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As an ATV enthusiast, you know that part of the hobby’s territory is getting your four-wheeler to your riding destination. Strong, safe, portable ramps make this task easier by reducing the risk of injury to you or damage to your 4×4 or vehicle, in addition to getting you where you want to be as quickly as possible – in the saddle. With so many options, styles and features available, determining the best ATV loading ramps can seem complicated, but a little thought and research can make your decision much more obvious.
How Will You Use Your ATV Loading Ramps?
Start by answering a few questions based on your specific situation and current equipment setup.
Question: Do you load your 4×4 onto a truck or a trailer? The loading height will make a difference in the ramp length for proper clearance.
Question: Will you load your quad in conditions such as mud, snow, rain, dirt or other elements? Some ramps have serrated, open rungs to provide the best traction and also to allow debris to fall between the crossbars onto the ground.
Question: Do you plan to load the four-wheeler by yourself? If so, you’ll want to consider an extra long ramp to reduce the severity of the angle.
Question: Will you use your loading ramps for any equipment other than your ATV, such as a lawn mower or snow blower? In addition to weight capacity considerations, some ramps are better suited for the kind of knobby tires found on an all-terrain vehicle, not necessarily lawn equipment.
Question: Do you prefer steel or aluminum ramps? While steel provides very good strength, durability and price, aluminum is lighter weight, easier to handle and won’t rust.
ATV Ramp Styles
ATV ramps come in several main styles, each with different features to suit your needs as determined by your current equipment.
Dual Runner – Two separate ramps or "runners," available in folding or non-folding styles; straight or arched. Easy to fit under the ATV while in transport but require a higher ground clearance ATV.
Bifold – Hinged ramp folds width in half for compact storage. Quicker setup than Dual Runner. When folded for transport, may require quad with higher ground clearance.
Trifold – Ramp width folds in thirds. Low profile when folded for storage during travel and fits between tires of most ATVs. Available with semi-open center track for lighter setup but still adds stability to the entire ramp system.
Trailer – Versatile style for loading ATVs and other equipment such as lawn tractors or snowmobiles onto a trailer.
Attached – Ramp mounts directly to your pickup truck for safe, easy loading of a utility vehicle; self-storing.
Hitch Mounted Ramps – Combination carrier with optional loading ramps attaches to hitch receiver, eliminating hassles and expense of a trailer. Ramps self-store for travel.
Non-Folding and Arched – Straight ramps may require additional length, compared to arched ramps, to avoid bottoming out some 4x4s when cresting a pickup truck bed. Arched ramps can provide additional, needed clearance.
Four Factors When Choosing an ATV Ramp System
After you’ve considered the features and benefits of the various ramp styles, there are a few additional factors in determining the best ATV ramp system for your loading needs.
Add together the following numbers to calculate the total, overall weight of your current setup:
- Weight of the quad itself (Check ATV owner’s manual)
- Fuel weight (Fuel tank capacity in gallons x 8.5 lbs)
- Weight of all accessories, attachments (Check individual manuals for each item)
- Driver’s weight
- Load / cargo weight
Four-wheeler ramps are designed for equally distributed weight across four tires / two axles. However, don’t assume that is actually the case, since it is, in fact, very likely that the weight on one axle is greater than on the other. As a matter of safety, it is crucial to NEVER, under any circumstances, exceed the weight capacity of the ramps. It is recommended that you use an ATV ramp system with a weight capacity that well exceeds your total overall weight, especially if there is a possibility you might upgrade to a larger, heavier ATV in the future. After all, why buy ramps twice? It’s best to plan ahead.
2.) Ramp style
Dual runner, bifold, trifold, trailer, attached, hitch-mount, non-folding or arched, as explained above.
3.) Ramp width
Selecting ramps that are wide enough for your 4×4 will not only make loading safer, it will also make the process easier and quicker.
For dual runner-style ramps, measure the widest part of your ATV’s tire width. Even though most ramps have a slight guardrail to keep your ATV tire on track, selecting a 4×4 loading ramp that is somewhat wider than the tire width measurement is recommended.
4.) Loading height / Ramp length
Using the appropriate length of ramp is critical to loading and unloading your quad safely. Even though most ATVs have a wheelbase / ground clearance ratio capable of climbing very steep inclines, you still want to keep the angle of your ramps low enough to prevent the machine from tipping. A ramp calculator can help specify the length of ramp best for you.
The Discount Ramps Ramp Calculator is the perfect tool to determine the minimum length ramp you need for an ATV. Here are the three necessary measurements to enter into the Ramp Calculator: Wheelbase is the horizontal distance between the center of the front wheel and the center of the rear wheel. Ground clearance is the vertical distance between the base of the ATV tire and the underside of the chassis. Loading height or rise is the distance from the ground to the top-most point of the truck bed or trailer onto which the ATV will be loaded.
Another less exact option is to simply place one end of a tape measure on the open tailgate of your truck or trailer and measure out on an angle until you find a length that looks optimal.
Don’t Skip Safety Precautions
A majority of the considerations throughout this purchase process are based on how to make loading and unloading an all-terrain vehicle as safe as possible. That goes for weight capacities, ramp widths and lengths, as well as operating the ATV with care. Always remember to wear a helmet and other necessary protective gear when operating a four-wheeler, which includes the loading and unloading process, too.
By doing some of the research and measuring up front, you can be sure to find the perfect ATV ramp system for your needs. Happy trails!
Deer hunting has already started in many parts of the country or is about to kick off everywhere else, and an ATV can be a useful tool to help make it a successful season. While there are lots of reasons to use an ATV in your hunt, there appear to be just as many arguments against it. Most people with an opinion on the matter fall decisively into one camp or the other.
An ATV gives you access to remote or impassable areas that are not reachable by truck or too far on foot. If you set up miles away from home base or your pickup truck, as opposed to yards, you want to have a quicker means of getting there than on foot.
Using an all-terrain vehicle allows you to haul equipment and supplies to isolated areas with lots of storage space. ATV accessories like an ATV cargo box or specialized carrier like a gun rack work great for keeping your gear clean, dry, secure and organized and are especially nice for transporting heavy or cumbersome items like tree stands.
Four wheelers are invaluable for carrying your deer back to your vehicle or cabin and a much better option than dragging a buck or doe by hand over muddy, rough or steep terrain, or across streams or creeks. However, there are also non-motorized options for this, such as a pull-behind hand cart designed specifically to traverse wooded and grassy areas.
Hunters with disabilities often benefit greatly from the use of an ATV or quad during hunting season. For some, the use of one is the difference between being able to participate in the hunt or not at all and is the only means of getting to their stand.
Most hunters using ATVs make it a point to leave some distance between their ATV and their stand, but others report taking quite the opposite approach. Some sportsmen actually park their ATV in tall grass, top the machine with a camouflage cover and sit behind It like a blind. In some areas, deer populations are already used to the sounds and smells of the local farmers’ machinery, or hunters take the time to make regular, frequent trips with their ATV to their hunting stands in order to get the deer acclimatized to its sound and smell. However, the temperament and tolerance of the herd you are hunting will dictate whether this could be a successful strategy for your area.
First and foremost, you should know the local regulations regarding ATV use or the preference of the landowner where you hunt, since many public lands prohibit the use of ATVs. It would also be a smart strategy to find out your neighbor’s viewpoint on the matter, too, to keep the peace when tensions may run high.
The obvious objections to four-wheelers in the woods during hunting season are the noise, smell and footprint left behind by an ATV when a trail is disrupted or torn up. Fumes from an ATV may carry not just in the area surrounding the machine but also on your clothes, though walking into the woods may help minimize the scent. The noise issue may be improved with an add-on, secondary muffler, which can quiet ATV exhaust noise by up to 50% and without any sacrifice in performance.
Some hunters claim that the use of ATVs in hunting areas (even out of season) keep deer away, spook them or diminish the numbers of mature deer who will occupy your territory. Others, however, have had the opposite experience, and have downed a mature buck within 100 yards of a parked ATV.
For the purists, part of the hunting experience is to get as close to nature as possible; that includes using your legs and all your senses to their fullest to take in every detail possible. Driving past nature doesn’t allow the same experience, and you may miss a lot! Sometimes, the sound of total silence can be the payoff, whether you fill your tag or not.
Reminders for Hunting with Four Wheelers
Should you decide that you want to use an all-terrain vehicle for your hunting endeavors, here a few things to keep in mind:
Learn the local laws in your hunting area regarding the use of ATVs on public land. On private land, find out the landowner’s decree for riding four-wheelers in his kingdom, as well as having at least an awareness of the neighbors’ positions on the matter.
Stay on established trails and roads, and avoid widening that trail by unnecessarily driving around obstacles that can be crossed over.
Steer clear of stands as much as possible, preferably, driving part of the distance, then walking in the last leg on foot.
Limit your ATV driving time to coincide with off-peak activity hours of the deer. Plan ahead to drive in well before sunrise, and wait until after dark to return. The less disruption, the better.
Be safe! This includes driving with unloaded, secured weapons, riding slowly while keeping an eye out for other hunters on foot and wearing the necessary protective gear. Make sure your rig is outfitted properly with tools in the event of a breakdown and a GPS if you are covering unfamiliar territory.
Be aware of how additional weight on your ATV racks or cargo boxes affects the machine’s handling and responsiveness. An overloaded ATV, combined with steep hills, can make a vehicle tippy.
A Happy Medium?
A modified approach seems to work for many. For example, consider using an ATV to retrieve downed game at the hunt’s conclusion or just off-season for utility, recreation and hunting preparations like hanging stands, raking trails or preparing food plots; hoofing it for the initial trek out to your stand creates the least amount of disturbance.
An electric golf cart could also be a possible alternative. While a golf cart won’t have the power or traction of an ATV on certain terrain or in wet or snowy conditions, it doesn’t have the noise or odor, either. Golf cart accessories for the outdoorsman, such as gun carriers or bow holders, also help to make this a more appealing option.
Sometimes getting your ATV to your destination can be half the battle, and the hunting hasn’t even started! Use the right equipment to haul your four-wheeler for a hassle-free and enjoyable outdoor adventure.
If a pickup truck is your mode of transportation, a good set of ATV loading ramps (and not some spindly 2 x 4’s) can’t be beat. Don’t just “make-do” with scraps you have on hand, and take care of your equipment. Otherwise, a hitch-mounted ATV carrier is another option, so that the bed of the truck remains available for all the other gear and equipment you need to take along on your hunt.
For the larger-scale expedition that requires the use of a trailer, trailer ATV ramps let you load your four-wheeler quickly and without blowing out your back. Save the work for climbing into your tree stand.
Have a safe and productive hunt!
Here is a new item added to Discount Ramps.com
The Bosski Aluminum ATV Wagon is an all terrain cargo hauler. Carries up to 1263 lbs on a weather sealed aluminum bed. Features 800 lb tandem axle and electric brakes for quicker stops. Includes a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.
Thanks for reading! Jay Tamez – Discount Ramps LLC
A poll conducted a few years back by the folks at Harris Interactive shows that “Made in the USA” is pretty important for most Americans in their buying decisions, as it influences about 3 in 5 of us. That number begins to vary slightly, however, when you drill it down further by age and region, with it being a factor of greater importance for U.S. adults age 55+. It also tends to play a bigger role for people living in the Midwest as opposed to the east coast and the South, or on the west coast, where it carries the least weight. In general, though, if we can find the product we need AND it is manufactured domestically, most Americans view that as a very big positive.
Since everybody’s feeling all patriotic and full of national pride with Independence Day having just been celebrated, we thought we’d do a Product Roundup of just a few of the U.S.-made products we have available.
Big Boy II Motorcycle Ramp
Whatever kind of bike you ride, whether it’s a cruiser, sport bike or even any of your other toys, this 2-piece motorcycle ramp system is perfect for loading onto a trailer or pickup truck. These deluxe ramps for motorcycles and other equipment have tons of features to make the process safe and seamless and allow you to load your motorcycle either by riding or walking it on board.
Hitch Cargo Box
ATV Drop Basket Carrier
If you’re headed out into the woods or field on your quad, you’ll have plenty of room to carry extra gear, tools, clothing or other supplies with this four-wheeler rear rack. It’s made of lightweight aluminum.
Threshold Ramp for Wheelchairs and Walkers
A quality wheelchair ramp constructed of recycled polymers helps make the transition through a doorway much smoother for those using a walker, power scooter or power chair.
Bed Pet Stairs
If your pet is getting on in years and struggles with climbing into bed each night, these wooden dog stairs are just the thing. The dog step is available in multiple 2- and 3-step configurations, with several finishes to match your decor.
Aluminum Truck Rack
If you’ve ever broken the rear window of your pickup from hauling ladders, lumber, rakes or shovels in the bed, you know how frustrating and expensive it can be! Rugged Rack truck racks protect the back window and also prevent dents and scratches.
So…How strong of an influence does that “Made in USA” label have for you?