A question about using a ramp to load bikes in a pickup...

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by CaptnJim, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    I bought this ramp...

    http://www.harborfreight.com/1200-lb-capacity-convertible-aluminum-loading-ramp-94057.html

    Now, I need to get two Honda PCX 150s in the back of a 6.5' bed of the GMC in this photo...

    [​IMG]

    I mentioned that I have been riding motorcycles for 45 years... the key word in that sentence is: riding. Not hauling in a pickup. Yes, I've had Harleys, and, yes, I've heard all the old jokes about hauling them. BUT, I was not one of those hauling kinda guys. I do have a cargo trailer that I've hauled bikes in, but that is 1348 miles away right now. So, I know how to strap the bikes down, I have decent racheting straps... I'm just wondering if there is a BEST TECHNIQUE for getting these scooters up that ramp with my big burly self and my pretty-but-tough wife?

    I have considered waiting in the truck while she gets them loaded, but the couch is a cold, lonely place... so, I figure I'll have to participate.

    Any helpful tips, suggestions, or techniques are appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,
    Captain Jim
    #1
  2. JerseyBiker

    JerseyBiker Living the life!

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    Personally, I wouldn't try riding up. I would walk the scoot up.

    Find a high curb and back up to it. Then the ramp angle won't be as great. I also had a guy tell me he used to back his pickup into a drainage ditch and then put the ramp from the truck to the dirt. He said it was then almost level.

    Just my .02
    #2
  3. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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  4. MiniBike

    MiniBike Been here awhile

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    I had a Z71 Sierra for years and found myself doing this solo most of the time. I 'd look around for commercial loading docks (after hours) and back the truck as close as possible. I've never had a problem. In your travels, check out the back side of furniture stores, large groceries, etc. You can be in and out in just a couple of minutes.

    Since you've got 4WD, backing the Chevy into a ditch and crossing over from the other side using a short ramp can also work.

    Now that I've downsized to a Tacoma, I've considered mounting an inexpensive Harbor Freight hand winch to the front of the bed of the truck or my 10' trailer for loading riding mowers, heavy parts, etc. An electric winch would be even better and could be done one handed. Straddle the bike to steer and let the winch do the work.
    #4
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I load bikes into the back of my truck all the time. Here's my setup:

    [​IMG]

    I have a 7' folding aluminum ramp and a step stool. I just walk the bikes up and use the stool to get into the bed. I normally don't have the engines running but I used to load a R1100GS by myself and needed to use the motor to get up the ramp. It makes it easier if your truck is parked facing downhill or if you can do something to reduce the angle of the ramp. One thing to watch out for is that scooters tend to have low clearance and may ground out on the truck bed. I had that problem and here is my solution:

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    ^^^this^^^
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  7. windburn

    windburn Long timer

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    Since you have plastic over the frame you may need Canyon Dancers that attach to your handgrips and serve as an anchoring point left and Right. Since you did not mention this concern I thought you may be familiar with Canyon Dancers, if not you may need to buy some.
    #7
  8. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    Back up to someone's driveway, where the driveway goes uphill some from the street. Just back up until your rear wheels settle in the gutter. The ramp from the driveway to the truck will be pretty level. And those step stools really help too, so you can step from the ground to the stool to the truck, while pushing the scooter.
    #8
  9. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I did find a place in the RV park we are in that will give me a better angle with the ramp. My plan is to walk the bikes up the ramp, maybe using the motor to help. The idea of a step stool is great - I'll plan for that.

    Thanks again, and still open to any other suggestions. I have a week or so before I need to do this - just getting some background on doing it right.

    I have Soft Ties that wrap around the handlebars, instead of the Canyon Dancers.

    Best wishes,
    Captain Jim
    #9
  10. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    It's going to be difficult to load them and haul them without damage. I have loaded and hauled a lot of quads and dirt bikes, but they were already all scratched up. Those scooters have a lot of easily scratched plastic.

    My Genuine Stella once broke down about 40 miles away, I called my ex father in law to come and pick me and it up. He has a Dodge Ram crew cab with a fairly short bed, and all he had for ramps were quad ramps (the grate type, with gaps, like a ladder) It took 4 guys to get it up that ramp and into the truck (it broke down at a gas station) and it would not fit endways because the bed was too short. It barely fit at an angle. I had to ride 40 miles back in the back of the truck on the freeway holding it up. He brought quad/dirt bike tie downs, but I didn't see any way to use them without damaging the scooter.
    #10
  11. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    I always ride mine up. But 2 considerations when you do it.......
    1. MEAN IT! None of this namby-pamby "what if? but what about? crap, you need at least fast jogging pace all the way up the ramp.
    2. getting them down is a bitch. You're reversing backwards with no room to touch your feet. I was never very good at maintaining balance going backwards, it was all weird for me (but then again, I also fall over when I hold out my arms and shut my eyes! :lol3)

    One easier way is to buy a small electric winch with a 5m lead. Go up backwards, then getting it down you just roll it off easy.

    Another way is to fit a 750kg small crane designed for the back of utes. Plenty of my drag mates use these to get Big ugly slammed (2" clearance tops) 'Busa's off a trayback ute with 950mm deck height.

    3. This is my personal favourite........ditch th truck and ride the scoots everywhere! :clap
    #11
  12. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Been here awhile

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    That video of the fails is great! Almost been there a few times myself.

    Best advice I can give is find a depression (ditch) for rear wheels of truck to drop into. (Makes HUGE difference). I've never had to look for more than 5 minutes in a given area to find something that'll work. Most furniture stores have a loading dock and a case of beer will usually get your bike up on it. ;). (Grain stores, etc)

    If you have two people I've found having one person in the back with a firm grip on any rack you may have back there and "pushing" helps ALOT. The key thing is to have someone there to provide stability when you make "the step" into and out of the bed. (The step stool is a good idea, but do everything in your power to reduce the ramp angle and minimize the step height)

    Personally I would not have the motor running and would never ride anything but a dirt bike in and only then if I had a long bed truck.

    Just my .02 based on years of stupidity. :)
    #12
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I highly recommend the canyon dancers, soft ties can damage your throttle.

    I have trucked my scooters many times without any scratches or damage whatsoever. I use canyon dancers on the handlebars and soft ties on the passenger handles at the back. I always load my scooters without any help from anyone else. With a little practice it gets pretty easy. With the equipment I have I can load just about anywhere. I don't have to search around for that perfect loading spot.
    #13
  14. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    We hauled the scooters from the dealer (other side of the Phoenix valley) when we picked them up. I rented a U-Haul ramp trailer. No damage to the bikes, no issue.

    However, we plan to take the scooters to the Pacific Northwest this summer. There will be a heavy boat behind that truck, so no way to hook another cargo trailer behind that. If the scoots go along, it will have to be in the back of the truck.

    I've hauled my other bike in an enclosed cargo trailer thousands of miles; never had an issue with damage. The trailer is set up with a ride-in front tire chock, and appropriately placed tie down rings. The ramp door on that trailer is low and easy to maneuver. Putting the scoots in the truck bed will be a new adventure for me... I think we are up for this.

    I appreciate the suggestions and warnings for potential pitfalls. I bought this particular ramp because it seemed wide enough for foot room while moving the bike up. I have found a spot here in the RV park where we are staying that will give me a better angle with the ramp. It's going to be a snug fit in the truck bed, between the wheel wells.

    I will do the U-Haul trailer behind the 5th wheel to get this all back to Texas.

    Putting the bikes in the truck bed here to get them to the dealer for the break-in service in 10 days. If we ride them over, we will have to kill half a day there with no transportation. Wife says, "Put 'em in the truck," I am putting them in the truck. :wink:

    Thanks again for the participation!

    Best wishes,
    Captain Jim
    #14
  15. FAW3

    FAW3 Old wanderer

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    I'll add that in Klav's post #5 on this thread...he's got a stool to the left of the ramp. That mid point step up to the truck bed is ESSENTIAL IMO. It makes walking up with your scoot very easy.

    Also...I find it helpful to leave the enrich/choke on a bit so I am at higher idle.
    #15
  16. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    I've been loading/unloading bike's out of trucks for many years. This past summer while unloading my klx in UT, the ramp was slowly moving away from the truck(which I didn't notice). The wife saw it! I now use one of my tie downs from the truck and clip it under the ramp for loading and unloading.
    #16
  17. don63

    don63 Adventurer

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    Since you have two ramps, start the engine and run it up while you walk up the other ramp. So the scooter would be on the left ramp and you walk up the right ramp. Use the throttle and the to walk the scooter up. When you go to load the second scooter do it the same way. You'll just be kind of squeezed when you get up to the bed of the truck. I load my 110 Elite and 50cc aprilia rally onto the back of my 2500 dodge all the time. It's a breeze. It's actually harder going down and using the just the brakes.
    #17
  18. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    A choke... one of the appeals of the Honda PCX 150 is fuel injection. :wink:

    There are chains on the ramp, to secure it to the truck. I will, for sure, be utilizing those chains.

    Don63, your suggestion is what we were planning - great to hear someone is successfully doing it that way.

    Thanks for the continued discussion on this topic... it is reassuring.

    Best wishes,
    Jim
    #18
  19. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    Find a good ditch and use it repeatedly.
    #19
  20. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    We travel a lot... I may have to find ditches in different areas. :wink:
    #20