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Stone Guy
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369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
TL;DR 4 2x8's over a ten foot span--good enough ramp for a 1600 pound machine?


I'd appreciate it if any carpenters could chime in with advice. I do not really know the strength capacity of different wood sizes....There has to be a formula out there or an online calculator that'd make this easy.


So I've got a trailer that sits 30" off the ground and I have a mini skid steer, a ditch witch sk350. Weighs 1,660 pounds. Trailer is 10 feet long--so I plan on building the ramp that long--I'd go longer if I could as the machine does not have the best center of gravity. As it is, with a ten foot run, I'll be looking for curbs and small hills, to lessen the pitch.

Anyway, I need to build a ramp for this. Here's what I'm thinking:

2 separate ramps.

Each ramp would start out with 2x8's (?) set up like joists. All lumber will be pressure treated.

The joists will be spanned by a single 2x12 (the machine has 7" tracks, giving myself extra room)

between the joists will be ribs, every 2', made from 2x8's as well.

Three vertical members will provide support, One at the top, one at 40" from the buttom, one at 80".

The ramps will be heavy, will take up a bit of room in the trailer....and loading/unloading is not something I would trust to just anyone--really, I'd be doing it myself every time. Don't worry, I'm an acrobat.

Anyway, have I engineered 'em strong enough? Got any better suggestions? Thanks in advance!
 

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Thom
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4,137 Posts
there are a few problems with your wood ramps.

The wood on the ground will crush and splinter at the ends as it is used. The fasteners (nails or screws) will pull loose. The deck may hold for a while but, each time it is used more damage is done to the wood fibers, leading to eventual failure.

If you really want to calculate the loads you will need to know the loads on each of the "joists". These are point loads, they will move so you need to calculate at several locations, and you need to calculate the multiple loading (one wheel/both wheels).

The lower support of the ramps will be constantly changing, these supports are location specific. Because you will be loading/unloading in locations that are neither flat nor level your lower cut will never properly spread the load, leading to more rapid failure.

In other words, use steel. Wood is not the correct material for this job.
 

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Designer/Contractor
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5,277 Posts
Get your steel at a scrap yard if one is in your area and do what is mentioned above, it won't cost that much more than the wood.
 

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Stone Guy
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369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Trying to worm my way out of it....


Sub floor adhesive + outdoor screws on PT lumber. Well built and rarely used, it'll last me awhile. I have a loading bay, a good embankment at my shop and I only take it out to maybe 6 jobsites a year. So, it will maybe be crossed over by my machine 3 times a year. Last me 5 years or more I am certain of it.

Thanks fellas, but I think I'm going cheap!

Thom,

f you really want to calculate the loads you will need to know the loads on each of the "joists". These are point loads, they will move so you need to calculate at several locations, and you need to calculate the multiple loading (one wheel/both wheels).
Der, whut?

The machine has rubber tracks. Also, I'm thinking to conjoin both ramps, rather then have them as two units, spread the weight out more. And I'll have rubber padding, where the wood meets the ground--good point.
 

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You're going to look really goofy with wood ramps... 1600lbs really isn't that much but the ramp won't wear well, it will be a temporary solution at best.
 

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If I do go with steel, it is a ten foot span--I imagine I'll have to go heavier duty than what they have in that photo, deter. Maybe not though--they use those types of ramps for much bigger stuff than what I got. i suppose that's a question for the welding/steel forum...
I have a 7 foot ramp for my fourwheeler that's made out of aluminum and weigh maybe 20 pounds. They are rated for 1000lbs. Again 1600lbs isnt much.
 

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Focusing on solutions.
Hardwood floors/custom cabinets
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5,771 Posts
Trying to do this outta would is pretty lame brained. Go get a quote from your local welding shop & quit being a rock head. :)
 

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man, if you only have to move the equipment 5 times a year - why don't you just rent or borrow a proper trailer? Or just hire someone to move it. My local place rents a trailer with ramps for $50 for a whole day
 
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