How to Load Your Snowmobile in a Truck: Simple Steps to Follow

Loading in a truck sounds like a lot when you have got something as big as a snowmobile. Not only it is heavy, but there are additional risks and problems involved in handling such expensive machinery.

But what if I told you I have summed all the knowledge available around and made a guide on how to do it?

Well, if that interests you, carry on and read, while I discuss with you the procedures for loading a snowmobile in a truck.

Accessories/Tools Required

Snowmobile loading ramps

Snowmobile loading ramps are used for guiding the snowmobile into the truck. One end of the ramp is clamped to a vehicle, while the other end is supported from the ground. This equipment is recommended as it is a safe and easy way of loading the snowmobile.

While getting these make sure that you get a loading ramp which can withstand the weight of your snowmobile. This can be checked known easily by checking the weight capacity in the specifications of the product.

A Carrying Vehicle

A carrying vehicle, such as a truck or a trailer, is where the snowmobile will be loaded. Check for the length of the trailer before loading the snowmobile and make sure that the base can handle the weight of the snowmobile as it varies anywhere from 350 to 1000 pounds in weight. Be sure to make necessary tire pressure corrections as well, which will ensure a comfortable journey.

Tie-Down Straps

These are required to hold and secure the snowmobile in place. These are widely available and should be used as required. Some snowmobiles require one, while others may require more. Using these makes sure that your snowmobile will stay in the desired place while it is being transported.

I will advise against substitute heavy-duty tie-down straps for ropes since different ropes have different qualities which can make them unreliable for such heavy use. Also, ropes drastically lose their strength with age.

Alternatively, chains can be used, but they are really heavy and result in scratches if they are not used very carefully.

Steps of Loading Your Snowmobile Into Truck

Snowmobile loading

Make sure you have the appropriate equipment

Above tools and accessories will ensure that the work goes on smoothly, but only if you have chosen them so that are able to handle your snowmobile. This means that for the loading ramps, you should have a ramp with “Safe Working Load” greater than the weight of your snowmobile. This is applicable for the tie-down straps as well.

Positioning and Securing the Ramps

Use a ratchet strap or chain to secure the ramp to the truck or trailer after laying it down properly.
Be sure to set the securing point directly behind the ramp, or it might shift during loading; also they might cause the ramp to pull in a different direction altogether when the snowmobile climbs upon it.

Positioning and Preparing the Snowmobile

Now that the ramps are properly secured, align the snowmobile with the track of the ramp. Be sure to align the snowmobile correctly, otherwise, the skis may come out and the snowmobile will start to hang from one side, or worse, may fall down.

Loading the Snowmobile

Start with a low throttle and continue increasing it slowly till the snowmobile starts to climb the ramp, making sure that it is correctly aligned with the ramp.
If you have a lower transmission gear, make sure to set the transmission to that setting.

Keep in mind that here you need to be very cautious. Make your way up steadily.

Securing the Snowmobile

After loading the snowmobile, there’s still one thing that needs to be done, which is securing the snowmobile. Securing is a relatively simple task, just pull out the tie-down straps and fasten them to the snowmobile with tension in the line enough to remove any slack. Remember to engage lock or emergency brakes if your snowmobile supports it.

Precautions that Need to be Taken While Loading

Remember, safety first. Make sure you have worn all the personal protective equipment, which includes a helmet, ski or safety boots, and gloves.

Don’t compromise on the quality of the ramps. Quality ramps, while seemingly expensive, will last you years of continuous use. Same goes for tie-down straps, which are very essential.

Keep the speed low while going up on the ramp, remember, do not rush, as the snowmobile with very high speed may go further than required and collide with the truck’s or trailer’s end.

Make sure the surface of the ramps has no frost and is dry, otherwise the snowmobile may slip.

Be extremely cautious of the alignment, even a few centimeters can result in you and the snowmobile falling down.

Always drive the snowmobile’s front first into the vehicle, unless explicitly mentioned by the manufacturer. And secure the snowmobile as directed by the manufacturer.

Make sure to secure the snowmobile with utmost caution and care, because in case of anything going wrong, you’re not only risking your snowmobile but the lives of other people driving on the road as well.

Always pay attention to the visual conditions of the equipment that you are using. Things such as rust, deformations et cetera are signs of total hazard.

Never forget to engage the emergency brake on your snowmobile after you secure it.

Lastly, double-check everything before going on for the journey.

Can You Load a Snowmobile Alone?

Loading a snowmobile is a tedious and dangerous job. Talking about the risks involved, there are many things that can go wrong, such as the snowmobile sliding down, et cetera.

In such cases, it is very important to have a person nearby, who could help you in case, god forbid, something goes wrong and call for help at the earliest. Having an extra pair of hands also proves quite handy in case you require physical assistance and speed up the loading and securing process drastically.

However, if it happens that there is nobody available near to you, it is possible to load and unload a snowmobile quite easily and safely. Keep in mind the precautions discussed above and there is seldom a chance that something unlikely is going to happen.

Still, it is always advised to have someone by your side, since it is a question of safety and security, and because I’m more than sure that nobody wants to get hurt when you’re about to go and have some fun with your snowmobile.

What if I don’t have a loading ramp?

Yes, it is possible to use unconventional methods to load your snowmobile into trucks. Some commonly used methods are:

Three plank method

Arrange three planks, as you would for loading an A.T.V., and making your way up to the top.

The “uplift”

Have your gym buddies with you for the trip?

Then there is nothing better than this method where each one of you chooses a strong point on the snowmobile’s body and tries to lift it up.
Keep in mind; sometimes people have physical injuries such as dislocation et cetera when not done properly.

The “leap of faith”

Make a large pile of snow and park your truck in front of it. Keep it a bit higher than the level of your truck.
Now slowly proceed towards the truck and hope that the snowmobile will land correctly in the back of the truck. This method has the highest risk.

People go for these methods due to the high cost of the ramp and accompanying equipment required for loading the snowmobile. However, you will find that most of the people soon get themselves one, after they see someone failing the loading, or they fail themselves.

Hence, the bottom line is, the price premium of a quality ramp is worth it, once you factor how valuable your health and snowmobile are and it is totally advised to go for quality ramps, which not only are a safer option but provide peace of mind as well.

Final Words

At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun. Well, snowmobiling is all about having fun, but one should be aware and aimed at minimizing the risks involved, and this is what this guide was all about.
We would suggest anyone interested, to take all the safety precautions and proceed, otherwise there are chances that something is liable to go wrong.

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