Ramp Slopes and Forklift Safety

OSHA Guidelines Keep You Safe When Operating Forklifts on Ramps

Always follow manufacturer’s guidelines on maximum ramp slopes and weights for both the ramp and the forklift 

When it comes to operating forklifts moving heavy loads in and around loading bays, the potential for accidents happening is omnipresent. Consider these OSHA statistics on accidents attributed to forklifts in 2019: 

  • 85 deaths per year 
  • 34,900 resulted in serious injury 
  • 61,800 resulted in non-serious injury 
  • 24% of accidents come from overturning forklifts  

Operating a forklift on the incline of a ramp causes particular hazards.  To promote safety on the job, The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidelines to follow to prevent accidents.  We thought it wise to go over these safety tips as they relate to operating forklifts on ramps, both stationary dock-to-ground ramps and portable loading dock ramps.  These guidelines apply to any ramp or incline with a grade exceeding 10%.  Ramp grade is calculated by dividing the height of the loading bay or trailer by the length of the ramp.  To get the grade, you then multiply the answer by 100 to get the percentage (Slope has a different formula and is expressed in degrees).  Most stationary loading bay ramps and portable truck to ground applications fall within 10-15% grade.  Always check with your forklift and ramp manufacturer’s guidelines.   

OSHA highlights the increased risk of turnover when moving on a ramp or any kind of incline.   Their recommendations to avoid accidents: 

  • Always look in the direction of travel (common sense, right?) 
  • Never turn a forklift while moving on a ramp—always make the turn prior to entering the ramp 
  • Maintain safe distance from edge or side of the ramp 
  • Do not travel on slopes that are not in compliance with the manufacturers of both the forklift and the yard ramp 

Safety recommendations when transporting a load: 

  • The load should always point up the incline, no matter which direction 
  • Someone should assist the driver if a load blocks his/her view going up a ramp 
  • Always drive forward with forks pointed upgrade 

When moving down a ramp with a load:

  • Drive in reverse, turning head and face downgrade 
  • Forks pointed upgrade (forks should point down when traveling without load) 

Click here for OSHA’s complete guidelines concerning safe operation of forklifts on yard ramps.

Green Steel

A Quieter Footprint

Girding for a Change in Process

Our industry is showing some fascinating movement in regards to adapting to change.

Steel is the backbone of our business. While we carry the occasional aluminum yard ramp, the vast majority of our inventory is composed of steel.

Processing raw iron alloy and shaping it into an element for construction comes at a heavy cost. Here we are not talking strictly about money: pollution factors in at an alarmingly high rate. Forged steel creates, among other things, greenhouse gas emissions, emissions to water, and metal dust, all of which negatively impact our environment. Some seven percent of CO2 emissions are from iron and steel production.

We have what seems like competing ideas: growth in our construction demands versus reductions in our carbon footprint. How do we balance the two?

The supply-and-demand dance has long fascinated and vexed economists, Wall Street, and manufacturers. As we've seen recently with the GameStop controversy, sometimes artificial confidence (and its opposite) can have sudden and dramatic effects.

What if, though, the end result of the demand remained the same, and it was the process that changed?

Jesse Klein's recent essay in GreenBiz spotlights a remarkable, budding challenge to major players in the steel industry. She writes:

"A new initiative called SteelZero, created by The Climate Group in partnership with ResponsibleSteel, hope to break the cycle on the demand side. The program brings together the top steel buyers across the globe — including construction companies, real estate groups and property developers — and challenges them to commit to procuring 100 percent net-zero emissions steel by 2050."

As in: picture major participants in the steel industry forging ahead with that demand for clean, 100 percent net-zero steel emissions. The 30-year window allows time for development of the technology, adjustment to reasonable price points, and saturation of the supply chain.

Impossible? A decade ago, the old guard of the fossil fuel industry might well have said (or thought) (or hoped) that hydrogen- and battery-powered vehicles was a pipe dream. Yet, late last month General Motors ⏤ the world's fourth-largest vehicle manufacturer and the largest in the United States ⏤ announced its plan to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

In that context, zero-emission steel by 2050 is not so much a pipe dream as it is a realistic girder for the industry.

As Jesse Klein quotes Jim Norris, senior project manager for SteelZero: "We’re really wanting to show a commitment directly to steel producers that the buyers are ready. It’s up to steel producers and policymakers to step up to market and really accelerate the decarbonization of steel production."

We'll explore different aspects of cleaner steel throughout the year. In the meantime, steel yourself for such a promising change.

This week, our man McCoy Fields describes an army that serves...a corporation. And it's all mostly good.

Click HERE to read McCoy's rules of engagement.

A YRG Roundup

What We Do

The Yard Ramp Guy: What We Do

Reviewing our analytics from 2020, it occurs to us that the majority of people visiting The Yard Ramp Guy for the first time⏤especially in this blog space⏤might feel like they're walking into a movie (remember going to the movies?) halfway through the film. While we campaign to display our value propositions in a clear and compelling way on each page, clarifying the twists and turns of our business model might be in order here.

Of the tens of thousands of users visiting our website, the vast majority of them are coming here for the first time. That metric reflects a couple of things: first, they're finding us on the Internet, through a combination of what our web guy calls "triangulation"⏤using the various organic search engine optimization techniques and social media to help drive people here.

Second, those new visitor numbers reflect the fact that yard ramps simply last a good long time. A quality yard ramp has an average lifespan of some 17 years. We have a proud and strong number of companies with which we've conducted repeat business. It's just that they don't need our equipment replaced as often as, say, a new pair of shoes.

So, to be sure: The Yard Ramp Guy rents, sells, and buys new and used yard ramps throughout the United States.

That statement is in the top banner of every page on our site. And while we stock used inventory from a number of brands, our new inventory⏤whether in stock and ready to ship or requisitioned for fresh production comes from Bluff Manufacturing of Ft. Worth, Texas; Mid-State Ramps of Denton, North Carolina; and QMH of Rancho Cucamonga, California. Each crafts outstanding quality products and are the three leading makers of yard ramps.

Other manufacturers make quality yard ramps, though not, in our opinion, with the same commitment to the vertical product line. They also sell at price points beyond our business model. We would have no hesitation to re-sell one of their ramps as used. However, for most of our customers' applications, they do not match our goal for being the most reliable and lowest priced yard ramp dealer in the country.

We are, proudly, the leading Yard Ramp Rental supplier in the United States. As a testament to our success, other (much larger) companies followed our lead soon after we launched the service in 2011. Our difference? We provide Real Rental Inventory, Convenient Locations, and Streamlined Shipping/Delivery.

Since our founding in 2011, we've grown year-over-year to become the material handling industry's "go-to guy" for buying Used Yard Ramps. Our inventory listings are bolstered by our industry-leading Live Locator Map. This provides you with a visual tab on our ramp locations, and that helps reduce delivery time and freight charges of the yard ramp to your business.

Our recently-launched New Yard Ramps: In Stock and Ready to Ship are a Yard Ramp Guy innovation: the same quality inventory, only with no production time needed. They're at select locations right now, waiting for you.

Our Yard Ramp Guy Brokerage Service works like this: Instead of shooting you an insulting and time-wasting offer for your ramp, we share with you the market value based on our appraisal and the geographical location of your ramp. We handle everything⏤the quote preparation including obtaining freight quotes, off-loading considerations and follow-ups with the prospects. We will split the final sale price: 70% for you, 30% for The Yard Ramp Guy. Nope, that's not a typo.

Beyond that, and as a superb value-added service, our optional Turnkey Delivery and Installation Services has us doing the heavy lifting, literally so, for your off-load and dock installation needs.

Throughout any and every aspect of what we offer, you should expect and enjoy a respectful, continuous flow of communication when working with The Yard Ramp Guy. During your purchasing process, expect follow ups. While we process your rental or sale, expect updates. And expect a sincere thank you when our work is done.

Our foundational statement, in which we firmly believe:

We thank you for the opportunity to earn your business.

This week, our man McCoy Fields weaves his web . . .only this time it's an actual web. Spiders. Oh, my.

Click HERE to read McCoy's version of the world wide web.

Eric Aguilera: Into The Yard Ramp Guy Mix

It's in His DNA

Eric Aguilera
Eric Aguilera

The Yard Ramp Guy is very pleased to welcome Eric Aguilera, our newest team member, as our Rental and "Sell-Your-Ramp" Coordinator.

He joins the polished sales team that includes Sales Consultant Mike Myers and Sales Coordinator Jim Kunze.

Married to Andrea, an ultrasound technician, and with two young children, Eric hails from Southern California.

His insight into our industry flows from and through his family. His father, a purchasing manager, worked for many years with a lift company. His mother works as an accountant for a construction company. His uncle has a forklift business.

Eric has been hearing stories about the trade for years. So, it's no surprise that he's absorbed and continued a sort of family tradition.

In school, his favorite teacher taught biology, and Eric especially appreciated his approach: if you knew the material, then everything was okay. If not, there was a problem. In this way, Eric learned the importance of "knowing your stuff."

His early employment is a fascinating collection. Served in a restaurant at Disneyland (which taught hard work and managing time). Became a security guard for events at Staples Center (which taught how to keep your calm). He helped build space shuttles, working as a composite technician, laying carbon fiber materials on the outside of the shuttles.

Eric also worked for a time with his father at the lift company, taking inventory. This taught him precision and informed his passion for marketing.

Now with The Yard Ramp Guy, Eric will be our rental and "Sell-Your-Ramp" coordinator. Our business process is "done right," he says. "It's perfect. I love the automation of it."

Of our founder and president Jeff Mann, he says, "Jeff is cool. He's a sports guy. He's a good conversation and has some great stories. One quality I especially notice: he cares about his customers like I've never seen. He always strives for something that's fair for both us and the customer."

Says Jeff: "Eric joins The Yard Ramp Guy team full of energy and industry knowledge. We project increasing our total revenues for 2021 by the same 25% growth rate we enjoyed in 2020. With Eric taking over ramp rentals and used ramp intake, we may push well beyond our lofty goals. I look forward to working with Eric closely and watching him unlock his full potential."

Welcome, Eric.

This week, our man McCoy Fields once again lofts us into orbit, only to remind us to take out the trash..

Click HERE to read...well, essentially McCoy's Dept. of Global Sanitation PSA.

Your Holiday Ramp Cheer

YRG: Rolling in the New Year

'Twas days before New Year's, when all through the show
all the workers were stirring, especially the CEO.
The pallets were stacked by the bay door with care
in hopes that freight loading soon would be there.

Yet the forklifts were idle, though the batteries weren't dead,
with team members slacking, full of holiday cake, well fed.
And the foreman was twiddling his thumbs: this was no mishap,
as he stared from the bay to the ground at the four-foot gap.

When out on the roadway there rose such a ruckus,
that the company jumped to see what was the rumpus.
Even old Elmer, for years hard of hearing,
pushed aside the burly guys to gander through the clearing.

The December sun on the pavement below
focused a light on a delivery of steel, all aglow.
They thought, "Yes, this is the way to get out of the room
and keep us from meeting yet again via Zoom!"

There on the flatbed, now parked in the lot:
the shimmering yard ramp they had just bought.
Absolutely nobody now was taking a nap
as they admired the yard ramp with a 20K-pound cap.

It was 84 inches wide, it was 36 feet long,
constructed with all steel frame and deck to make it strong.
What's this? Why, four solid rubber profile tires⏤how noble:
just what they needed to make the ramp mobile.

What's that? A double-acting hydraulic pump, you say?
Quite the thing to align with our bay.
And more: safety chains for safety, which proves
a great partner to the ramp clamp, you know, for the moves.

And there, complete: The Yard Ramp Guy, like Santa,
organizing deliveries from Portland to Atlanta,
of new and used ramps for sale and for rental,
helping businesses in a way elemental.

New ramps from QMH and Mid-State and Bluff
guaranteed to get the team off its collective duff.
Don't have time or tools to set it up? Oh, my. Oh, me.
No worries. The Yard Ramp Guy has services of turnkey.

Yes, they're new or they're used, these quality yard ramps,
smoothly helping American industries perform like champs.
And for an extra measure, beyond top-notch production,
you can take advantage of a special tax deduction.

With great relief, we bid the year 2020 adieu
and hope that 2021 brings peace with something new...
Like a fantastic loading dock. G'head, give it a try.
Happy New Year to you, from The Yard Ramp Guy.

This week, our man McCoy Fields rummages around in his attic and shares with us a fine bit of VHS nostalgia and history.

Click HERE to rewind.