Our current inventory shows portable yard ramps ⏤ for sale and for rent ⏤ that weigh anywhere from 3,700 to 6,235 pounds.
A majority of these reflect the industry's popular specifications: 20,000-pound capacity, 84-inch width, and 36-foot length, with a weight of some 6,000 pounds.
Six thousand pounds. That's three tons. It's also (since you asked) the approximate weight of the tongue of a blue whale, half the weight of an African bush elephant, and two-fifths the weight of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
So, our industrial equipment is heavy. About 2,500 pounds heavier than a Ford Taurus. If you have a stationary dock ramp, it's likely bolted to your loading bay.
(If you require assistance with that upon purchase or rental, and many of our customers do, our turnkey services provide an excellent way to keep you focused without worry on what you do; we'll take care of the heavy lifting.)
We want to reassure you on the ease with which our customers are able to move their portable yard ramps. You'll see the process in the accompanying video.
The forklift approaches.
The fork slides into the ramp clamp opening.
Forklift raises the fork.
The bottom of the yard ramp lifts off the ground.
Forklift moves to the needed repositioning.
The wheels on the other end of the yard ramp assure stable, balanced movement.
Yes, there are always variables. For example, your warehouse grounds might have some tighter turns, requiring a few more pivots of the yard ramp.
Yet, a qualified forklift operator will easily and safely reposition a yard ramp. Time after time.
Have a look:
This week, our man McCoy Fields switches back to the Stelvio Pass switchback in Italy. To our delight, he's a bit grumpy about the whole experience.
In it, they spotlight the manufacturing, storage, and distribution workflows as rightfully major links in the supply chain, all through the prism of warehouses. And they describe a number of types of warehouses. Three of them, briefly:
Storage Warehouses “often house slow-moving goods, providing a place to safely store them without cluttering production and distribution warehouses, and usually contain pallets of slow-moving goods for transportation to distribution centers and sorting facilities.” Picture lots of forklifts and pallet racks.
Distribution Warehouses “are generally responsible for order fulfillment and house fast-moving goods. They are particularly common for the fulfillment of consumer packaged goods and other products.” Picture a standard pick, pack, and ship operation.
Sorting Warehouses “are used specifically for collecting large bulk shipments and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable chunks for distribution warehouses to ship.”
The Yard Ramp Guy has been in business since 2011, and in that relatively short period of time we’ve seen some rather prominent shifts in how the supply chains operate. In particular, the sorting warehouse environment has grown.
Leading part of that charge is Amazon’s model, an interesting flow process of storage, distribution, and sorting facilities. It’s the “last-mile” delivery scenario that has become an industry disruptor. Depending on factors like membership and local availability of any given item of inventory, we might receive a package via established courier services, an Uber-like driver in his/her car, or what the company calls the Amazon Locker, a local public location the customer accesses directly to collect a package.
So, that’s one new development at the end of this house-that-Jack-built scenario.
What interests us in the warehousing situation is time. CNN might have “accidentally” started this revolution in 1980, when Ted Turner began his 24-hour cable news channel. Suddenly, the news wasn’t radio’s every hour on the hour broadcast, or the three national TV networks bringing us half an hour of evening news. And then the Internet happened. Today, the news cycles turn at a dizzying clip, leaving traditional journalism scrambling to adapt.
Time seems condensed in many arenas of personal and business life. With that, consumer demand in many of the industries we serve also has accelerated, to the point that the ability to deliver goods in a timely way is more prominent than ever when companies evaluate two or more competitors toward contracting into a partnership.
FedEx’s slogan – “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” – now seems outdated, yes? Now we have same-day and even two-hour delivery for certain things.
All of which circles back to the warehouse landscape. Manufacturing and distribution centers work best when they expedite their physical workflows in smart, strategic ways. That includes, in no small measure, the ability to move inventory to and from delivery vehicles.
In our eyes, both involve structural integrity. How we structure our business model is just as important as how a yard ramp itself is structured. Both are essential to our never-ending campaign to earn your trust and your business.
This came to mind when we happened across this map of global shipping routes. You’ll see the continents in black, with commercial shipping density lined in red. What strikes us about this map is the origin and destination points. Naturally, as we’re looking at ocean freight, these points all begin and end at a coastline.
Zone in on, say, the United States, and one thing becomes clear: our major ports sit in the most volatile places. The West Coast, prone to earthquakes. The Gulf, prone to hurricanes. The East Coast, prone to hurricanes.
While these ports by no means represent the final destination, they’re essential to the supply chain. And they’re seemingly in the most vulnerable locations.
Just as those crews secure their ships to the port prior to loading or offloading, your yard ramp’s security—whether a stationary ramp bolted to the bay or a portable ramp positioned at the back of a delivery vehicle, wheels up—is essential to the safety of the crew and inventory and to the streamlined flow of operations.
That’s why The Yard Ramp Guy team will spend a lot of time discussing your requirements. Mike will ask you many questions about the specific dimensions of your forklift, your loading dock, your inventory prior to sale or rental. And that’s why Jim will explore the width of your company’s driveway and operations staging, toward offloading a purchase or rental and any turnkey services you may require. And part of that turnkey service is bolting and welding, toward providing a safe, secure ramp.
Your yard ramp’s most vulnerable points echo that shipping route map above. It’s where your inventory disembarks from the ramp that most concerns us. We want you to keep your crew safe. Your customers want to receive undamaged inventory. Everybody needs and deserves structural integrity.
The term “supply chain” gets tossed around frequently in the business world.
Sometimes we muddle the meaning, with companies using it as a marketing meme to promote an in-the-know posturing.
More frequently, companies and publications utilize “supply chain” for its (more or less) actual definition: how products make their way from the origin point to end-user destination.
For example: a widget company orders raw material from, say, Fargo, to its factory in Chicago. The finished widget is then packaged in bulk and sent to an order fulfillment center in Kansas City, from which we receive our widget in Honolulu. That’s the supply chain—Fargo to Honolulu, via Chicago and Kansas City.
Each “link” in that chain involves factors of logistics, cost, and time, all of which contribute to the cost of our widget.
The Yard Ramp Guy is especially interested in those individual links in the supply chain. And here, we put the process under the microscope.
We often write in the blog about our yard ramps and dock ramps working seamlessly in the background to help optimize and streamline our customers’ business operations. Specifically, we take pride in our inventory—with minimal required maintenance—helping get your inventory from one elevation to another at the locations needing a lift, or a lowering, on your company property.
What does that involve? Most of the time it’s either of two things: a portable yard ramp, easily placed into position or out of the way; or a stationary dock ramp, fixed into position, with no required movement.
Both scenarios place our Yard Ramp Guy inventory as integral parts of your supply chain. If nothing else, our business is about movement and flow.
For your business, that means reduced time to and from the delivery truck, for production, or to and from your warehouse, for shipment to—eventually—the end user.
As always in the manufacturing and industrial world, time is money. We’re honored to help businesses throughout the nation reduce time and save money.
This week, our man McCoy Fields roams Europe and the United States...and finds the outer limits of his freedom to roam.
Over the years, we’ve fielded thousands of phone calls from people looking to buy or rent a quality forklift ramp from our inventory. Whether a potential customer knows the precise specifications, needs our perspective in order to meet the requirements, or requires a custom solution: these conversations themselves are essential.
We always want to get it right. In our business, the only surprises should be how smoothly the discussion and transaction have flowed, from first call to delivery to putting the ramp into use.
Trust is very much part of this process. The Yard Ramp Guy is fortunate to have an extraordinary team in place—from Mike skillfully exploring the details of your specs to Jim orchestrating all aspects of the delivery and installation.
What’s sometimes discussed in these conversations (and, just as often, not discussed) is why our potential customers need a yard ramp. Not the more obvious reason, which is getting their products from truck to warehouse, or from factory floor to truck. Rather, it’s the configuration of the company’s building itself.
Some structures have loading bays constructed as part of the building, designed so that a delivery truck can back in, load or unload, and drive away. Just as often, though, a building does not have that configuration. (And that’s why we’re in business.)
The company then has some choices. Typically, the more expensive of these is to build a loading bay, replete with a graded approach and reinforcement of the building’s edge. That requires a contractor, or two or three, that can dig and grade and pour concrete, providing an irrigation channel for so the bottom of the bay’s incline doesn’t pool water.
That approach often requires an investment that will cost much more than a yard ramp. (Don’t forget the time and expense involved in securing construction permits.)
Then fold into the equation those businesses that rent—and don’t own—the warehouse space. And then top it off with those businesses that need a yard ramp only for seasonal spikes in production. Those logistics get complicated and expensive.