View Full Version : Prepping for St. Louis: new aluminum ramps for trailer

07-17-2015, 12:34 PM
I'm planning on hauling my M5 truck from Massachusetts to St. Louis for the International Meet next month. I looked at the tires last week, decided that they were too dry rotted after 7 years to risk a 3000-mile haul and bought some new ones. I also decided that the two welded steel ramps that came with the LoadTrail trailer were just too heavy at 72 lbs each for an old guy like me. I started laying out drawings for similar ones in aluminum, but the cost of buying aluminum extrusions and getting it welded was ugly. I Googled trailer ramps and came up with some from Discountramps.com that weighed only 18 lbs each, rated for 3000 lbs per axle. The price was right at $229 per pair plus shipping. They are the same 5 ft length, about the same width, and oh-so-easy to handle.

I think I'm ready to haul. The prospect of driving a hard-riding, non-air conditioned Studebaker truck with a tiny cab for 3000 miles in mid-west heat and humidity was not appealing. Call me a wimp but my Expedition EL is comfortable! But, I'll be ready to take on any other STOCK M5 at any drag strip events in St. Louis. "Digger Dave" Molnar will have to find another sucker this time, LOL! Let's see if we can beat 24 seconds this time.


07-17-2015, 12:45 PM
Wish I was ready as well Gary , I just hauled my Champ truck home from the paint shop in pieces this morning ! I was planning on taking it to St Louis , I have about 3 weeks to reassemble it so I'm not sure I will make it or not but we'll give it a shot ! Think there may be a couple of midnight sessions involved here <g>

07-17-2015, 01:04 PM
That is exactly what I need. I can't hardly lift my ramps. Would you give me part number and I will order me a set your steel ramps are just like mine.

07-17-2015, 02:49 PM
The part number is 03-12-060-04-S. See this page: http://www.discountramps.com/car-trailer-ramps/p/CTR/

I put the order in last Saturday, on-line. The ramps arrived via UPS Ground on Thursday.

07-17-2015, 02:56 PM
Thanks. I'll put my order in. See you in St. Louis.

07-17-2015, 03:51 PM
What route are taking and when are you leaving for St Louis?

07-17-2015, 05:28 PM
T'were it me... I'd buy a cheap set of short jackstands and put one midway on each ramp.
I did that with the enclosed trailer I had that has dual swing doors on the back.
Didn't like the sag when loading. A jackstand base (without the Tee) worked great.

07-17-2015, 06:54 PM
Peter, the route from southeastern Mass. is I-95 to I-287 around NY, west on I-80 to I-71, then I-70 to St. Louis. Google Maps says 1190 miles (without side trips) and 18 hours of driving time - assuming no serious highway delays. But, it's construction season.

Jeff, I'm not concerned about sag on the ramps. They are rated for 1500 lbs per ramp. The M5 only weighs about 2700 lbs wet, so that's only about 700 lbs per ramp when driving it on. I'm sure their legal department told them to make them more than strong enough. Even at 1500 lbs loading per ramp, I calculated the safety factor as being close to 3:1, even allowing for loss of strength in the 6061-T6 aluminum after welding. The deflection at the center of the ramp will be less than 1/4" with stress about 6300 psi. The 6061-T6 is rated at about 35,000-45,000 psi (before welding). Each ramp is made from 4"x1.75"x.125" wall tube, about 58" long, plus there are the crossbars welded to the top surface. The bottom sides of the rectangular tubes have no welds, hence no heat affected zone to cause loss of strength for the surface under tension. The sides only have a couple of welds. The top surface should be strengthened by the 2"x1/4" cross bars in spite of the welding. Even if I put my 4500 lb Wagonaire on the trailer, the ramps will be just fine. If I was going to put a 10,000 lb truck or bulldozer on the trailer, I'd go back and use my old steel ramps, but the steel trailer (about 2500 lbs empty) is only rated for 7,000 lbs GVW anyway.

07-17-2015, 07:34 PM
looking forward to seeing everyone in St. Louis

07-18-2015, 11:11 AM
Smart move on buying those aluminum ramps, and they look like they will also give a smoother drive on than the steel ramps.
It's no fun helping my friend's installing their heavy steel ramps, even at a younger age.

Thanks for the link. I'm going to send it to my friends and suggest they sell their heavy old steel monsters.