A lot of fun can happen on an ATV, but you’ve got to get your toy to the trails first. In the latest installment of our How to Truck series, we’ll walk you through the steps required to safety load an ATV into the back of your pickup truck.
Step 1: Get Proper Ramps
There are tons of different kinds of ramps out there, just make sure you use something that is built by a reputable company and is rated to take the amount of weight you’re applying. Once you line up the ATV with the truck, place those ramps in the center of the wheels.
Step 2: Secure the Ramps to Your Truck
It’s here that you’ll want to secure your ramps to the truck to prevent them from falling out from under you. Ratchet straps work best for this, though any type of tie-down strap will do. It is best to attach your straps onto your ramps so that they do not get in the way during the loading process. So hook one end of the strap onto the ramps on the other end onto the safety chain tie-down ring beside the hitch receiver.
This will keep the strap out of the way and it was also put downward pressure on the ramps, holding them firmly onto the tailgate and truck.
Step 3: Wear an Approved Helmet
Always remember, safety first.
Step 4: Shift Into 4LO
Putting your ATV into 4LO will help you get up the ramps nice and slow with no drama or hassle.
Step 5: Slowly But Firmly Head Up the Ramps
Give the ATV some gas and get up those ramps. You don’t need to be a speed demon, but you also must stay on the gas and not back off in the middle of the loading. Be firm with the throttle.
Step 6: Creep Forward
Once your rear wheels are fully onto the tailgate, slowly creep forward until you are nearly touching the front of the bed. Now, shut off your ATV and make sure you put it in park if you have it, and/or apply the the parking brake. Make sure you pull the key out of your machine.
Step 7: Remove Ramps and Close Tailgate If Possible
You’ll want to close the tailgate if it’s possible. Even if it does close, you still need to properly tie-down your ATV.
Step 8: Secure Your ATV
To properly tie down your ATV, you want to attach your straps to points that will compress the suspension. On an ATV, the best place is usually onto the cargo racks. If you use strong ratchet straps, they will compress the suspension of the ATV for you as you crank them down. If you don’t own ratchet straps, pull down on the end of the ATV you’re tying down to compress the suspension, then tighten your straps. If you have a friend, get them to sit on the very front or back edge of the machine while your secure the straps.
With the suspension compressed, it will put constant pressure on the strap, helping to control side-to-side swaying motion.
And that’s how you load an ATV into a pickup truck.