How Do I Build a Temporary Ramp Over Stairs to a Truck to Move Heavy Stuff?

Chris Wells

So you're moving and need an easy way to get your heavy furniture into the back of a truck.

Moving day can be a bit easier if you build a temporary ramp into the truck.


Rent or borrow a dolly or hand truck to make moving appliances and furniture easier.


The plywood you purchase must be strong enough to accommodate the weight of the heaviest piece of furniture and the people who will be moving it.

You don't want to have to carry your couch, recliner, dining room table and appliances down your front steps, then up a ramp into the back of the truck -- that's just too much work and, chances are, your friends will find something else to do on moving day. The easiest way to get your heavy stuff moved from your home's door to your truck is to construct a temporary ramp from the doorway or from the porch directly into the back of the truck.

  1. Back the truck up to the steps. Measure how long and wide the plywood needs to be to reach from the top step into the truck. Allow another 18 inches on each end for support and overlap. Depending on the distance from the top step into the truck, you may need several 2-by-4 boards for additional support under the plywood.

  2. Go to the lumber yard and purchase the plywood and, if necessary, the 2-by-4 boards. Scraps of 2-by4s should work fine if you get enough of them, but the plywood should be good quality. Take the measurements with you to make sure you purchase the correct length and amount.

  3. Place 2-by-4s flat on one of the porch steps, one on top of another, until the stack of 2-by-4s is equal to the height of the porch. About 24 inches away, or halfway to the truck tailgate if the distance between truck tailgate and porch is less than 48 inches, place another stack of 2-by-4s that is approximately the height of the truck bed. Continue to place 2-by-4s in stacks every 24 inches between the porch and the truck.

  4. Lay one end of the plywood on the porch deck and the other end in the back of the truck. Ensure that 12 to 18 inches of the plywood extends into the truck and onto the porch. Adjust the stacks of 2-by-4s so that each stack fits snugly under the plywood; use cardboard or wooden shims if necessary. Test the ramp by walking across it to get the feel of it. Bounce a little to determine whether the 2-by-4 stacks will stay in place or whether you should secure them with nails, screws or duct tape. You will be able to tell if it's strong enough to withstand the weight of your heaviest items.

  5. Move your belongings, furniture and appliances into the back of the truck.