Long Trailer Ramps for Car Hauler Trailer with Low Vehicle



My truck is a '53 F-100 that is built low (front valance is 8.5" from pavement.) My truck hauler has 4' ramps which makes the  approach angle too steep.  The front lower valance hit the trailer floor as I approached the top of the ramp.   I cobbled some ramp extensions together with 2/12s and scrap lumber to make the about 7-8' long and decreased angle of approach to about 5 degrees. Then jacked the trailer up in the front till the rear of the tow vehicle was almost off the ground. This angle matches the dovetail drop angle so the ramp will essentially be an extension of the dove tail.



I'm an old guy with bad shoulders and NOT cranking on trailer jacks a thousand turns or  wrestling with steel ramps and extensions and such is one of my goals in this project. My optimum goal is Aluminum which equals light weight and manageable...but  available aluminum ramps are expensive and I wondered if I could build them cheaper ?? What I saw me needing in the retail world is in the 350-500 buck range...(my fixed income can't take that) I'm thinking I want to build (buy used if avail) some car hauler ramps, aluminum if possible... I crawled all over YOUTUBE and found nothing available in the used  ramp catagory... I found some ideas but nothing that I could copy or would do what I wanted.  I also saw some really really scary solutions. Most that I found were built from steel and that equals  heavy or they used RACERAMP  extensions and they are in the hi $$$ area.  I could build extensions (more pieces to deal with) but think I'd rather build longer ramps to make it easier...Just two ramps and a couple of blocks and done.


I started searching for ramp material and after finding nothing affordable I found a friend with some 10" channel - 10 foot long. the flange height of 2.75 inches and web thickness of 3/16".  I bought it cheap from him and drug it home. It was originally part of a boat dock frame and I hade to un-fabricate it from some other pieces to get the two 10 foot sections I needed. I originally thought about stiffening it with a full length of 2" angle running down the center of the ramp or using 2" angle bolted inside the web.



But, again I hit the price wall and the cost of 20 feet of channel or 40 feet of angle was higher than the cost of new ramps !!  I had gotten suggestions from some friends on my favorite forum and from my next door neighbor who is a "fabricating from scrap" guru to just add a support at the center of the ramp to handle the weight and minimize the bend (if any)  The truck weighs right at 4000#s with my ample frame aboard.  That would be the plan.


The ramps needed some material removed and some added... I ground/sliced off the unnecessary stuff added a angle at one end to hook onto the trailer dovetail.  I mentioned I didn't have welding capability here so I drilled and bolted the angle and ramp and used 3/8" carriage bolts to secure the angle.



On the other end I cut a 'knife foot' so the ramp sits flat on the ground.  I then added some aluminum stock to the very end for extra strength and to keep the ramp edge from distorting. I used #12 tapcon screws to hold the added stock.  It was cut from 2x3" angle and I left a lip on the outside to match the thickness of the ramp material.


In addition to those end pieces I added some support along the ramp using 2x3" angle that sits in the web and also supports the turn backs of the web.  I cut the angle for a snug fit and notched for the turn back. I tapped them into place and  they were also held by #12 tapcon screws



With that the ramps were complete and all that was left was to fabricate the boxes to support them.  I used scrap 3/4" plywood.  I made a cardboard pattern to get the angle for the top right and then transferred the pattern to the plywood...it's a full 6 sided box with two coats of industrial enamel paint... pretty straight forward and they fit perfectly in the center of the ramp.  They are about 13" long and 5-3/4" wide to fit in the gap on the ramps.




They are a little narrower than I would have liked but if I line them up correctly they will work fine. I still have to work on storing them in the space where the old ramps slide under the trailer, but I don't see a problem there.  I haven't had a chance to try them yet... the workspace where the trailer is sitting blocks me getting the truck out of the garage to try them... test will come soon and more detail on that

General pictures below