How to Build the Ramps to Put a Mower in a Pick-Up Truck
Use your lawnmower anywhere by transporting it in your pickup truck. Whether you have a second home to maintain, or you use your mower at your business for landscaping, or your son wants to cut grass in the neighborhood for extra cash, save money by using your carpentry skills to build your own lawnmower ramps--and cut grass where you please.
Measure the height of the pickup truck tailgate from the bed edge opening at the tailgate bottom to the top of the tailgate. Cut a piece this length from each of the pieces of 2-by-6 inch lumber. Bevel one end of each of the remaining long pieces of 2-by-6 inch lumber at a 30-degree angle using a carpenter's square and a circular saw.
Position a shelf L-shaped bracket on one end of each of the shorter pieces of 2-by-6 inch lumber. Align the bracket's vertical leg even with the end of the board and perpendicular to the board's surface, centered between each side. Thr bracket will project into the gap between the lowered tailgate and pickup truck bed when using the ramp.
Use the Phillips screwdriver and screws to attach the flat shelf bracket as positioned above to the end of each short length of the 2-by-6 inch lumber.
Locate one end of the gate hinges at the opposite end of each shorter piece of the 2-by-6 inch lumber. on the same side of the lumber as the bracket. Position the hinge on the end at its halfway point with the hinge pin facing away from the wood surface. Center it on the wood surface and use the Phillips screwdriver and screws to attach it.
Assemble a ramp leg by placing one shorter piece of the 2-by-6 inch lumber on its side and position the angled end of one of the long pieces of 2-by-6 inch lumber flat against the hinge end of the shorter piece so the longer piece points downward at an angle and the bottom wood surfaces align squarely. Draw a line across the face of the angle protruding over the top edge of the end of the shorter piece. Trim the angle on this line using the circular saw. Press the angled and flat ends of the boards together and attach the end of the hinge to the longer ramp wood piece using the screws and screwdriver. Repeat this process to assemble the other ramp leg.
Level the ramp legs by parking the pickup truck on a flat, level surface and lowering the tailgate. Place the short piece of each tailgate ramp onto the tailgate,with the bracket arm extending into the gap between the pickup bed and the tailgate. Let the long piece of each tailgate ramp touch the ground behind the tailgate. Draw a line on the side of the lower end of leg of the ramp even with the surface of the ground. Use the circular saw to trim the lower end of each leg of the ramp so the ends lay flat on the ground.
Use the ramps to to load or unload the lawnmower by lowering the tailgate, placing the "L" bracket leg in the gap between the tailgate bottom and pickup truck bed, and lowering the ramp legs to the ground. Position the ramps to accommodate the wheel spacing of the lawnmower, confirm that the ramps are secure and carefully roll the lawnmower up or down the ramp.
- Always park your pickup truck on flat and level ground for best operation of the ramps.
- Your ramps will last longer if you paint or seal the wood.
- Always wear eye protection and gloves when using any power tool.
- Be sure the legs of the brackets are firmly in the gap between the tailgate bottom and pickup truck bed and that the short ends of the ramp are resting flat on the tailgate before loading or unloading the lawnmower.
Since 1985, Jack Brooks has written about construction, electronics, business, the Internet and online marketing, among other topics. His work has appeared in "Inland Empire" newspapers, feature supplements, website content and online articles. He attended Northern Virginia Community College for two years, then worked as a professional musician/songwriter for 30 years.