If you are a novice and just starting out with snowmobiling, it is understandable if you are bewildered about getting your snowmobile in the bed of a truck. This article will give you all the information you need to load a snowmobile in a truck and anyone else who is aspiring to hit the snow this winter.
Accessories/Tools required for loading your snowmobile
A snowmobile unlike a usual vehicle is very mechanic friendly and does not require a professional mechanic. With the necessary tool kit, you can be your very own mechanic for your snowmobile. All you will need is a few tools to help yourself with the loading of a snowmobile into your truck.
All ramps are not built the same. Snowmobile ramps different and have distinct side panels for the ski runners to slide up effortlessly.
A snowmobile cannot be loaded into a truck with the help of a ramp made for a different vehicle.
If a snowmobile is tried to be loaded with a ramp designed for other vehicles, the ski runners could get caught on the rungs and lead to severe damage of the snowmobile, as well as could cause personal injury.
For the transition to be softened and smoothened from the ground, ramp extenders need to be used to reduce the angle of the ramp and help the track be evened out with the main ramp so that the ski runners get on easily.
For snowmobiles with studded tracks, it is advised to either use a ramp design for studded tracks or install ramp grips that prevent any damage to the center rungs.
Snowmobile dollies are used to move the snowmobile around on the dry ground with ease and to get it on the ramp manually.
It can be dangerous for your back if you try to lift and turn a snowmobile on dry ground without being careful and without the help of any other tool or device. A dolly is a trolley that is used to move the sled with ease.
Different types of Snowmobile dollies are available. The most basic snowmobile dollies are a built of a set of three plates with caster wheels. Two plates have four wheels and are placed under the skis, on the other hand, the third has only three wheels. This is placed under the track.
There is a second type available which is much larger but moves the snowmobile much more easily. These have two wheels, two pads and also a strap on a large frame. underneath the sled, the pads are slid in front of the track and to the rear grab bar is the strap secured. The snowmobile can then be lifted easily and moved about.
How to Load Your Snowmobile in Truck
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind while even planning to get your snowmobile into your truck is to get expensive and good quality ramps, preferably steel.
Choosing the right ramps is a must
The ramps must be of sturdy steel so that it can hold the weight of the snowmobile and can last you for quite some time as it is anyway a lot to invest in for some.
So, it is better to make sure that you invest in a powerful one. To invest in a ramp extension is also a good idea and it helps to make the transition from ground to truck smoother and soft. Also, it provides a good grip to hold the snowmobile from moving while mounting on to the truck.
Attach the ramp to the track
A ratchet must be used once the ramp is set, in place, or even a chain to secure it directly to the truck, preferably at the hitch. The connection point needs to be set at a point directly behind the ramp; otherwise, the ramp might shift while mounting the sled onto the truck.
Alignment with the ramp
The most vital step is to line the ramps properly as most ramps have separate sections for the track and the skis. If the sled is mounted onto the ramp at an odd angle, there might run a risk of the snowmobile slipping and falling out of the ramp which could cause serious damage to your vehicle.
Riding it on
Ride the snowmobile onto the bed of the truck head first without hesitating to give a bit power while taking off, do not be shaky and try and do it with utmost care.
Once it is mounted, now you are ready to get going on your adventure that awaits. Secure the snowmobile properly with ropes and tie it down in a way that it stays put while in transit so you can be carefree while driving it to your destination.
The suspension might bounce a bit while moving, so it is suggested to ensure that your hooks are tight enough so that they don’t pop out. After all, is done, it is time you remove your ramp and set off for the journey ahead.
Precautions You Need to Take While Loading
Safety first! Never underestimate the weight of a snowmobile, no matter how muscular you are, you cannot lift the snowmobile alone to mount it onto a truck without a ramp. It can be dangerous for your back.
Get help. Have someone with you to help you with the lifting and in the entire process. The more the merrier so why not include an extra hand!
Secure the ramp well. Double-check the ramp and its angle that it is placed at. Remember the odder the angle the more risk of your snowmobile slipping and falling and getting yourself injured along with damaging the vehicle.
Always make sure to not drive it back into the bed of the truck. It should always be driven in only front-first. It is not like towing a car; it is much different from it. The catch is that if the elements are exposed it will damage the windshield and the “board components” while riding on the road. It is only accepted that the sled should always be placed in face-first.
Use only car towing ropes to secure the snowmobile when on the bed of the truck. Chains might scratch the body of the snowmobile but the ropes will not.
Can You Load Your Snowmobile Alone?
Yes, you can load your snowmobile alone but just because you can, it is advised to not do it on your own. But if you have already decided to do it by yourself then you can build a small deck that sits right over the wheel wells. Use a ramp that is either bought or built that will slide under the deck when the sled is being loaded.
You could also pull the snowmobile up to the truck, lift the skis so they are standing up against the tailgate and then jump in the box and lift on the ski loops while you pull it up and then once that is done, lift on the bumper and pull the snowmobile in.
Is It Possible To Load Your Snowmobile Without Ramp?
It depends on the person. However, I would say it is not a huge impossible task for a person with muscles! All you have to do is line up the sled behind your truck and with the help of your partner get it mounted. Ask your partner to grab a ski and lift it, you grab another and do the same and forward until you have both the skis resting on the tailgate. The skis only need to be lifted high enough to get the tip of the ski so as it mounts the tailgate.
Then each of you should lift the rear and slide it in. In the absence of good ratchet straps to secure it, I’d suggest one of you lift the back end off the bed, while the other should close the gate so at least gravity helps to hold it in place.
Or you can always back your truck up to any snow dune and use it as a ramp. It, of course, is not easy to find an exact ramp-like good spot to do this in all parking lots, but most of the nine times out of ten there’s a place you can find that helps you drive your sled right in.
It is not any rocket science to load your snowmobile onto your truck, however, the right trick of the hat can make it a lot easier to do the same and can make it a lot less taxing. If you keep in mind all the pointers that I mentioned above, it should not be any trouble to get on the snow with your snowmobile this season.
Heavy and safe steering!