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Old 05-15-2013, 02:33 AM   #1
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Default Problem with ramps

I have a set Rhino ramps to raise the van when doing an oil change or draining my fresh water tank etc.. Problem is that it is very hard to get the van up on the ramps. One inevitably gets "pushed" out of the way because of the smooth concrete floor of my garage.

I thought the problem was because of the relative light weight of the Rhino ramps and the high entry to the ramps. I had lots of left over exterior OSB board from the garage build - enough to build 4 identical 6" high ramps. OSB is pretty much crap. It is not strong and I don't recommend or suggest using it for ramps. I built the ramps because I had this excess stuff laying around just taking up room and I wanted to test a design. The 6" high OSB ramps are made 12 layers of 1/2" OSB flat stacked, glued, screwed and nailed one on top of the other. The end result is basically a big solid block of OSB. I made a very low and also very extended ramp entry point. I haven't been under the van with it up on the solid OSB ramps because I'd like more info on the product. If anyone knows the compression strength of OSB please let me know.

Problem is I still end up pushing these heavy, low entry point ramps when trying to drive up on them. I think most of the tire is on the ramp when it gets pushed. I ended up using some non-slip material under them to finally be able to drive up onto two ramps.

Do you use ramps? Any problems getting your van up on ramps? Any solutions?
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
I have a set Rhino ramps to raise the van when doing an oil change or draining my fresh water tank etc.. Problem is that it is very hard to get the van up on the ramps. One inevitably gets "pushed" out of the way because of the smooth concrete floor of my garage.

I thought the problem was because of the relative light weight of the Rhino ramps and the high entry to the ramps. I had lots of left over exterior OSB board from the garage build - enough to build 4 identical 6" high ramps. OSB is pretty much crap. It is not strong and I don't recommend or suggest using it for ramps. I built the ramps because I had this excess stuff laying around just taking up room and I wanted to test a design. The 6" high OSB ramps are made 12 layers of 1/2" OSB flat stacked, glued, screwed and nailed one on top of the other. The end result is basically a big solid block of OSB. I made a very low and also very extended ramp entry point. I haven't been under the van with it up on the solid OSB ramps because I'd like more info on the product. If anyone knows the compression strength of OSB please let me know.

Problem is I still end up pushing these heavy, low entry point ramps when trying to drive up on them. I think most of the tire is on the ramp when it gets pushed. I ended up using some non-slip material under them to finally be able to drive up onto two ramps.

Do you use ramps? Any problems getting your van up on ramps? Any solutions?
Personally, I don't like ramps and use jacks and stands, and what you have found is one of the reasons. Others include being in the way, and not being able to work and anything to do with the wheels. I also have a fear of driving off the end of them!

When I have used ramps and got into the sliding problem, I would put a 2X4 against the end of the ramp over to the garage wall. It doesn't take much force to hold it long enough for the wheel weight to get onto it and hold it. A friend did it a bit different. He just took a piece of ratchet strap material about 1.5" wide and put it under the ramp and up the high side about 6". He screwed it to the ramp on the high side where it went up, and cut a small notch in the low end so the ramp would still sit flat. His were steel ramps and didn't need a notch on the high end. He had about 2 feet of strap on the floor ahead of the ramp. The tire is on the strap which holds the ramp in place as he drives on. It worked very well for him on cars and pickups.

As for the OSB. It is not particularly strongin bending for its weight, compared to plywood, but it is extremely strong in pure compression, as it is very dense. I seriously doubt the van would do anything to your solid blocks. Do you need a forklift to move them around?
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

I had a set of the Rhino Ramps a long time back, believe they were rated at 12K. They had not been used for years, and then my son asked to use them to change oil. He has a Dodge Dakota, so we know it isn't that heavy, but when he got the front up and stopped, the side on one literally blew out. I was there in front of the truck, got the scare of my life when it blew. I guided him on, so he was dead center, and this happened! I new from that point on I would not have something plastic, or whatever it is made of, around. I took a couple of 2X8's and made a couple of sets. He uses them regularly, and I feel a lot better about it. Oh yeah..he offered to pay for the broken ramps, but what could I say - "show me da money." Joking of course. Ron
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

booster - thanks for the ideas. Either one should help me. I even put two unused ramps in front of the to-be-used ramp that was sliding and still pushed them all. I think the problem is made greater because my van is heavier in front than the rear.

Ron - that is a scary story. Thank goodness no one was hurt and no damage to the truck. I was looking at my plastic ramps the other day wondering about their strength. You can easily see that if they started to fail it would just collapse. I can't see me putting the van on them again.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

I forgot re: the weight of the OSB ramps They're not as heavy as I thought they'd be - maybe 20 to 30lbs tops. I can move them around ok. For storage, my garage is unfinished inside so all the ramps reside in the spaces between the 2x6 studs. If I ever finish the garage storage would become an issue. Maybe I'd keep them under the van.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

Re: axle stands

I have two sets of 2 ton axles stands. Each stand is rated 4,000 lbs capacity. My van weighs just over 8,000 lbs.

One set of stands is new, ratchet style supports and has additional locking pins.
Actual stands:


The other set is older, pipe style, with U shaped locking pins
Not the actual stands but similar:


Both sets seem so small to handle the large van.

Would you support your van on four x 2 ton axle stands?
Can you use two pieces of 3/4" plywood under the stands to gain a bit of height?
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File Type: jpg ratchet stands.JPG (19.8 KB, 939 views)
File Type: jpg axle stand U pin lock.jpg (34.2 KB, 938 views)
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Re: axle stands

I have two sets of 2 ton axles stands. Each stand is rated 4,000 lbs capacity. My van weighs just over 8,000 lbs.

One set of stands is new, ratchet style supports and has additional locking pins.
Actual stands:


The other set is older, pipe style, with U shaped locking pins
Not the actual stands but similar:


Both sets seem so small to handle the large van.

Would you support your van on four x 2 ton axle stands?
Can you use two pieces of 3/4" plywood under the stands to gain a bit of height?
Stands are usually rated per axle pair, so a two ton set would support 2000# each, which is under what the back of most B's weighs, and even the 8000# total on 4 stands is low. 3 ton stands would be much more appropriate, plus they usually go higher so the work better on trucks in general.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Stands are usually rated per axle pair, ..........................
Thanks for mentioning that. That was what I assumed when I bought the newer set of stands.

The older stands say "capacity per stand 4000 pounds" on the box. That's what has me confused. All the stands are similar in size etc.



So maybe I have one set of stands suitable for the van?
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File Type: jpg capacity per stand.JPG (299.2 KB, 929 views)
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

After thinking about and reading some more - like booster said - 3 ton stands would be better for height and capacity. And something that is decent quality. The casting I've seen on some cheap axle stands is really bad - make you wonder if they could hold a lawnmower up.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

I did a little looking around, also. The whole thing is very confusing and could be potentially dangerous. I found stands that plainly stated the rating was per pair. I saw others (Autozone for one place) that said the rating was per stand. I also saw single stands for sale with single stand rating. But they all showed pix that had the rating on the stand. The ones rated as each stand at 3 tons, said 3 tons on each stand. The ones that were 3 tons for the pair, said 3 tons on each stand. How does one know the difference?
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

Exactly. I'm surprised how suddenly I convinced myself that I had 16,000 lbs stand capacity.........

When it comes to axle stands I'm going to first trust my instincts - the stand is going at least look like it is suitable for the job. No matter what is printed on the box, the stands I have do not look adequate for the task. Then I'll look at the quality of the casting and the play in the mechanism. If it passes that then I'll look at the ton rating.

I'll probably need help lifting the stands I eventually choose
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

I looked into this a bit more.
My older stands rating use the word stand (singular) in the rating - meaning per stand.
The newer stands use the word stands (plural) in the rating - meaning per pair of stands.

ANSI Standards get updated.
The old stands don't meet any standards. I will not use them on the van.
The new stands only meet ANSI ASME PAL 2005 which has been superseded by ANSI ASME PAL 2009.

The ANSI 2005 Standard Proof Load test (static load) had to meet 150% of the rated load.
ANSI ASME PAL 2009 Standard Proof Load test (static load) has to meet 200% of the rated load.

Lifting equipment that does not comply with ANSI ASME PAL 2009 Proof Load Test will either be down rated to a lower capacity rating or re-engineered to pass the ANSI ASME PAL 2009 Proof Load Test.

So, for example, 2 ton axle stands the meet ANSI ASME PAL 2005 standards might only pass the test to be rated 1.5 ton stands under ANSI ASME PAL 2009.

Short answer: look for a ANSI ASME PAL 2009 rating standard on the axle stands you are considering to buy or de-rate ANSI ASME PAL 2005 rated products that support a load by 25% to reflect current standards.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

I need to get under the Roadtrek to check some stuff and to do a minor repair before we head out again. I was planning to use some ramps and 2 X 3 Ton Powerbuilt combo jack stands/bottle jacks as an added safety support. I was concerned about the ramps collapsing or breaking under the weight, because they're just plastic.
I couldn't find any heavy duty steel or metal ramps online anywhere that weren't over $700/pair.

Update: NAPA has some, so Autozone and Advanced Auto probably have similar metal ramps. I'll have a look next trip over.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

Maybe go with wood Mike. They'd be a bit on the heavy side but strong enough I think. Most hardware stores will even cut the wood for you. Some charge a fee after the first cut.

I made 4 ramps out of scrap OSB leftover from the garage build. Plywood would be better. 2x10's would work. I haven't put the van up on all 4 ramps as it is safer with two wheels on the ground - chocked so the van can't roll back or forward. You might not need to get the van up very high to complete the job you have to do.

I use the plastic ramps for the Ford Escape now.



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File Type: jpg ramps 2.JPG (257.0 KB, 2340 views)
File Type: jpg ramps 1.JPG (160.0 KB, 2340 views)
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:49 AM   #15
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

Thanks for the pics and suggestions. Did you just glue and clamp them? Or nail them as well?
I'll look into the solid wood idea. How tall are yours? Hard to tell from the pic.
Wish I had a small scale wood/machine shop. Never had a need for one until I retired. Maybe there's a sale on skill or reciprocating saws somewhere?

One of the dump handle hangers came off the frame where it was mounted. I was able to get underneath to wire it up, by sitting the front tires on the curb on one side of my driveway, but it didn't give me enough room to really look over the problem, to see what needs to be done to fix it more permanently.
I'm not even sure if it was bolted to the frame or attached with a rivet. It was dirty and I just wanted to get it wired up so I could drive it if necessary. I hate spending money to fix stuff that's simple screwdriver/wrench/hammer/drill stuff.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:55 AM   #16
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

Glued, air nailed & air stapled as I built them. Then 3 1/2" screws top and bottom to "tie" it together to make sure there was no chance of it separating. The ramps are 6" high. The 2x4 to prevent roll off is glued and screwed as well.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:24 AM   #17
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Think I might get an inexpensive reciprocating saw, and take a crack at it.
I'm thinking glued and nailed might do for the laminate part. The roll off stop might need screws.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:20 PM   #18
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

I bought a set of 16,000 lb. ramps at Harbor Freight. They're like Rhino Ramps.
I'm also thinking of getting a 3T floor jack (on sale at HF for US$79, regular US$150) and then using the combo 3T jack stands as extra safety supports under the frame near the front end which will be the first end I need raised. I also have some patio pavers that I was considering adding to the mix. I've got enough of them that I could probably build 2 ramps, overlapping them to a height of around 8 inches, with a gentle slope up them to the top, or I might use them after the plastic HF ramps to serve as another added support.
Not sure how I'll finally do this, but I have some options now.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
I bought a set of 16,000 lb. ramps at Harbor Freight. They're like Rhino Ramps.
I'm also thinking of getting a 3T floor jack (on sale at HF for US$79, regular US$150) and then using the combo 3T jack stands as extra safety supports under the frame near the front end which will be the first end I need raised. I also have some patio pavers that I was considering adding to the mix. I've got enough of them that I could probably build 2 ramps, overlapping them to a height of around 8 inches, with a gentle slope up them to the top, or I might use them after the plastic HF ramps to serve as another added support.
Not sure how I'll finally do this, but I have some options now.
I don't know if you guys have Costco up there, but they have an Alcan 3.25 ton jack that is usually around $110 and is a very nice jack compared to the Harbor freight stuff. My 3 ton long from Harbor freight lost a snap ring on a cross support, where it didn't show, and actually started to lean as I tried to use it and the pin came loose. Luckily I noticed it early so no harm. I wouldn't use patio pavers for any support, if they are like the ones we get, as they can crumble very easily.

If you do use the stands as a extra support with the ramps, you can drive up the ramps, then lift the van, while leaving the wheels on the ramps. Lift just enough to get the stands under something solid and set the body back down. That way there is weight on both the stands and the ramps, so neither is likely to move. If you have clearance to one or the other, if the loaded on fails, the vehicle can move enough to miss, break, or tip the safety one.

Also be aware that GM no longer recommends lifting the front from the center of the crossmember. Don't know when they changed that, but it is that way in our 07 factory service manual. I use two of the Alcan jacks to do the front, one under each end of the crossmember. Still not a recommended lift point, but very strong compared to the center, and it is much safer to lift the entire front at once. It actually works very well. The manual says to do one side at a time from the lower control arm, which is really hard to do because the jack base hits the tire.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: Problem with ramps

We have Costco, but I don't think they're as good a deal up here as they might be in the US, so we let our membership expire a few years ago. I shop US a lot, and am a Sam's Club (USA) member if that helps me?

Thanks for the tips and tricks. I had thought about using the ramps to get the van aloft, and then using the 3T floor jack to raise it one side at a time, just enough to get a 3T bottle jack stand under the frame, and then lower it a bit to put load on both the ramp and jack stand. So, that's another vote for that method. I like that idea. I also can use the bottle jack feature of the jack stands to do minor adjustments once they're loaded.

I did buy the HF 3T floor jack, but I got the heavier steel model, not the aluminum one that's more of a racing pit crew jack. This is it......
http://www.harborfreight.com/automotive ... -8781.html
I'll try to test it on something light, to watch it for any defects before I try to actually use it under a heavy load.

I was wondering about how to lift a large heavy van, one side at a time, without torquing or twisting the frame out of true. HF has a floor jack cross beam that mounts to most of their floor jacks that distributes the weight across about a 2 foot long support arm that can rotate horizontally around the lift pad/saddle of the jack.
http://www.harborfreight.com/floor-jack ... 60762.html
It might work better under the frame cross member, as it would create two lift points 2 feet apart along the cross member. It's only good for about 2 tons. Not sure if that would be enough to lift the front or rear end of the Roadtrek. I may have to make another trip across the river to get one, if I can't fond something similar here for around the same price.

I also grabbed a US$29.99 40" creeper. Couldn't pass it up. The same type of creeper at Canadian Tire is C$59.99.
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