it.
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