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Container ramps. You are planning on rolling things in and out of your container, but how to make that perfect ramp. It can be simple or complicated, depending on what kind of ramp you need and how much energy you want to put into it. To help narrow down the right container ramp for you, we have 3 questions to ask yourself. Should it be removable or stay in place? How sturdy/portable does your container ramp need to be? Do you want a fixed-height ramp or not?
1. Should my container ramp be removable or stay in place? Obviously, having a ramp that stays in place is easiest to use. However, it is also the most difficult to make. The main reason is that container doors lock into place when lockrods that run the height of the door hook into lockrod holders below and above the door. Please see the picture. If you want to make a ramp that will stay put, you need to take this into account. One great solution is what is in the first picture in this blog. A cement ramp was made with indentations for the lockrods to clear the top of the ramp. They also removed one set of lockrods to make this easier. You could also accomplish this with gravel, but it would take some work to get that to work perfectly and you’ll have to redo that work as the weather moves the gravel around.
If you don’t want to go through the bother of doing that, think about a movable ramp. They are easier to put together and can still be just as functional.
2. How sturdy/portable does your container ramp need to be? If you are rolling heavy loads into the container, you will need a heavier-duty ramp. If you are rolling smaller, lighter items, you might not need to go overboard. Some materials to consider are plywood, aluminum, even wood planks. Who will be doing the moving? If you will have a range of employees doing this, you probably want to go with something lighter so more people can move it. If you are moving something like a car, you really just need something to go under the wheels, so 2 smaller ramps might do the trick.
3. Do you want a fixed-height ramp or not? If you are rolling things like pallets in and out of a container on a regular basis, you want a nice, smooth connection between container and ramp. Other times, like moving a car in and out of the container for the season, that is less important. If having a smooth flow on and off the ramp is important, you may want to consider a fixed-height container. They are commerically available from companies like Grainger. Some people will make this by making a plywood ramp that has built-in supports to keep the ramp a certain height. This makes loading and unloading pallets an easier, smoother process. If you do this, please make sure you have your container in place and you take into account blocking under the container if you are using blocking.
Other times, that smooth rolling isn’t as important. Perhaps you won’t need to use the ramp often, or you are moving larger, self-powered items like a car. Then having an easy ramp that you throw down when you need it might be just the thing for you.
The bottom line is, you can go fancy or you can go super basic. It really depends on your situation and what you want to put into it. At the end of the day, if you can get things in and out of your container easily, that is all that matters.