We Explore Best Practices

Using a portable yard ramp for your business can be a wise decision, especially if you don’t have access to a permanent loading dock or ramp. This provides a great opportunity to move product quickly in and out of the dock bay. 

Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for using portable yard ramps:


Purchase your portable yard ramp from a reputable dealer in the industry. There are over 1000 “yard ramp” dealers in the United States. But just because they are officially dealers of any combination of factories, does not mean they are active in the yard ramp marketplace. Be sure you locate a dealer that knows yard ramps as well as you know your own business.

Determine the price point you are willing to pay for a quality yard ramp. This will help you determine if you must restrict yourself to the rare used yard ramp or if new is a viable route.

Factor in the features that will make your job easier. For instance, an optional tow bar allows you to pull a ramp a lengthy distance from one end of your facility to the other end. One the other hand, a ramp clamp is more common as it allows you to maneuver the ramp into place for use at a truck, railcar or container.

Choose between buying new or buying used, and then determine if you are going to pay for your portable yard ramp outright or finance the purchase through an equipment lease. While leasing may be most cost intensive, it is far better for efficiency and safety to employ some type of yard ramp than to maintain the status quo.

Shop online! This goes directly back to the first point above. You will find the best sources by searching online for your yard ramp.

Determine the correct specifications for your yard ramp. Keep in mind the width you need, your maximum capacity of moving loads, and the climate in which you will use the yard ramp. Defining these will help you select the optimal yard ramp for your business.


Ignore good safety practices for both the yard ramp and the yard. Posting signs near the equipment that outline safety procedures will remind your employees of best practices and protect them and your business.

Use your portable yard ramp above the maximum height range. A shorter ramp may seem adequate but the increased slope will actually decrease the desired outcomes of greater efficiency and lower safety risk.

Forget the rails if you expect there to be significant regular pedestrian use of the ramp. Safety rails and handrails should be employed to assist employees while walking up and down the ramp. This is not necessary where the primary usage is for forklift or pallet jack use.