Loading An ATV Into A Truck Bed
Loading your ATV onto a truck bed instead of a trailer? With a large enough bed, why not! Hauling your ATV with your truck for a weekend getaway, hunting trip, or another outdoor adventure is similar to trailer loading.
Just like with trailer loading, you’ll need reliable ramps to safely load your ATV onto the truck. With the proper steps and equipment, you’ll be able to efficiently carry out this process in little time. Whether you’re doing this for the first time or need a refresher, here is our guide on how to load an ATV into a truck bed. Note that it’s great to have friends to help you with this, but you can get your vehicle loaded on your own as well. Before getting started, ensure you’re on flat ground with no grade. If you’re on an incline or decline, it will make this process difficult.
- Ratchet Straps
Set Up Your Ramp: The ramp you use should come from a reputable company; after all, you’re trusting their product to successfully help you load your ATV, which more than likely wasn’t cheap. Ensure it’s rated to handle the weight of your specific quad, so you know it won’t collapse. It should touch the ground and sit at a good angle that you can easily maneuver up. If you ATV has bigger wheels than stock size, you may need a longer ramp. There are many extendable ramp options available that you can get tons of use out of.
Secure your ramp to the truck using ratchet straps. You’ll hook a strap to the bottom of the ramp and the other end to the safety chain hook up next to the truck’s hitch. You can also use the truck’s frame if necessary. Use the ratchet to tighten the straps, which don’t need to be as tight as possible but very snug.
Loading the ATV: Now that the ramp is secure, you can get to the heart of the process. Pull your helmet on, since you’ll be driving the ATV up an incline. While an accident shouldn’t occur, there is always the off chance that it could. Line the wheels of the ATV up so that they’re centered with the ramp. Put it in 4 wheel drive low gear. This will have the least amount of throttle and decrease the likelihood of your wheels spinning out. Press the gas just enough to build up momentum to move up the ramp. You might not get it on the first try, which is not a problem. Just move the ATV back off and go again. Keep in mind that too much could cause an accident like the ATV flipping over, so be careful.
Once your rear wheels are inside the truck bed, stop the ATV. Very slowly edge it forward until you’re just about to touch the front of the bed. Park it and shut it off. Pocket the key and hop out of the truck bed.
Strapping in for the Road: To keep your ATV secure as you head to your destination, you’ll need to secure it with tie downs. When left unbound, the ATV could cause serious damage to you and other drivers. You don’t want it falling off the truck bed and into the road, where others might crash into it. Plus, it’s required by law enforcement that you properly tie down ATVs during transit.
The aim here is to suppress the suspension. You can place the ratchet straps over the cargo racks and tighten them down if they’re thick and high quality. If you have friends along for the ride, have one sit on the ATV so you can crank it down. Once locked into place, you can store the ramps and close the tailgate.
Now that the loading process is complete, you’re ready to head off to your destination to enjoy riding!