What is the ratio of aluminium loading ramps? How to calculate the size of aluminium loading ramps?

Aluminium loading ramps are indispensable in various industries for the safe and efficient transfer of goods onto vehicles. Selecting the correct size and specifications is crucial to ensure operations run smoothly and to avoid accidents.

This article explores the key factors that influence the choice of loading ramp size, including truck height, machinery weight, and the width of tracks or tyres. With a clear grasp of these elements and simple calculations, companies can choose the most suitable loading ramps for their operations.

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What is the ratio of aluminium loading ramps?

Aluminium loading ramps are crucial equipment used in various industries for the efficient loading and unloading of goods onto trucks, trailers, or other transport vehicles. The ratio of loading ramps refers to the relationship between the height and length of the ramp, determining its slope or incline. This ratio is essential for ensuring safe and effective loading and unloading operations.

When considering the ratio of loading ramps, it’s important to find the right balance between the ramp’s length and the height it needs to overcome. This balance ensures that the incline of the ramp is gradual enough for equipment, vehicles, or personnel to move safely up and down without risk of accidents or damage.

The standard ratio for loading ramps is often expressed as a slope percentage, representing the rise over the run. For example, a 1:12 ratio means that for every 12 meters of horizontal distance (the run), the ramp rises 1 meter (the rise). This ratio translates to a slope of approximately 4.76 degrees.

Why appropriate ratio is important?

  1. Safety: A proper ratio ensures that the incline of the ramp is gentle enough to prevent accidents. Steep ramps can lead to equipment tipping over or goods sliding uncontrollably during loading or unloading.
  2. Accessibility: Ramps with suitable ratios ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities or those using wheeled equipment. A steep incline can be challenging or impossible for some individuals to navigate safely.
  3. Efficiency: An optimal ratio allows for efficient loading and unloading operations. If the ramp is too steep, it can slow down the process as workers may need to take extra precautions or make multiple attempts to move goods.
  4. Equipment Compatibility: Different vehicles and equipment may require specific ramp ratios to safely load and unload. For example, forklifts may need a shallower incline compared to hand trucks or pallet jacks.
  5. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Many jurisdictions have regulations or guidelines regarding ramp ratios to ensure workplace safety and accessibility standards are met. Adhering to these standards is essential for avoiding fines or penalties.

To determine the appropriate ratio for a loading ramp, consider the following factors:

  • Height: Measure the height from the ground to the loading dock or the bed of the vehicle being loaded. This measurement determines the rise of the ramp.
  • Length: Measure the horizontal distance from the base of the loading dock or the vehicle to the ground. This measurement determines the run of the ramp.
  • Ratio Calculation: Divide the height (rise) by the length (run) to calculate the ratio. For example, if the height is 1 meter and the length is 12 meters, the ratio would be 1:12.
  • Consult Standards: Refer to industry standards or regulations, as well as the specifications provided by SureWelds aluminium ramps, for specific recommendations on-ramp ratios based on the intended use and the type of equipment being used.

So, how high and how long should a loading ramp be?

To figure out the right size for your aluminium loading ramps, you need to consider three main things: the height of your truck, the weight of your machine, and the width of your tracks or tyres. Here’s how to calculate each one:

To calculate your truck

Step 1: Measure the Height of Your Truck

First, use a tape measure to find out how tall your truck is. Measure from the ground to the point where you’ll attach the ramps. Knowing this height helps you determine the ideal length for your ramps, so you don’t end up with a too-steep incline.

Enter your truck’s height into our ramp calculator along with the length of the ramps you’re interested in. The calculator will do the math and give you the gradient. You’re aiming for something between 16 and 23 degrees. If the ramps you’re considering are too steep, go for longer ones until you find the right gradient.

Step 2: Calculate the Weight of Your Machine

Consult your operator’s manual to find out how much your machine weighs. But remember, the weight listed is usually the bare minimum, without any extras. Before you buy ramps, consider:

  • The weight of any attachments you’ll be using, like buckets, grabs, hammers, rakes, or augers. If you’re carrying multiple attachments, add their weights to your machine’s weight.
  • The weight of your machine with fluids, known as the “wet weight.” This includes fuel, engine oil, and hydraulic oil.
  • The operator’s weight. Don’t forget to include the heaviest person who’ll be driving the machine up and down the ramps.
  • Anything else you’ll be carrying on the machine. This could be a lunch cooler, tools, or a fire extinguisher. If you can’t weigh each item, add an extra 200kg to your machine’s weight.

So, your formula is: Machine Wet Weight + Attachment Weight + Operator’s Weight + 200kg = Your Machinery Weight.

Step 3: Measure the Width of Your Tracks or Tires

Use a tape measure to find out how wide your machinery’s tyres or tracks are. Your ramps should be wider than this to prevent sliding off.

If you have multiple machines, make sure the ramps are suitable for the widest tyres or tracks among them.

To calculate your loading ramps

Now, it’s time to calculate the dimensions of your loading ramp:


A vertical selective focus shot of a steel surface under the shadow and light
  1. Measure the Vertical Rise: The height of the loading ramp (vertical rise) is the distance from the ground to the loading dock or the bed of the vehicle being loaded.
  2. Consider Accessibility: Ensure the height allows for easy and safe loading and unloading. It should accommodate the vehicles or equipment you intend to use without creating steep inclines that could pose safety risks.
  3. Account for Ground Clearance: Consider the ground clearance of vehicles or equipment. The ramp should provide enough clearance to prevent bottoming out or scraping.
  4. Check Regulations: Consult relevant regulations or standards for specific height requirements based on the intended use and local regulations.


  1. Measure the Horizontal Distance: The length of the loading ramp (horizontal run) is the distance from the base of the loading dock or the vehicle to the ground.
  2. Calculate the Ratio: Divide the height (rise) by the desired ratio to determine the required length. For example, if you want a 1:12 ratio and the height is 1 meter, the length should be 12 meters.
  3. Consider Space Constraints: Ensure there’s enough space available for the ramp to extend safely. Consider any obstacles or limitations that may affect the length of the ramp.
  4. Accessibility and Safety: Longer ramps generally provide a more gradual incline, improving accessibility and safety for loading and unloading operations.
  5. Consult Standards: Refer to industry standards or guidelines for recommended ramp lengths based on the type of equipment being loaded and local regulations.

Factors to Consider

  • Type of Equipment: Different vehicles or equipment may require different ramp dimensions. For example, forklifts may need wider ramps, while hand trucks may require shorter ramps.
  • Weight Capacity: Ensure the ramp is designed to support the weight of the heaviest loads it will encounter.
  • Terrain: If the loading area is uneven or sloped, additional adjustments may be needed to ensure the ramp is level and stable.
  • Accessibility: Consider the needs of all users, including individuals with disabilities or those using wheeled equipment.
  • Safety: Prioritize safety by ensuring the ramp meets or exceeds relevant safety standards and regulations.

Final thought

In a nutshell, the dimensions of aluminium loading ramps are key to ensuring safety and efficiency during loading and unloading. Taking into account the height of trucks, the weight of machinery, and the width of tracks or tyres, companies can select ramps that reduce accident risks and enhance productivity. Using straightforward calculations and tools such as ramp calculators can aid in this selection, guaranteeing that the ramps fit the operational needs.

In the end, the right investment in aluminium loading ramps pays off by enhancing safety at work, increasing efficiency, and cutting down on the chances of expensive mishaps or damage.

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