On Portable Loading Dock Benefits

Loading and Offloading Freight with Ease

portable loading dock benefits
Loading Dock Benefits

Here’s a typical scenario: Your business operation involves a team of employees responsible for loading and offloading inventory at various points in your facility. Your stock arrives at the loading bay and must be moved from the arriving delivery vehicle to your dock bay.

In turn, the team must move stock to other areas for processing—say, putting together your components piece by piece. In moving inventory into and throughout the facility, the team might use a forklift, a dolly, a cart, sheer muscle, or a combination of those. Eventually, you package and return the finished product to the loading bay for pickup.

Many operations have loading docks that are not accessible to the delivery vehicle, and for a variety of possible reasons. The height of the dock may differ from the height of the truck container, or the alley may be too narrow for the truck to back into proper alignment with the loading bay.

That’s where a portable loading dock becomes an essential part of your operation. Your team can position the loading dock safely, and with speed and ease. The loading dock is also able to handle the weight of your deliveries (of course, with proper specifications for your requirements, and we confirm this as part of our sales and rental process).

The Yard Ramp Guy approaches your business operation with full knowledge that your focus is on your product, your sales, and your ability to efficiently process orders.

Here’s the rub: in our experience, the portable loading dock may well be the most overlooked part of the company’s workflow. And we’re good with that. We want that to be the situation because this means our portable loading dock is doing its job.

And honestly: we’re honored by this. We know that our quality inventory helps our clients focus on their operations.

So, we’re not in the background. Rather, The Yard Ramp Guy’s loading docks are on the ground, throughout the country, and we’re proud to help your business reach new heights.

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Quotable

All the fat guys watch me and say to their wives, “See, there’s a fat guy doing okay. Bring me another beer.”Mickey Lolich, Detroit Tigers Pitcher

Forklift Ramp Construction

Carry That Weight

Full disclosure: we’re obsessed with forklift ramps. Not only the business side of things, the discussion of your requirements, the transporting of them to your business. And not just the three essentials—Durability, Affordability, and Portability.

We’re fascinated by their designs and angles, their simplicity and efficiency, their structural features and ease of maintenance.

The Beatles had it right: “Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight/Carry that weight a long time.”

We’re also fascinated by the application of the hydraulic pump and the easy use of the tow bar and ramp clamp.

Okay, know that if you have dinner with us, we’re also sports-obsessed; we can usually move past ramp mobility devices before the salad arrives. And then we’ll probably talk about how the Royals are “ramping up” for 2016.

In our research, we still come across forklift ramps that are constructed with sheets of trellis-like grating over a solid steel floor. In our view, it’s not the optimal design. Your forklift’s traction will be limited, and you’ll risk greater accumulation of debris in the floor, and pooled moisture will increase the likelihood of rust.

Otherwise, we find the consistency of forklift ramp design to be a fascinating thing. With all due respect to technology, our industry doesn’t introduce a new iRamp every 12 months. As our man McCoy Fields writes, “There’s a lot to be said for sticking to the old classics. You know what you’re dealing with.”

Our industry will no doubt evolve, with improvements in design. Scientists have already developed a prototype alloy that’s lighter and stronger than our current, commonly used steel. Down the road, this might mean even greater portability and endurance for our customers’ needs.

This also means when you have dinner with us we might not start talking about sports until the dessert arrives.

Skid Steers and Yard Ramps

A Safe Loading and Unloading Alternative

We occasionally encounter companies that employ alternate ways to load and off-load their merchandise. The most traditional equipment here is a forklift (of course, one that meets or exceeds specifications in terms of weight capacity and that maneuvers safely within the given dimensions).

Some companies, however, choose to use a skid steer, also known as a skid-steer loader or a skid loader. (You know this most commonly as the Bobcat, a popular brand name.)

The two machines share the basics: four wheels, engine-powered, mechanically operated lift arms. And then the differences begin.

The skid steer is smaller and more rigid than a forklift. On a skid steer, the lift arms are typically based parallel to the operator, with rotation pivots usually just back of the operator’s shoulders.

The main difference is in how the wheels move. On a skid steer, the wheels pair up on either side so that your front and back left wheels lock and synchronize independently from the right, which also roll in tandem with each other. With this mutually exclusive feature, the operator can move, say, the left wheels faster than the right wheels, which creates the ability to drag—or “skid”—the machine with a “zero-radius” turn.

The mechanics of a skid steer make it an excellent option for operators who need to maneuver into and around tight spaces.

That said, safety remains our top priority—for your team and for your inventory. The capacity considerations apply the same for both forklift and skid steer scenarios:

The industry standard for determining the required capacity of your yard ramp is to multiply the Maximum Loading Capacity of your forklift or skid steer by 3x.

Your yard ramp capacity must be equal to or greater than 3x the maximum lifting capacity.

Ramp capacity should meet or exceed this calculation; most often you can find this on the dashboard of your forklift/skid steer (be sure you are reading the lifting capacity and NOT the weight of the forklift or skid steer itself).

Your forklift or skid steer scenario is one of the essential topics The Yard Ramp Guy team covers when discussing requirements with you.

 

Putting the Portable in Our Loading Dock Inventory

Getting from Point A to . . . You

From day one, The Yard Ramp Guy has focused on quality—of clear and honest communication, in inventory, and for cost-benefit of purchases and rentals to our clients. Today, we further pinpoint our commitment to quality through a focus on location.

You’ll frequently see this statement throughout our website:

We strategically locate our storage depots throughout the United States — currently in NJ, PA, VA, FL, OH, GA, TX, MO, CO & CA.
Most of The Yard Ramp Guy’s ramps sit within 250 miles of 90% of the population. This results in considerably reduced delivery and return freight costs.

Let’s say your business is in Atlanta. As of this writing, our nearest ramp on our Live Locator Map, is located in Murfreesboro, TN (about 230 miles away). Well, in terms of freight costs, that’s certainly doable…and probably desirable.

What happens, though, if the specs on that ramp in Tennessee don’t meet your requirements? We say: seek further. Expand your radius. And definitely contact us. (As we also state throughout the site: “Listings update regularly. Still, some available ramps may not be shown. Call us to discuss all ramp purchase and/or rental options.”)

We list our loading dock inventory geographically on the site as a simple way for you to find and identify…and for us to present our stock. The Yard Ramp Guy will always work toward finding a portable loading dock for you that is nearest your location in an effort to reduce your freight cost.

We’re also working on a new interface that will list our inventory by region in addition to listing by state. We think this will add new perspective to your consideration and evaluation of our quality yard ramps for rent and for sale.

Stay tuned to this space for future announcements.

Yard Ramp Logistics: Carry the Weight

What’s the Over/Under on How Much Pete Rose Can Bench Press?

A funny moment about lifting weights came during the pre-game show for Game 3 of the 2015 World Series. With the Mets’ Noah Syndegaard set to pitch, the talking heads—including the elder Pete Rose and the mountain Frank Thomas—were marveling at Syndegaard’s ability to bench press 550 pounds.

A couple “experts” joked that Kansas City pitcher Yordano Ventura would have a tough time pressing his own 150-pound weight. Then Frank Thomas said to Pete Rose something like, “So Pete, how much did you bench back in the day?” Pete just stared back and said, “I didn’t need to bench anything. I just needed to lift my bat.” I’m not a big admirer of Rose, but that was priceless.

For the record, Rose used bats ranging from 33.5 to 35.0 ounces during his career.

And there’s our yard ramp connection…

Carry the Weight

Just as Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations,” The Yard Ramp Guy says, “A yard ramp needs to know its ramp clamp’s limitations.” Simply put: Use a ramp clamp to help MOVE your mobile yard ramp. Do not use a ramp clamp to LIFT it!

Most yard ramp and/or platforms weigh between 5,000 – 8,000 lbs. A ramp clamp is rated to move as much as 15,000 dynamic lbs. – weight in motion. If being used to lift even as little as 3,000 static lbs., the ramp clamp will break. If you are an engineer, you’ll understand the “why” of it; if not we can all understand the “yeah, yeah, I get it.”

Clamping Down

The versatile ramp clamp: always at the ready, helping your operator move that yard ramp over short distances.

That said, it’s amazing how people have tried to use ramp clamps for things they’re not designed to do. Keep in mind they’re designed for mobility, NOT LIFTING. Even ramp clamps have their limitations.

They’re designed strictly for maneuvering a ramp equipped with wheels or casters. Once the ramp clamp vices down on the fork tine, the ramp and the forklift become a unified object. The forklift operator now moves as a single dynamically mobile piece of equipment.