Are you looking for a fun winter activity? Why not try building a wooden snowmobile ramp? It’s a great outdoor project for those who love the outdoors and the thrill of taking a snowmobile for a wild ride! But, how do you go about building a wooden snowmobile ramp? What are the essential steps you need to take to ensure your ramp is structurally sound?
Well, building a wooden snowmobile ramp can be tricky business, but don’t worry. In this article, we’ll discuss the vital steps you should take when building a wooden snowmobile ramp, so you can make sure that it’s safe, sturdy, and reliable, and will stand the test of time.
From gathering the right materials to ensuring your ramp is safe and sturdy, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to make it happen. So, buckle up and let’s get started!
Necessary Tools For Building Snowmobile Ramp
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and build your own wooden snowmobile loading ramp. That’s great! First, there are a few essential tools you need for a successful project. These are:
- Measuring tape
- Sawing machine
- Drilling machine
- Plywood cutter
Vital Steps To Follow When Building Snowmobile Ramp
Put your DIY skills to the test and transport your sled like a pro using these vital steps!
Preparing the Frame Structure
First, you’ll need to measure the length and width of your ramp. This will help you determine how many pieces of lumber you’ll need, and it will also help you plan the layout of your ramp.
Only then you should start preparing the frame of the ramp. So, get the necessary measurements of your pickup truck and the snowmobile.
Next, you’ll need to choose the right lumber for the job. Make sure to select lumber that is strong and durable. This will help to form the frame for the ramp.
The frame structure can be made using wooden boards. However, make sure that the boards are all the same height and width so that your ramp will be level.
Craft the frame such that it allows at least 48 to 49 inches between the wheels. And don’t forget to sand and seal your ramp once it’s finished for optimum safety and durability.
Assembling the Ramp
Once you have your frame or foundation in place, it is time to start assembling the ramp itself. Begin by laying two of the boards parallel to each other. Then, place the other two boards perpendicular to those first two, so that you have a four-sided structure.
Make sure everything is lined up and level before attaching anything. You can use nails or screws to secure the wooden boards together.
Fastening the Ramp Parts
Now it’s time to attach the side rails to the ramp. This can be a little tricky, as the rails need to be evenly spaced and parallel to each other. You might want to use a carpenter’s square or a level to help make sure they’re straight.
Once they’re in place, use a drill and screws to attach them securely. Make sure the screws are long enough to go through both the rail and the ramp, but not so long that they pierce through the other side. You can then do the same for the front and back rails, making sure that they’re all flush with each other.
Installing the Final Supports
Now that you’ve got the frame fastened on the frame, it’s time to install the final supports. These are used to strengthen the structure and prevent it from shifting and tipping over.
The final supports are typically four pieces of three-by-three-inch lumber cut to about five feet in length.
Start by measuring and cutting these pieces, then place them in pairs on either side of your ramp. Secure them with galvanized nails or screws, making sure they are securely fastened so that they won’t move with the weight applied.
At this point, you can consider adding additional support if you feel like your ramp needs more strength or stability. You may also want to add a coat of waterproof sealant or paint to the wood for extra protection against moisture. Doing so will help prevent warping and water damage over time.
Preparing and Applying the Decking
It’s important to use the right material when completing the deck of your snowmobile ramp. The best type of decking to use is exterior-grade plywood, as this is strong and stable enough to support a robust ramp.
Start by taking the necessary measurements of your truck and snowmobile. Then cut the plywood to size in accordance with the dimensions of your truck and snowmobile. Try to keep the leftover plywood nearby as you cut them. You can use them to create a traction pad.
For added stability, be sure to stagger any joints in the decking and attach them with galvanized screws. Next, place your frame in the truck’s loading space and put the plywood. Then secure it with nails.
Once your boards are cut, use a brush-on sealer (or stain) to protect them from water damage as you will be using them outdoors. When applying the sealer/stain, remember to check that every corner and edge is sealed tightly. This will help ensure that your ramp stands up against winter elements such as snow and ice for many years to come.
Finishing the Front of the Ramp
Now that you’ve got the main part of the ramp built and ready to go, it’s time to finish up the front. To do this, you’ll need to shape the end of your ramp into a point and make sure it’s as smooth as possible.
Start by cutting away any splinters or roughness around the edges. You can use a chisel or other carving tool for this step. Next, fill any large holes with wood putty and let it dry completely before sanding away any excess.
Finally, use your trusty sander to make sure all surfaces are completely smooth for safety reasons, so you don’t run into any dangerous bumps while riding.
Once all the surfaces are even, apply a protective sealant to protect your ramp from moisture or other damage caused by the weather.
And there you have it: your snowmobile loading ramp is now finished!
Reasons For Snowmobile Ramps
Purchasing a new snowmobile usually calls for some small logistics details that most people tend to forget. Transportation of the machine is one crucial aspect, especially if you ride a lot.
By building a reliable snowmobile ramp, something sturdy and efficient, you can greatly improve the loading of your sled. Luckily, we’ve examined several tests and mistakes in the quest for a perfect snowmobile ramp, so we wanted to guide you before you proceed.
The main reason for building a sn0wmobile ramp that suits your needs is to fix small problems that could turn into major irritants. Having to get dirty and wet while unblocking the pivot mechanism (normally underneath the trailer) can make anybody sick.
No t0 mention that you might have to deal with all the ice, which is likely to accumulate in the mechanism, lengthening the overall execution time.
You realize you are wasting your energy and time, working with a mechanism with almost six varied steps before you get your sled loaded into the trailer. But why. What could be better than being able to direct your machine into the truck as quickly as possible after a cold day?
When making a snowmobile ramp at home, consider your needs and preferably come up with a list of what you already have. This will help address the project and minimize cost and time.
It is also important to consider the height of your truck or trailer. This is how you get to respect the cutting tips so that the skis of your sled will easily slide on the trailer/ramp.
Keep the ramps’ transportation in mind as well. For lightness, consider using a combination of aluminum and pine wood; these two would make a solid, durable, yet lightweight ramp.
Try to make the ramp wide enough so it fits between the sides of your truck and trailer. You’ll also need to consider clocking the ramps on your trailer to keep them from moving during your accents and descents. You can use a 7/16 screw across the end of the trailer and ramp.
Additionally, you will need to ring in some traction to help when raising or lowering your snowmobile. For this, you can use simple pieces of runners about six inches long. Then drill and bevel them to conceal the end of the used screw heads to enhance the quality.
Over the years, snowmobilers have become familiar with a few improvised snowmobile loading tricks such as the triple plank.
This trick works basically the same as the commercial steel one does, with the only difference being that it is much cheaper than the special ones.
However, it is said to be a little riskier. so keep that in mind. Snowmobiles are generally heavy and having yours damaged before you even get to ride it is quite absurd. Improvised tricks are merely a risk that some people are willing to take with the idea of saving money.
But since it doesn’t end there, what if you wanted to buy a snowmobile and save all the struggle of having to make one at home? Well, here’s what you should consider before making the purchase:
Choose A Good Snowmobile Loading Ramp
A good snowmobile ramp is one that’s made from sturdy steel and features a powerful, but simple design, making it easy to use. It should last you many years without issues.
If you can, you might want to invest in a ramp extension to help achieve a sturdy foundation where the track can grip from the beginning, even before the skis actually reaches the ramp.
This is particularly important if you are planning to load your sled from concrete or a rather slippery position. You don’t want the track to start spinning when you throttle up.
Moreover, ramp extensions are mostly designed for snow, and in some cases water, which means it could easily launch your snowmobile into the back of your truck.
There are other more complete options as well. If you have the money or want to be sure there are no hazards involved, specialized ramps are the way to go. Many riders tight with budget choose to simply trust their instincts and hope that a loving God is looking down on them.
Why Are Steel Snowmobile Ramps Expensive?
Steel ramps are particularly costly because they are designed to provide the track the traction it needs to go up the incline while also providing ski guides (usually made of rubber to enhance efficiency) for the skis to smoothly glide up.
A clean steel surface or a hardwood plank won’t help much, especially if they are icy and slippery. They can shatter easily as well. Try to avoid using this approach.
There’s also the “hill-billy” trick that involves parking the truck or sled on a tiny slope or ditch such that the tailgate is near to or almost touches the ground, making it easier to load the sled. This method is considered great, especially if there’s a lot of snow in the area.
Well, it is that time of year again. With falling snow and dipping temperatures, it’s high time you get creative with your snowmobiling! But one thing’s for sure, you can’t just jump headfirst into a snowmobile ramp without some planning. Fortunately, we’ve shared the right steps to follow, and as you can see, building a wooden snowmobile ramp can be a simple and fun project. It only takes a few hours of your garage but will save money and bring a great deal of convenience come winter. Hopefully, these essential steps will help come up with your own wooden snowmobile ramp, making sure it is safe and sturdy enough to last for years to come.