Band Dad Breakdown: Ramps
There are many features that go into truly making any variety of moving container a transportation solution, but the most critically important feature is a great set of ramps. How do you get all that valuable, awkward and heavy equipment onto a truck or trailer safely and efficiently?
Maybe your program has a box truck with a lift gate on it. That is good for getting equipment from the ground up into the truck, but it is very time-consuming to repeatedly send the lift up and down. It’s also not designed for band equipment: The lift gate isn’t big enough to hold a 4 1/3rd octave marimba without one of the wheels hanging off the lift, which risks damaging that valuable instrument. Speaking of safety, with so many people involved in the process, we also worry about pinched fingers.
At a recent contest, we witnessed a program with a trailer that had no ramp or lift system at all, and students and parents were expected to hoist EVERY piece of equipment (speaker carts, sound cart, marimbas, etc.) several feet off the ground into the back of the trailer. We have seen that horror story of the freshman percussionist accidentally rolling a timpani off the back of a box truck, and heard the awful, gut-wrenching, ruin-your-day sound of the crash. The potential for injury as well as potential for damage to the equipment hardly seems worth the risk when there are reasonably-priced options available.
Ramps come in a variety of configurations, but there are three important considerations: Weight, capacity and ease of use. Ramps that are too heavy or awkward are a strain on your students and parents. Ramps that are too steep create their own set of challenges: They are too hard to push equipment up them or they drag the foot pedals and resonators. Ramps that cannot accommodate the capacity flex like crazy when something heavy is speeding downhill. Undersized or inappropriately-sized ramps have to be spread apart to accommodate a marimba or pieces of a prop frame, creating a step hazard between two side-by-side ramps, leading to skinned shins and twisted ankles.
The Clubhouse recommends a set of 3 lightweight aluminum ramps from Roll-A-Ramp that are easy to store, set in place and pack away quickly. Just three ramps provide 67.5 inches of coverage across the back of a trailer or box truck, allowing for a smooth, strong, high-grip surface for moving your equipment safely and efficiently. Our Clubhouse-exclusive mid-support stands increase the capacity of each ramp to 1,000 pounds, and the 14 foot length of each ramp gives a gradual slope into your trailer. For box trucks, the ramps are a bit longer to keep the slope to a comfortable angle. The best feature of all: We can have this solution to you within 2 weeks of receiving your payment!
We also offer a full-width aluminum ramp powered by a set of automated electric actuators. Spanning the entire width of the trailer your load space is safe and efficient for both people and equipment. Operation of the ramp is now simplified by the use of software to be the simple push of a button for safe and efficient deployment in just 90 seconds. When stored, the ramp folds in half and takes up less than a foot of space inside the back doors.
Our full-width powered ramp can be part of a custom Clubhouse Trailer community showpiece that we know is on your wishlist. If you already have a trailer, why not make it a Clubhouse Trailer? Let’s talk about adding a powered ramp as an upgrade to your current rig.