When it is time to hit the trails this winter with your snowmobile don’t let the “simple” issue of loading your sled into your trailer, truck, or cargo vehicle be a road block between you and the powder. Notice the quotation marks surrounding the word simple in the first sentence…we all know what that means. Most projects never turn out to be as simple as we thought they’d be before we actually start working on them, but hey, who said anything worthwhile in life is easy.
This article is intended to help you get your snowmobile loaded with a ramp as quickly, safely, and as affordably as possible so you don’t bust your wallet, break the bank, or damage your important snow machine.
What Are You Loading Your Snowmobile Into?
A critical first step is to determine how you are going to transport your snowmobile. Maybe your rich uncle gave you a brand new 24 foot enclosed v-nose snowmobile hauling trailer for your birthday last year. You may have purchased your buddy’s old flat-bed trailer that he hauled wood and lawn mowing equipment on for years and you are going to repurpose it as a snowmobile hauling beast. Or, maybe you are just planning to take your sled north in the back of your pick-up truck. The mode of transportation you use to transport your snowmobile will come with a certain set of snowmobile loading ramp options to consider.
Most modern enclosed snowmobile hauling trailers with drop down doors serving as ramps usually don’t require much, but something you might consider is a set of trailer door assist ramps to help get your skis off the ground and started up the trailer door. It would also be wise to look into a set of trailer door gap covers, also known as trailer door slider plates, to help bridge that tricky area in every enclosed snowmobile hauling trailer where the drop down trailer door meets the trailer floor. We’ve all been there when a power tool, a ski, a fastener, or an ankle gets jammed in that gap between the trailer floor and trailer door.
However, if you are more like us, you probably don’t have a new and shiny enclosed sled hauler, so you are in the boat (or sled) of figuring out how to build your own snowmobile loading ramp.
Methods of Constructing Your Snowmobile Ramp
You’ll be amazed at how many snowmobile loading ramp examples you’ll be able to find just by doing a simple internet search. There are hundreds of designs and ideas out there for the do-it-yourselfer. Take advantage of the vast resources available on YouTube or look into the examples shown in the popular snowmobile magazines such as Snow Goer and American Snowmobile.
Wooden Frame Snowmobile Ramp
There is a pretty straight forward design for a home-made wooden frame snowmobile ramp that fits inside a pick-up truck bed. You will need some lumber including: two (2) 2x8x8 boards, five (5) 2x4x8 boards, two (2) 4x8x3/4 plywood sheets, two (2) hinges, and some wood screws. You place the 2x8x8 boards on end and then use the already cut-to-size 2x4’s to join them together. The beauty of this design is that you are building the snowmobile loading ramp to the length of your truck box and you can construct the ramp inside your truck bed! This design actually fits inside itself as the snowmobile ramp portion fits underneath the truck bed snowmobile resting area. Don’t forget the tie straps to keep the wooden ramp section from sliding while your snowmobile is being loaded or unloaded on the ramp.
Low Profile Wood Snowmobile RampAnother novel pick-up truck bed snowmobile ramp loading option with a lower profile design than the snowmobile ramp mentioned above is to build a framed in wooden platform with a sliding wood frame loading ramp underneath the platform. The idea shown in the photo below includes some plastic track installed on the ramp to help engage the snowmobile tracks along with some plastic garage door molding or siding material for the skis to glide on. The low profile design and simple construction of this snowmobile ramp make it a good option.
Metal Fabricated, Hydraulic Powered Snowmobile Ramp
For a really major challenge, and if you happen to be skilled with metal fabrication and hydraulics, you could consider constructing and installing one of the hydraulic sled loading decks for snowmobile hauling trucks. There are several examples you can find online or you can purchase the hydraulic powered units from several manufacturers.
Not Ready to Build Your Own Snowmobile Ramp…Buy One
If you are considering purchasing a solution for your snowmobile loading and unloading needs, there are several options available. You can purchase an open or enclosed snowmobile hauling trailer that you can pull behind your truck. You can purchase a manufactured snowmobile loading ramp that you drive your snowmobile onto so you can load the sled into the back of a pick-up truck. You could also look into some of the automated hydraulic lift options that exist on the market.
You Can Build Your Own Snowmobile Loading Ramp
Don’t let the project of constructing your own snowmobile loading ramp scare you. You can do it. Take some time to outline your snow season objectives. Identify the vehicle and/or trailer you’ll be using to transport your snow machine. Research the do-it-yourself options out there and follow along with the people who have already successfully built a snowmobile trailer for their own use, or seek out the resources mentioned above and purchase a snowmobile loading ramp from the experts!
You can do it.
Now, let’s hit the snow trails!
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