Transporting your ATV or UTV can be a pain. One of the easiest ways is to secure it in a truck bed, but it can be challenging to get it on the truck in the first place.
Using a ramp is an easy and quick way to load and unload, but there are still safety precautions you must follow to ensure you and the vehicle are not injured. Here is a step by step guide.
Step 1: Purchase Quality Ramps
Get yourself a set of proper, high-quality loading ramps with added safety features like sidewalls. Your ramps should be rated for the weight of the vehicle plus the driver. Never exceed the weight limit on your ramps.
Step 2: Secure the Ramp
Use tie-down or ratchet straps to secure the ramps to the truck to prevent slipping or sliding when you’re driving up them. Use a separate strap for each ramp, and secure to the truck’s frame.
Step 3: Strap on That Helmet
The slow speed and short distance traveled when loading an ATV may seem innocent, but if something goes wrong, you want your important assets--that big brain and dreamy face--to be protected! Don’t let seeming convenience, peer pressure or your ego get in the way--make sure your help is on and the chin strap is secured.
Step 4: Find the Proper Positioning
Line up the ATV’s wheels with the truck, making sure it is dead straight on.
Step 5: Find the Center Line
Position the ramps so they are lined up with the very center of the ATV’s tires, or as close as possible. If you get them off-center, there is a risk that the ramps will tip and/or you will drive the ATV clean off the side.
Step 6: Pick the Right Gear
Put your ATV into 4LO or whatever the lowest possible gear is. You want low speed, but high power, and if you have four-wheel drive, you want it active.
Step 7: Keep it Firm but Smooth
Apply throttle firmly but smoothly. You want just enough gas for momentum and no more. Absolutely do not back off the throttle while driving up the ramps, as you might slip backwards.
Step 8: Practice Slow Creep
Slowly creep the ATV until all four wheels are safely on the truck bed. Once here, gently apply gas until the front of the ATV nearly touches the front of the bed, with a few inches space between the ATV and the front of the bed/cab window. Then shut off the engine, and put in park or apply the parking brake. Do not leave the key in while transporting.
Step 9: Pack It Up
Remove the tie-down straps, remove the ramps and close the tailgate.
Step 10: Secure the ATV
Use strong ratchet straps to secure the ATV to the truck. It helps to have somebody sit on the front and back of the machine while you secure the straps.
Never attempt to load an ATV on a truck on your own. If anything goes wrong, you may need a second person to fix the problem or go for help. Following these simple steps will help to keep the loading process smooth and safe.
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