You have yourself a decent 230 volt MIG welder, been practicing
and now you are ready to test your skills on a real project.
Building a trailer ramp gate onto an existing utility trailer that you use for your quad bike, motorcycle or sit on mower is a good place to start.
His utility trailer plans describe a complete trailer build, including building a trailer ramp gate.
This post concentrates on the utility trailer ramp gate plans and trailer ramp gate designs. I give you ideas on how you can tailor, add to his outline plans and build your own homemade trailer ramp gate.
I go through the plans in detail using pictures, the plan’s PDFs and provide links so you can watch the videos, if you have time.
When you are ready to move onto the build you can go across to my post covering how to build a trailer ramp gate.
This article used along with the plan’s PDFs should see you well on your way to welding your own DIY trailer ramp gate.
The Free Trailer Ramp Plans
The first thing I would suggest is to download this PDF from Red Wing Steel Works. Matt provides his PDF plans for free and they are a great set of steel trailer ramp designs to start your build of a utility trailer ramp gate.
The trailer the plan describes building is capable of supporting a load of up to 3500 lbs. This means that you get free trailer ramp gate plans that are as sturdy and as robust as the trailer they go with.
Here is a link to the free Utility Trailer Plans.
PDF credit to Red Wing Steel Works
Trailer Ramp Gate Size
The utility trailer tailgate plans detail a four foot long ramp to fit a five foot wide trailer.
Six foot wide trailer? Matt has those plans too.
It is perfectly possible to amend the plans to extend the ramp to five foot if you need a flatter angled ramp.
For arguments sake, let us say your sit on mower only has low ground clearance, you may need a much shallower ramp climb and so need a five foot ramp.
In contrast if you’re wheeling up an off road bike or a quad then you’ll have plenty of ground clearance on your vehicle and so could be happy with a four foot ramp.
The advice and plans here are provided as is. I advise you to tailor to your particular needs.
And above all else please make your ramp as strong and sturdy as you can.
Utility Trailer Ramp Gate Plans Materials List
To get going you’re going to need to put together a materials list. You’ll find the full material list in the PDF document. As we are looking specifically at the trailer ramp gate here, I have highlighted on the list below the materials you need for the utility trailer ramp gate itself.
Step 1 – Trailer Ramp Front and Back
2 of 58 inches lengths of 2 x 2 x 1/8th inch steel angle iron for the front and back of the trailer ramp frame.
The front and the back are two inches short of five foot wide to allow the trailer gate ramp when it is complete and in the upright position to be latched on either side to your trailer.
Note that: although you cut both ends at a 45 degree angle of the front and back ramp angle iron, the part of the front and back that forms the bottom. The sides are straight cut.
Step 2 – Trailer Ramp Sides
2 of 48 inch lengths of 2 x 2 x 1/8th inch steel angle iron for the sides of the trailer ramp gate frame.
Both ends of the side lengths of angle iron to be cut at a 45 degree angle on one side. To match the front and back of the frame (see picture above of example cut).
Step 3 – Trailer Ramp Cross Members
2 of 47.75 inches of 2 x 2 x 1/8th inch steel angle iron for the cross members.
As you plan how to build a trailer gate for your trailer, keep in mind that the cross members give support to the trailer ramp frame.
Utility Trailer Ramp Ideas
If you already know that you will be rolling up the ramp heavy machinery or plant you may well need to put in additional cross members.
To support the heaviest loads, the steel cross members should be placed to center your machine across the ramp.
Measure the distance at the front of your machine, between the tires and arrange to place your ramp cross members under – where the tires would roll.
This will provide the maximum support for the wheels of your machine or plant when you’re rolling up onto your trailer.
Then you want to even out the number of cross members across your ramp.
This may well mean you have to allow for additional cross members and so lengths of angle iron.
Total up the additional cross members and add that to your materials list.
Alternative Frame Material You Could Consider
2 x 3 x 3/16 steel square tubing could also be used for a stronger more rigid trailer ramp.
Don’t be tempted to use anything less than 2 x 2 x 1/8 inch angle iron or 2 x 3 x 3/16ths square tubing as the material will just be too weak to be used as a folding trailer gate.
Step 5 – Utility Trailer Ramp Gate Hinges
You have a choice for your utility trailer ramp gate hinges.
You can either make your own trailer ramp hinges as shown in the plans.
It is easy enough to make your own utility trailer ramp gate hinges.
Or you can decide to purchase sturdy trailer weld on hinges from Amazon or your local trailer supplies store.
Red Hound Qty 2 Steel strap Styles Long Leaf Hinge (*Paid Text and Image Link)
Making your own hinges from the utility trailer ramp gate plans call for two hinges.
2 of 3/4 inch schedule 40 black pipe, to act as center pieces for the ramp hinge. 4 inches in length – 8 inches in total
4 of 3/4 inch schedule 40 black pipe, to act as end pieces for the ramp hinge. 2 inches in length – 8 inches in total
2 x 8.5 inch lengths of 3/4 solid steel rod for inside the ramp hinge, the ramp hinge pin – 17 inches in total
This picture is a plan view of how the hinges would look once welded correctly into place.
The end look is like this.
The four inch section forms the center of the ramp hinge.
The two inch sections of pipe form the outer parts of the hinge. Two per hinge on either side of the 8.5 inch pipe section. The rod goes through the center of all three pieces.
This is what the utility trailer ramp gate hinges look like when you put the pieces together.
Aim to place the utility trailer gate hinges where you need the maximum strength. i.e.
where the tires of your machinery or plant would roll off the ramp and onto the utility trailer itself.
Step 6 – Latch Pins
Matt has an outline plan for you to make your own latch pins using two half inch solid rod cut three inches long and welded in the shape of a T put together.
The latch pins need;
4 of 3 inches in length of 1/2 inch solid rod – 12 inches in total
Unless you particularly want the kudos of making your own latch pins you could just as well buy trailer latch pins from Amazon or your local trailer or builders supply store.
Step 7 – Trailer Ramp Gate Flooring or Deck
In addition to the above materials you will need to choose the best material for your utility trailer ramp floor.
Using wood for your DIY trailer ramp gate floor.
Choosing to use 2 x 4 wood for the floor of your ramp could mean
- Your ramp would be quite heavy, to tow and lift.
- The barrel style of hinge detailed here may not work for your trailer ramp gate.
- because the wood could get in the way of the ramp closing with a barrel style of hinge.
- Wood is also subject to warping and rotting over time.
If you want to use wood flooring for your homemade trailer ramp gate then;
Check where the existing flooring of your utility trailer ends and double check that when your ramp gate closes with your wooden flooring the two do not clash.
Solid Sheet Metal
Matt’s utility trailer ramp gate plans uses solid sheet metal to cover the entire surface.
This provides a smooth surface and in my opinion means that you could get problems with slipping on the ramp in the wet.
Solid sheet metal creates more drag when the gate is positioned up as you are driving along
I think it is more likely that you’ll want flooring with grip so when you carry your equipment up the ramp, or
drive your equipment up you’re not slipping and sliding all over.
If you decide on sheet metal for your flooring, Choose 14, 12 or 10 gauge sheet metal depending on how firm you need your decking.
Regular Expanded Metal
OR consider using the open mesh of Regular Expanded Metal, my personal favorite. It’s reasonably rigid, the raised kind not the flattened kind provides a roughened surface and some traction.
The cost is also reasonable.
10 gauge, #9 3/4 inch diamond sections is a great choice.
You can take a look at some here.
Arrange for it to be cut to size or you can cut it to size 1/2 to 3/4 inch smaller than the finished length and width of the trailer ramp frame.
To use most effectively,
Cut at the diamond intersections for strength and so that you have maximum material to weld when you come to attach it to the trailer ramp gate frame.
There you have it the seven main utility trailer tailgate plan components step by step.
Utility Trailer Ramp Gate Plans Build Material Totals
- Trailer ramp front and Back = 2 x 58 = 116 inches
- Trailer ramp sides = 2 x 48 = 96 inches
- Trailer ramp cross members = 2 x 47.75 = 95.5 inches
Totaling 307.5 inches of 2 x 2 x 1/8 Angle Iron or 25 foot 62 and a half inches as a minimum.
Additional cross members will add 47.75 inches per extra cross member to the total above.
Then your hinge and latch pins if you are constructing them yourself
- Center pipe for your ramp hinge = 2 x 4 = 8 inches
- Outer pipe for your ramp hinge = 4 x 2 = 8 inches
- Center solid rod for your ramp hinge = 2 x 8.5 = 17 inches
- Solid rod for your ramp latch pin = 4 x 4 = 12 inches
Additional cross members should be added in if the machinery you have to roll up the ramp is of significant weight.
You now have your build material list.
Plan view of Trailer Ramp Gate
Here is the over all plan look for your DIY trailer ramp gate when it’s all put together.
Picture plan view of the full ramp connected to the trailer.
And here is the plan view of what the ramp will look like when connected to the end of your trailer.
Before the final connection of the ramp to the trailer, that is the point at which you would attach your ramp surface to your DIY trailer gate.
Latching your Ramp – Utility Trailer Gate Latch Ideas
When the ramp is up you can see Matt’s option for latching the ramp in the upright position
The picture purposely for shortens the length of the ramp and the trailer to give you the close up view.
You have a few options here I think. Match up the side of the ramp to the side rails of your trailer. If you currently have side rails that end at the end of your trailer, this picture shows how you could extend them by a couple of inches drill some holes through so you can use a bought or made latch pin to secure the trailer in its upright position.
Other Gate Latch Ideas
You could use chain to latch your trailer ramp gate.
Whatever you choose to use make it easy for you to secure your trailer ramp and use something that wont accidentally come loose as you’re driving along.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use this Plan for a Folding Trailer Ramp Gate?
A folding trailer ramp gate demands more work and effort but is a neat idea.
If you are doing a lot of driving down the highway and are worried that four or five foot of ramp gate up in the air will cause too much wind resistance.
A ramp that folds in two would cut down on the wind resistance by about 25-30%.
To make your folding trailer ramp gate this plan will work for you too.
Turning this Plan into Bi Fold Trailer Ramp Plans
Amending this plan to make folding trailer ramp plans means making the gate ramp described in two sections.
What I mean by that is;
If you want your ramp to be around four foot in length. Instead of having two ramp sides 48 inches in length, you would have four ramp sides 28 inches in length.
Double up on the front and back angle iron sections. Because you are going to need two fronts and two backs
You’ll need an additional set of hinges.
The hinges that sit in the middle of your ramp so that you can fold it up need to work in the opposite direction to the hinges attaching the ramp to the end of the trailer. You want these center hinges to only work in one direction. – Important!
Have your hinges line up for strength – think back to what I said earlier about positioning your hinges to be under the wheels of heavy plant or machinery
You’ll need to consider how you secure your ramp in its folded up position by increasing the length of the extension you add to you trailer side arms for the ramp gate. But you can use a latch pin to secure your ramp in place or a chain arrangement.
Think about the action of folding.
You don’t want your fingers or anyone else’s fingers caught as the ramp is folded. Consider adding handles to the outside of your folding trailer ramp to help you manoeuvre the ramp up and down from its folded position.
YouTube Utility Trailer Ramp Gate Plans
Here is a link to the full seventeen minute YouTube video from Red Wing Steel Works covering the trailer ramp plans.
Utility Trailer Plans Fully Explained
Video Credit: redwingsteelworks
It is worth watching if you have the time.
Now you have the utility trailer ramp gate plans, what about the the next most important stage in your homemade trailer ramp gate build?
How to build a trailer ramp gate?
The next post in this two part series covers how to make a trailer ramp and the key aspects to be kept in mind during the build of your utility trailer ramp gate.
You can click here now to head over to the article”How to Build a trailer Ramp Gate 12 Best Tips For Welders“.