Using a loading ramp might appear simple, and honestly it is. However, as with everything in our lives, small mistakes can be costly. Twisting the wrong way or stumbling over the edge or worse can lead to serious muscle and back problems. That being said the advantages of using a loading ramp should be fairly clear to anyone. It makes it easier to load heavy cargo into a vehicle and this is doubly true for smaller vehicles that you might choose to load; just try loading a motorbike without a ramp. With this in mind, there are definitely a few considerations you should keep in mind when using a loading ramp to ensure that you minimise any potential risk of injury.
Be aware of the edges
This may sound beyond obvious, but the number one cause of injury when using a loading ramp is slipping or stepping off of the edge of the ramp. The ramps are designed primarily for wheels so having you walk up it, whilst perfectly within design expectations, puts you at risk. If you are at the bottom of the ramp, slipping off could land you with a twisted ankle but should you misstep at the top of the ramp then not only are you looking at a fall of several feet, but also whatever you are escorting up the ramp is quite likely to follow you.
Keep the angle shallow
We have all walked up a hill before, so you know that the steeper something is the harder it is to walk up it. Now of course this applies to pushing something up a loading ramp. As such it is very important that the loading ramp is kept shallow. The argument has been made that a shallower angle weakens the ramp, but well-made aluminium loading ramps will sustain the weight regardless; so keep the ramp below 14 degrees to keep using it safely.
Choose the right ramp
It can be easy to assume that a ramp is a ramp so just using something to do the job is sufficient. This really is not true, a plank of wood will not keep you safe as it is prone to slipping, it has not been tested for weight tolerances and it does not have the lips that allow you to wheel things on and off with ease. Investigate a quality retailer, such as Sureweld, and you see that they have a range of ramps for almost any given situation. Each of these has been designed and tested to ensure that they are as safe and durable as possible so hopefully the reasons for purchasing a proper ramp will be clear.
Honestly, it is the simple things that we do in life that can pose some of the most risk we will face in our daily lives. Using a loading ramp is an unassuming task so our guard is down and we feel like it requires no consideration. Don’t fall into this trap and take care of yourself when using a ramp.