I need to build a ramp into a shed to roll carts in and out. It has to be removable. Door opening is 50", rise is 10" and I have 48" of space in front of the shed. Max weight on the ramp at one time will be 800 lbs.

Will a piece of 3/4" plywood, 48"x48" (unsupported) work?

  • a piece of 3/4" 4x4 plywood probably costs a few bucks at any store. 800 pounds is a fair chunk of weight. if you're looking at a 4-wheeled cart sitting on the ramp (no human feet because 4' length doesn't give you too much room for both cart and person), you're looking at the board holding up around 200lb over a couple of inches of contact patch. i have no clue how to even begin to calculate load capacity of 3/4" fir plywood, but i suspect you'll be okay for a decent while, unless you're talking of the plywood soaking in any amount of water, in which case it's a problem. – alt Jan 27 '15 at 22:21
  • I would think that over enough time, 800 lb is going to bend the 3/4" plywood pretty badly if you don't have any support. – Moshe Katz Jan 28 '15 at 3:23
  • It's probably not much help by itself for a non-engineer, but I'll try to turn this paper (PDF) into a useable answer when I have time. – Doresoom Jan 28 '15 at 18:36
  • This reference may be of more immediate use. – Doresoom Jan 28 '15 at 18:40

Why not put a shallow triangle slightly inset from each side and one in the center?

These could be hinged to lie flat against the bottom of the ramp for storage. Use a hook and eye on the side opposite the hinge to lock the wedges in place when in use.

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  • I wanted to keep it as thin as possible for storage. Hinging the support is a good idea. Thanks – user32172 Jan 27 '15 at 23:38
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If you want a flat ramp with no supports it will have to be of steel, probably at least 3/8" and that sucker will be extremely heavy. Also, you will need strong anchors where it latches to the shed because that is where all the force will be applied.

Normally, for something like this you always have support of some kind.

For a removable solution the obvious plan would be to use ramps. Landscaping equipment suppliers sell ramps for getting mowers and stuff into trailers and some of the ramp systems that have two tracks are relatively light.

Do an Amazon search for "trailer ramp".

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Yes. I think your 3/4" plywood will work for the span described, However. I would go buy some steel square tubing (also around 3/4") and run braces down from the high point to the low point. just two supports will be sufficient. and I would also definitely bolt the plywood to the steel struts (using at least 3 bolts on each strut).

I really think that will be way sufficient for the 800lbs required.

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