Safely Transporting a Portable Yard Ramp

Hitching a Ride the Right Way

A portable yard ramp travels best by flatbed. Occasionally customers ask why they can't put the yard ramp inside a container truck. Well, you can, though it's extremely cumbersome, is difficult to load and off-load and it's dangerous because you can’t strap it down securely enough; container trucks are just not made that way. You don't want a yard ramp bashing out the sides of your 18-wheeler as it’s going down the highway. 

upAlso, yard ramps are not typically road worthy. Though they have tires, those are designed for maneuvering around a yard—to a dock or to the back of a truck for loading/off-loading—optimally, we’re looking at a couple hundred yards. 

(Occasionally we will have the a rural area user, who will move a yard ramp longer distances at, say, four miles an hour. We don’t encourage this.) 

Therefore, we don’t hitch a portable yard ramp to the back of a truck and pull it down the highway. So, they travel by flatbed. 

Depending on the specs of the ramps, we can ship up to four ramps on the same flatbed. They will fit, provided any given load contains all ramps of the same width. They do not necessarily need to be the same length because they'll travel on their sides. The width becomes height once loaded on their sides. Because each ramp is the same width, they can be strapped down uniformly and safely. 

Some might dispute whether it is absolutely necessary that each ramp be the same width. The argument is that with proper dunnage placed between ramps along with proper strapping, ramps of different widths can safely load together. Generally it's not recommended. Odd situations are turned over the engineers who make the final determination as to whether an off-set load will be safe.

Yard Ramp Customer Service: Update

cart1Update to "Above and Beyond"

In a recent blog we detailed how The Yard Ramp Guy goes above and beyond, both for our clients and those who may not even become our customers. The personal touch and connection with people motivates us to provide the best yard ramp customer service.

In this particular situation, a woman with a company that manufactures specialty vehicles wanted to rent a yard ramp—for literally a couple of hours—to load a custom-designed cart to a container truck for transport from Granbury, TX to Seattle, WA. Even though I knew straight away that a yard ramp rental from us would not be cost effective for her, we brainstormed a do-it-yourself workaround. She was thrilled with the ideas, and I asked her to let me know how it worked out.

Well, Georgeanna of Big Dog Custom Carts of Texas has responded and was kind enough to send a couple of photos. The custom-built pallet worked out great; the on-load, the transport, and the off-load went smoothly; and their client was thrilled to receive the golf cart with not so much as a scratch!

Total cost: a few hundred dollars, as opposed to a few thousand, including lockdowns, straps, hooks, and lumber. They even built customized wheel chocks in front and behind the tires, to doubly ensure no movement while on the pallet.

Another example of The Yard Ramp Guy helping the customer develop better ideas, which leads to better, stronger relationships.


Problem Solving: Short-term Yard Ramp Rentals, Part III

Long-Term Cornering of the Short-Term Market

Concluding our series on the challenges related to short-term rentals, The Yard Ramp Guy shows how we offer—and maintain—our competitive advantage, which is truly unique to the industry.

∞ Challenge #3: Availability; others claim they rent, but don’t.

This challenge really applies to any form of yard ramp rental. Many companies claim they rent ramps when they really don’t; or, they do not maintain a readily available fleet of ramps.

Why do they do this? It is just a marketing ploy. “Hey! We rent ramps. Call us!” Then you call and they say, “I’m sorry, we don’t have any ramps available for rent. But I can sell you a ramp!” You cannot imagine the number of times I’ve had prospects say to me, “You know you are the only guys that actually have a ramp to rent?!”

√ Solution to Challenge #3: The Yard Ramp Guy owns the rental market for yard ramps.

The Yard Ramp Guy keeps a number of ramps scattered throughout the continental United States. Ramp inventory can be seen at The availability dates for rental ramps are posted within the detail section of each ramp.

For others, promoting ramp rentals is nothing more than a meaningless marketing strategy. For The Yard Ramp Guy, renting yard ramps is what we do. We are committed to our niche and proud of the fact that yard ramps are all we do. This keeps us focused and gives us fair claim to being the true experts in the area of yard ramp sales and rentals.

In summary, it is fair to claim The Yard Ramp Guy is the only company in the United States ready and able to work with customers on short-term rentals.

Short-term Yard Ramp Rentals, Part II: Problem Solved

The Short-Term Yard Ramp Rentals Truck Stops Here

Continuing our series on the challenges related to short-term yard ramp rentals, here we describe The Yard Ramp Guy approach to the complexities of logistics and in-the-field responsibility.

∞ Challenge #2: Accountability; or, who’s the real customer?

22mapShort-term yard ramp rentals are significantly more time-consuming to manage than a long-term rental of 1-6 months. Short-term rentals typically involve multiple individuals within each of multiple companies involved in the project. Adding to all of the confusion this can create, the majority of these short-term rentals involve contracts for off-site use. It is common that the use site is not the end-user's location. Instead, the ramp is needed at an arena, stadium, fairground or for property moves. By design, nobody's going to be there when the event is over.

So what happens? Our 3rd-party freight broker hires their 3rd-party carrier to pick up our ramp. The independent driver shows up to the empty parking lot of a massive stadium and is lucky if he can find the ramp, let alone a point-of-contact to assist.

√ Solution to Challenge #2: The Yard Ramp Guy motivates all involved to be accountable for their role.

The accountability challenge is the primary reason why competitors elect NOT to enter the rental ramp niche and, most particularly, the short-term yard ramp rentals ramp niche within the niche.

This is where we have to take the bull by the horns because it is in everyone’s best interests. We require a definitive “Customer” to be clearly designated as the responsible party for the rental contract and ultimately the ramp. We also require a definitive “Point-of-Contact” to be designated as the responsible party for the ramp at the actual use site.

Customer must be the person who pays us. They are also required to put down an additional 100% refundable Ramp Return Deposit. Since we have implemented the Ramp Return Deposit, every short-term rental has gone from payment to delivery to return without a single hiccup. Each Ramp Return Deposit has been fully refunded.

Point-of-Contact must be the person physically receiving the ramp and physically attending to the ramp’s departure.

Coming up next week: “Availability; Others Claim They Rent, but Don’t.”

Problem Solving: Short-term Yard Ramp Rentals, Part I

Short-Term: The Long View

When it comes to problem solving, most often simplicity is the best approach. The Yard Ramp Guy strives to make your yard ramp experience as simple and streamlined as possible. So, what happens when the problem itself seems complicated?

For example, let’s consider short-term mobile yard ramp rentals. And by this I mean very short-term, like one-day to one-week long. (The scenario is more common than you’d think: media companies, stadiums, arenas and convention centers, TV and movie production studios, and event managers require short-term rentals on a regular basis.)

To the best of my knowledge, The Yard Ramp Guy is the only company in the continental United States offering AND delivering a solution to the request for short-term mobile yard ramp rentals. The industry standard for a minimum rental duration is one month. No one considers renting by-the-day to be cost efficient.

Why is The Yard Ramp Guy the only company seriously taking on the challenge of short-term rentals of yard ramps? This special three-part series examines the challenges related to short-term rentals and how The Yard Ramp Guy goes about solving them.

 Challenge #1: Freight Cost; specifically the cost of returning the ramp.

The trick to being a good value and great solution is mitigating the cost of freight. Renting a portable forklift ramp requires the renter to prepay the delivery and return freight.

If the nearest ramp location is 650 miles away AND the renter is expected to return it to the same location, the total cost for the rental contract is $1,200.00 for the rental fee plus round-trip freight of 650 miles each way. That’s a big commitment for most 1-day, 2-day or 1-week needs.

 Solution to Challenge #1: The Yard Ramp Guy is nearby.

Ideally, we like to see freight charges less than $1,200 each way. To that end—and towards streamlining our logistics—we’ve established ten depots that are strategically located around the country: 

  • Rutherford, NJ
  • Toledo, OH
  • Orlando, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Nashville, TN
  • Dallas, TX
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Denver, CO
  • Anaheim, CA
  • The Bay Area, CA 

Geographically, a rental ramp from The Yard Ramp Guy is within 250 miles of 90% of the population for the contiguous United States. This knocks our average return freight down considerably. Here’s an example: You are in Omaha, NE and my closest available ramp at the time you need it is in Toledo, OH. You’ll pay the freight from Toledo, OH to Omaha, NE. But, The Yard Ramp Guy won’t force you to return the ramp to Toledo, OH when we have a depot in Kansas City significantly closer to Omaha, NE.

Coming up next week: “Accountability; or, Who’s the Real Customer?”