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Ramps or not?

Discussion in 'Dozers' started by urilabob, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. urilabob

    urilabob New Member

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    I'm new to earthwork, with a new-to-me ancient crawler tractor/dozer, trying to understand about loading ramps. Can anyone help with some questions? Are steel tracks safe on steel ramps, or will they just skid? If OK, do the ramps need to be wider than the tracks, so that the tracks run only on the rungs, or is it OK for the tracks to run on the ramp stringers (I'm guessing that running on the stringers will make skidding more likely, but maybe not)? Is there anything I could put on the ramps (conveyor belt, maybe, or boards) that would reduce skidding risk?

    The ramps I'm looking at are 8' long, and I'd probably be loading up to about 2'6" height, so the slopes wouldn't be that fierce. I might have to load/unload in the wet sometimes, but snow/ice are rare enough here I could just wait till they melt.

    Thanks in advance for any comments
     
  2. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    Steel on steel is very slick. The lower the angles and the more level the trailer (front to back and side to side) the better off things will be. Take things very slow and expect the worst. One quick movement and things can go south in a hurry.
     
  3. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    I had steel tracks on a 743 bobcat for a couple years. It was very slick loading on steel ramps. If you weren't level side to side, you were sliding off to the low side every time. I took the tracks off the bobcat when I upgraded machines and then elected not to put them on the new machine because of how slippery it was to loan and unload.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
     
  4. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    Wood or conveyor belting will help tremendously.

    Always back up the ramps and of course drive down forward.

    Others will say different but then they haven't seen the result of someone not quite making it to breakover, letting the machine roll back and catching it with the master clutch... a machine setting upside down on top of the operator. Be well.
     
  5. tpitt

    tpitt Well-Known Member

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    I've loaded literally 100's of dozers and would never back one on. You can use the blade for leverage, for the break over. Also you can see better going forward. You won't be twisted around looking over your shoulder. If you feel uncomfortable, let a professional load it. Many people have been killed loading equipment.
     
  6. urilabob

    urilabob New Member

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    Fastening wood/conveyer belt?

    Thank you everyone for really helpful advice (thank you for the advice, I will be really careful - when I'm worried about something, I generally go at it with minimum revs). Loading, I guess I should load all my machines backward, right (8 ton excavator, 4 ton 4wd tractor, 3 1/2 ton crawler). That probably gives a better weight distribution anyway.

    I can see how to fasten wood securely, less sure about conveyor belting. I'm guessing it would give better traction than wood, but might get chopped up by the tracks pretty quickly, any experience? If I go with wood, I'm wondering about marine ply bolted on top of the ramps. Maybe I would need to bolt wooden cleats on top of that? Or maybe just say 1/4"x2" steel bars at say 8" intervals would be better as cleats? Any thoughts? Anyone tried either in the past?
     
  7. D6c10K

    D6c10K Senior Member

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    On the lowboy I have been fixing up, the all-steel ramps have angle iron welded in between the main rails with the outside corner sticking up about 1/2" for traction. I didn't think it was quite enough so I got a couple of 10' sticks of 1" tall grouser bar at the local track shop (free because they were bent and couldn't sell them) and welded them across the ramps for more bite.

    I plan on mounting 4 x 4 oak timbers up the beaver tail and along the deck about a ft. narrower than the inside of the track plates so that if ever the dozer does slide sideways it will hopefully catch it before I take a ride off the side of the trailer.

    lantraxco it right about loading an older dozer with direct drive....backing on would be safer, especially if you ever load it without the blade. Had a guy haul my D6c (powershift) without the blade.....he loaded it forward and it was scary to watch. The nose was very high up there before it rocked over and if it had be a direct drive it may have ended badly.
     
  8. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . .

    Interesting thread.

    We only ever used steel ramps with solid steel say (inch by inch) welded crosswise on about foot centres for grip.

    I can see lantraxco's point but operator error is just that, an error an accident and like tpitt I have loaded many hundreds of dozers over ramps and believe backing up a ramp particularly with a bare assed dozer is asking for grief.

    In truth, most accidents I have seen have ben caused by operators being unaware as to how to make minute corrections when positioning a machine on a deck . . . if I want a machine moved sideways two inches that is what I want and no amount of throttle blipping and over correction and pissed offness is going to make me settle for any different.

    Over the years I have seen a lot of this throttle blipping and moving powershifts in and out of gear carry on . . . same sort of thing with a stick shift, trying to finesse the thing with throttle and steering clutch is never going to work, machine must be lined up and the steering clutches are never touched once committed to the ramps.

    The other thing I saw just recently was a dozer going up a ramp and, just short of rockover, the operator started messing with the blade . . . second rule of loading on my float was blade and ripper on the stops and leave them there . . . first rule was nothing goes on until I have it parked up flat and level.

    I realise that folks who have to contend with snow and ice are playing a whole different ball game but loading up ramps in benign or even wet conditions is not an issue with common sense and correct technique.

    I can post a description as to how to finesse a hand steering clutch and foot steering brake machine if any one is interested . . . I have no clue on the more exotic all foot, all hand or diff steered machines.

    This may sound a bit presumptuous but just a few months back I watched what was supposed to be a "top operator out of the mines" trying to put an old power shift D6 through a tight but doable gate. It was pathetic . . . he shagged around, hit both posts, wrecked the gate and they ended up cutting the fence to let the machine through.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  9. Twisted

    Twisted Senior Member

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    I agree Scrub Puller. I have one of those fancy detachable lay-down nit-wits but my go-to is a float with ramps. Point and shoot. Square up before the climb and don't pull a lever until level again. We have ice and snow here for half of our year and I have only lost one machine but it was warm and dry. That's a long stupid story from my younger days. Flat, level, square and confident. As you said, don't fiddle.
     
  10. cdm123

    cdm123 Senior Member

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    Heavy end go's up first comes down last has served me well so far, but I have to admit, I will us a blade or bucket to break it's fall at the tip point.
     
  11. maddog

    maddog Senior Member

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    I always used wood on my ramps for steel tracked machines. I also agree with the others that wrote drive up, follow what Scrub Puller wrote
     
  12. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Welded cleats on ramps are fine, urilabob. Just make sure that the spacing suits your grousers on the tracked machines. We have a trailer and the ramp cleats don't mesh with the excavator pads, it sounds terrible climbing on and off. I have to cut off every other one, then it should mesh. If you've got good cleats on ramps, you just need bed level especially side to side, and as you say, any adjustments made when you're properly flat a ways up the low bed.

    Some people like to run the sprocket end of a excavator undercarriage up the ramps (with bucket at sprocket end too, don't reverse up looking over shoulder!) when it's icy, so when they're driving off later it's more intuitive if machine starts sliding down.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  13. Tarhe Driver

    Tarhe Driver Well-Known Member

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  14. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . .

    That clip above from Tarhe Driver Is a demonstration of absolute incompetence.

    Cheers.
     
  15. John Shipp

    John Shipp Senior Member

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    Yes...

    That's pretty bad.
     
  16. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Good question urilabob .

    We never did get around to building ramps for the low boy . I throw down some 7" X 9" rail ties cut to 30 inch or so to crawl up on the beaver tail .

    Beaver tail also has some steel bolts welded on top for the grousers to grab hold of . Main thing loading forward or backward is I like the lowboy level as possible to help prevent side off .

    http://www.heavytruckforums.com/showthread.php?263-Some-Holmes-750-action&p=2519&viewfull=1#post2519

    http://www.heavytruckforums.com/showthread.php?263-Some-Holmes-750-action&p=2462&viewfull=1#post2462

    I might build some ramps some day :beatsme :)

    On edit the wood ramps you see in the pictures on the second link are for loading a farm tractor or skid loader .

    They are built out of treated 4" X 6" posts bolted together with all thread . Also drilled them every 16" and drove in a bolt for traction . They are around 5 foot long . Probably work fine for a smaller dozer .
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  17. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    A little too much vodka comrade... it were inwented in russia....
     
  18. Jim D

    Jim D Senior Member

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    You Tube "cat 953 loader unloaded in a snap"
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016