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Air ramps vs hydraulic?

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by Geodrill, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. Geodrill

    Geodrill Member

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    Location:
    Alabama
    For you guys that have used both is there any downside to the air ramps vs the regular hydraulics?

    Seems like it would give me more options on choosing a truck, or save me the cost of adding a wet kit.
     
  2. RZucker

    RZucker Senior Member

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    If the air cylinders are properly sized and the geometry is right, it should work fine. make sure there is a lubricator in the system and be sure the ramps don't jiggle on the road, that will eat seals fast. It also wont hurt to have your compressor governor set for 130-140 PSI in colder weather.
     
  3. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    The down side to the hydralic ramps that I used was the battery on the 12 volt pump gives up at the worst possible time and they can be real slow when its cold
     
  4. Tags

    Tags Senior Member

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    Location:
    Connecticut
    I bought a new 20 ton trailer a couple years ago, I opted for the air ramps for a couple reasons, it uses the air from the air brake hook up so it’s simple, and I thought it was one less system to keep up with also. Where as the hydraulic rams come with its own self contained hydraulic pump located somewhere on the trailer, and it’s own 12 V battery to run it, like a AZ said, if your charging system for the battery isn’t working right, or the battery gets old, or it’s cold out, it could work slow or not at all, plus you have hydraulic hoses and fluid to look after. I personally want to make things as simple as possible and eliminate small problems that i would need to deal with instead of going to work…One note on the air ramp trailer though, in cold weather you definitely need to put alcohol in the lines so the valve doesn’t freeze....
     
  5. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    I've got hyd ramps on our 54K tag. Retrofitted a pump and cylinders as the trailer originally had manual ramps which were a WC claim waiting to happen..

    It was a fairly cheap add on. We ran a hot wire from the truck to the battery big enough to run the pump if the battery is dead. The "system" has been on the trailer for about 10 years and the two hydraulic cylinders are leaking and need to be replaced. They are the cheap Tractor Supply type cylinders - cheaper to buy new ones than to re-seal.

    I would like to try the air ramps out, seems like a superior system.
     
  6. SVTSHELBYGT500

    SVTSHELBYGT500 Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Excavating Contractor 30 + Yrs.
    Location:
    Pa
    I ordered air ramps on 50 k felling and they work great ! Would do it again in a heartbeat !
     
  7. 1693TA

    1693TA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
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    Occupation:
    FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
    Location:
    Farmington IL
    glued these onto the back in 1983. Used a Monarch power pak with power up, and down and cheap tie rod cylinders. Had a valve stick in the pump body last year so purchased new valve cartridges directly from Bucher hydraulics, (Formerly Monarch) and all good now:

    upload_2019-11-4_20-4-2.jpeg
    upload_2019-11-4_20-5-56.jpeg
    upload_2019-11-4_20-7-5.jpeg

    The trailer does have a 12VDC battery installed and there is a single pin #2 gauge wire plug on the front by the glad hands. The ramps will operate from either the truck, or the battery which recharges from the truck.
     
    CM1995, Jonas302 and doublewide like this.
  8. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Same system we rigged up on our tag trailer.
     
  9. 1693TA

    1693TA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    FAA Radar Engineer, (Retired)
    Location:
    Farmington IL
    Yup. Simple, proven, and inexpensive. Everything was used or second hand when installed onto the trailer so have no idea as to actual age.

    The hydraulics are strong enough if you place a block under the ramp leg(s), you can raise the tires off the ground not needing a jack to change a tire.