The #1 Safest Way To Load An ATV
The safest way to load an ATV onto a pickup truck is with a winch.
Unfortunately, very few people use this method. It takes a bit longer and is a bit fidgety, but this is absolutely the safest way to load an ATV using a ramp.
Believe it or not, most ATV ramps actually include warnings not to drive your ATV on the ramp. I’m sure this is primarily legalese to deter lawsuits, but consider yourself warned.
Here’s a video of a guy who’s doing it 100% right.
He received so many troll comments that he had to shut off comments, but he’s actually doing it the right way.
And here’s why using a winch is the safest method….
Knucklehead ATV Loading Fails
Tips To Safely Load An ATV
- For the best loading/unloading conditions, the loading vehicle should be no more than 36 inches from the ground.
- Always wear a helmet!
- You’ll almost always need to upgrade the straps that come with most ramps. Choose a strong ratchet strap with a hook on one end.
- The longer the ramp the better. A steep angle makes for more dangerous loading conditions.
- If necessary, park the loading vehicle in a dip or unload to a small hill to reduce the ramp angle.
- Some users like to add plywood on a ramp for added security. If you’re a newbie, the wood does make loading/unloading a bit less nerve racking. So, if possible, add the lumber!
- Arched ramps are better for motorcycles than straight ramps.
- Don’t underestimate the danger of loading/unloading an ATV. People are injured every year doing this seemingly simple task. (With the large gaps in most loading ramps, getting a foot stuck/broken is one of the most common injuries.)
- Folding ramps are basically two or three separate pieces welded together with a combined weight capacity usually of 1,500 lbs. A common mistake that people make when using a folding ramp is not realizing that each ramp segment is only rated to about 750 lbs. For example, with a motorcycle, you will not have the entire 1,500 weight limit allowance because you’re driving up only one segment with a 750 lb limit. Keep this in mind so you don’t exceed the weight limit when you have a heavy bike + a rider.
- If you have the yard space and do a lot of riding, it’s great to build your own own loading hill/berm. You’ll occasionally find them at busy trail heads as well and they make the whole process a lot easier, faster and safer.
Check out our picks for the 5 Best ATV Ramps on the market.