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Need engineers or experienced folks for material recommendation on vehicle ramps

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  • #16
    One thing I leaned recently is that the same shape of aluminum with the same load will have 3 times the amount of deflection as the same shape of steel. Its caught me off gaurd a few times especially with a couple trailers I built for myself recently. You definitely need to be more careful with the design but a lot of times its just a matter of going to the next size up of material it seems. For instance a 20' length of 2x4 aluminum with a 200 lb load in the middle might bend 2". Or that same 2x4 in steel would be 1/3 of that. So the steel is quite acceptable but the aluminum bends waay to much. But if you go to a 2x6 aluminum it might cut the bend down to 1/2" so is actually now stronger then the steel 2x4 while still being much lighter. These are just examples not actual numbers. Just something I thought id share as I wish I had known this earlier. So using any beam calculators for steel you can take the deflection numbers and times it by 3 for aluminum.

    Nobody is going to tell you what to use unless you pay a structural engineer to design it for you. So just over build it and be done with it. Angle is probably fine since the cross pieces and posts should lock it all together and stop the twistiness the angle is known for. The most important thing here is to add some posts to your side pieces you drew.

    This is the beam calculator I like to use but It only goes down to 2" angle and 2" square. The 2" angle seems to indicate is definitely more then strong enough so 1.5 is probably fine...
    https://webstructural.com/beam-designer.html#
    www.silvercreekwelding.com

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    • #17
      Thanks for all the help guys. It sounds like 2” angle, 1/8” thick will give me the strength required while keeping it as light as possible for portability sake.

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      • #18
        My biggest issue with commercial ramps is they aren't wide enough for any car with decently meaty tires and the approach angle is such that my bumper would hit the ramp before the tire does. They work for SUV's just fine but not for sporty cars. I'd probably build a light duty prototype out of wood to verify I can get the cars on them.

        Take a look at race car accessories and race car trailer accessories, there’s some pretty cool ideas out there.
        As a non-engineer, that would be my approach too. Find out what industry standard is and try to emulate it. It doesn't sound like either car is particularly heavy. If the car is 4000' lbs I'd want the ramp to be able to handle 8000. With steel, that doesn't seem particularly hard. My commercial jack stands aren't particularly robust.

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        • #19
          I agree that many of the commercially available ramps aren’t wide enough. My dad’s ramps that I measured were 8” wide but I wrote 10” on my sketch. Also, as far as getting particularly low cars up on the ramps, you could always lay down a piece of wood or two to drive up on before the ramp. I mean, I could always make the ramp longer to account for real low cars but then the ramp fails to be portable or lightweight. So it’s kind of a trade-off.
          Last edited by Acooljt; 01-16-2020, 08:57 AM.

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          • #20
            you could always lay down a piece of wood or two to drive up on before the ramp.
            I mean sure you could. To me that sorta defeats the purpose of having ramps. Having to carry ramps and wood around. I was thinking about maybe making ramps with 2 pieces each. A small extender you could attach. It's still extra though.

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            • #21
              These are the ramps I bought a couple years ago. Rather robust for plastic honestly. They are 36” long x 6 1/2” high and just under 11” wide.

              If I had time, I’d copy this size and build in aluminum, but it’s not necessary since I already have this set.
              Attached Files

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              • #22
                Little better shot of the label.
                Attached Files

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                • #23
                  Hard to find stuff hecho in ‘Merica these days.

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                  • #24
                    Went to an Estate sale in Lake Charles and got a set for 10 dollars, the older metal ones they actually had two sets, those are the palaces to really get the good tools and such boy toys, there is one close by that is going to selling all the antique restored tractors and a nice 9" Logan Lathe just what I need one more, if you all might know of someone looking for show room tractors I mean done by a profession with clear coat paint jobs, 2 Model D's, John Deere's (on styles and one un-styled) one Model R John Deere, Two 40H John Deere's, one stationary John Deere Model M engine on a iron wheel wagon, 4230 John Deere with cab, excellent condition and several hit and miss engines, Case, Fairbanks, Stover, Maytag, McCormick all of this had been shop kept, I can send pictures and my number is three three seven 488-eighty seven fifty seven, Joe, if I miss the call please leave a message and I will call you back.

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                    • #25
                      A Logan 9” eh? Hmmm.....

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                        A Logan 9” eh? Hmmm.....
                        Yup. http://www.lathes.co.uk/logan/index.html www.lathe.com is Scott Logan still selling grampas parts
                        Bob Wright

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                        • #27
                          Guy down the road from me has a craftsman (atlas I think) 10” he needs gone. He has a 9” Logan that he LOVES.

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