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The loading ramp made of I-beam or profile pipe – how to make the right choice

A mobile ramp is bought for many years ahead and making a buying decision, it’s paramount to consider all the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed model. One of the criteria for choosing a mobile ramp is the material that is used to make the ramp’s frame.

The global market for warehouse equipment is represented by many companies. Some of them use an I-beam, others focused on profile pipes. So what is the difference?
While considering the use of I-beam or profile pipe as the farm for loading ramp, first of all, it is necessary to understand the main thing – a ramp made of I-beam is more material-intensive and a ramp made of profile pipe is more labor-intensive. Therefore, manufacturers from different countries use various materials. It depends on what is more profitable for each specific manufacturer – saving on material or labor resources. In western countries with high labor costs, it is more expedient to use more metal and less labor.
The use of an I-beam is unreasonably metal-intensive with a large amount of waste. It makes the construction of a loading ramp heavier, less maneuverable and inconvenient to operate. The weight of an I-beam is significantly more than a profile pipe. At the same time, the ramps made of I-beam are less labor-intensive.
In case of using a pipe-based frame, a powerful pipe with a large cross-section outlines the whole perimeter of a ramp and supports its entire geometry. Its construction is also enhanced by the lower and upper row of pipes. Such a design gives the necessary rigidity to the product, although it requires more labor than a ramp made of I-beam. The stiffness of profile pipes is in no way inferior to the stiffness of I-beam, but it requires less material and more labor costs. The profile pipe is often used for constructions that require durability and elegant appearance.

Among the other advantages of using by manufacturers of the profile pipe can be as follows:

  • ease of installation in various constructions;
  • replacement of many elements of the profile rebar and less cost in comparison with them;
  • the convenience of cut providing perfect joining of the welded parts of the farm’s construction;
  • a wide range of profile pipes allows to make constructions with different levels and with a height difference as from 5 mm;
  • resistance to severe static loads and high bending strength;
  • resistance to deformation and temperature changes;
  • possibility to create custom design solutions.


As for the end customer, when choosing a loading ramp, it’s important to understand some features:

1. The ramp made of I-beam because of its upper shelf reduces the usable space of the roadway, that in turn decreases forklift’s maneuverability.
2. Due to the pipe-based farm, the hydraulics on the ramps is installed inside, under the ramp. Thus, there are no risks to damage the hydraulics. That can not be said of the ramps made of I-beam.
3. There are no cutting parts on the pipe-based farm. So even if a forklift drives up close to the edge of a ramp, it will not damage its wheels, and the pipe will serve as a bumper. In the case of I-beam, a forklift will hit into its cutting edge and may tear its tires.
4. Because of the excessive weight of a ramp made of I-beam, it’s impossible to use low tonnage forklifts for its move.
In a word, such nuances must be taken into account while choosing a brand of a loading ramp. And last but not least, you need to understand that a loading ramp is a long-term investment in your business. Therefore, first and foremost, it should be convenient in use.

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