It is a fact that the way you can lift up your car will be limited by the tools you’re using and your working environment. While I have used a standard car jack to hold up a car while I try to fix something underneath, I can assure you that it is not the safest, or the most comfortable. If you’re the do-it-yourself backyard or front yard mechanic a well-designed car ramp is what you want your vehicle to rest on as you take your time to get the repairs done right the first time. As a matter of fact, the best car ramps will allow you to have the right type of ground clearance for most auto related repairs.
Car Ramps versus Jack Stands
The two most popular tools one can use to lift up a car is jack stand and a car ramp. A standard jack is more suitable for changing tires or doing brake work but not for underneath repairs. Hoisting your vehicle up using a car ramp or jack stand comes with some advantages and disadvantages.
One thing that is obvious is the passionate disagreement about these key tools among people that tinker with cars on a daily basis. But, in the real world, which one will allow you to change your vehicle’s oil or do other routine maintenance?
A jack stand is probably the most suitable lifting tool if you want to work on your car’s brakes. It comes with a higher learning curve and takes longer to master as compared to car ramps. Jack Stands have some limitations that will not be erased when using car ramps. Well, let’s take a close look at the pros and cons of using a durable and sturdy car ramp.
Car Ramp Advantages and Disadvantages
Car ramps are becoming more popular due to their simplicity and ease of use. You can find one on sale online in either a hybrid rubber or metal form. The car ramps made out of rubber materials are just as strong while also offering better portability.
Metal car ramps might be more solid to the ground depending on your work area and it is less likely to slip. Both are suitable for most automobile repairs that require you go down and look at things from under the vehicle.
Just by looking at a car ramp you can conclude what is used for. The learning curve is quite low, for it will only take a few tries to become a master if the ramp is placed on a good terrain. The ease of use is probably the biggest selling point.
Truth be told, vehicle ramps are safer to work on than jack stands.
It also provides a wider working area that any other portable car lifting tool.
Price wise, car ramps are usually cheaper than even than high-end jack stands.
Car ramps might not be the best option when you have a limited working space.
On a rough terrain or slippery one, getting the ramps to remain stable while you drive onto them can become a problem.
It is not the right car hoisting device if you’re looking to work on your car’s braking system.
What are the Best Car Ramps?
1 – Race Ramps RR-56-2 Review
The Race Ramps brand is a dominant player in this niche automotive repair tools market. One of their top performing models is the RR-56-2. It is easy to carry, due to its lightweight nature, and can be maneuvered onto most solid grounds without much work. Even if you placed it on a flooring with special characters it would not scratch it. It is constructed out of a polystyrene core material that is also enhanced with polyurea coating, which gives the Race Ramps RR-56-2 better durability, and longevity.
Despite what is shown on the video I would urge you to leave the outer pieces in place until you’re done with your vehicle maintenance. This product is definitely among the best car ramps for low cars one can purchase online at a reasonable price. It is capable of supporting vehicle weight up to 6,000 pounds. The two-piece design of the RR-56-2 Race Ramp is supported by a surface with non-skid materials, which enhances the stability of the ramps. It is made in the United States of America, and you get a one-year limited warranty.
2 – Rage Powersports Aluminum Wheel Riser Service Ramps
For auto owners with wider tires, this aluminum wheel riser service ramp from Rage Powersports will do just fine. Apart from the tough aluminum material, the surface uses serrated traction design to ensure stability. The durability of a shiny metal like an aluminum cannot be disputed, not to talk about the wider width. This is the ideal ramp to use with pickup trucks and SUV’s. It is proudly manufactured in the USA, and you get a limited one-year warranty to cover any potential factory defects.
3 – RhinoGear 11909ABMI RhinoRamps Vehicle Ramp
RhinoGear is another brand to be reckoned with when it comes to car ramps that are affordably priced. The RhinoGear 11909ABMI Rhino Ramps is capable of hold auto weight up to 12,000 pounds, which means the overall structural design is way stronger than your average ramp. The manufacturer claims the material used is just as strong as steel, which might be why the ramps can hold such a high vehicle weight. Another notable feature is the anti-skid base attached to each ramp, which helps to reduce slippage as you get or off the RhinoGear Vehicle Ramp. The RhinoGear 11909 RhinoRamps offers the right type of safety due to its patented unique design. It meets or exceeds the established standards for portable automotive lifting devices (PALD). The only downside is the shorter warranty period, which is limited to ninety days.
Car Ramps Buying Guide
While you might consider a car ramp just a simple and easy to understand device there are factors to keep in mind as you search for the most durable car ramp. Some of the most obvious car ramps feature to pay close attention to are:
How will it be Used?
Determine ahead of time what type of automobile repairs the car ramps would enable you to do. Most underneath the car repairs can be easily accomplished, but there are limitations when it comes to working on other parts of your vehicle.
It is probably impossible or too hard to change your car’s tire or do any type of brake work while it is on a ramp. Identify your ramps usage needs carefully, which will make it easier to find the right one for the products listed in this vehicle service ramps review.
Another crucial factor is the weight limitation of the ramp. While you can use regular ramps for light cars, it would be futile to try to place an SUV on one. You can find out the weight of your automobile or truck by looking at the side of the car door while it is open.
Fortunately, car ramp manufacturers are required to post the weight limitations, but it is up to the user to adhere to them. Guess what might happen if you place a vehicle that weighs more than the ramps are designed to hold? It probably would slowly buckle before or as you do your repairs, which is not what you want, so stick to the product that can hold the entire weight of your vehicle with ease.
The Length of the Ramp
The length of the ramp can vary from brand to brand, but the most determining factor is usually the number of pounds it is capable of holding. Ramps that can hold heavier vehicles tend to have more length.
Should the Width Matter?
I know some of you like to invest in wider tires, which needs to be factored into your buying decision. The entire width of tires should rest on the ramp, which makes it easier to drive onto it. The last thing you want is for the width of your vehicle’s tires to be protruding on the sides while it is resting on both ramps.
The Ramp Surface Traction
The surface design of the ramp plays a great deal of a role in how fast you can drive onto it. Surfaces with poor traction materials will result in slippage as you drive onto it. Automotive ramp surfaces with perforated or serrated grooves offer a more reliable traction.
Warranty and Customer Feedbacks
The product you end up buying must at least come with a standard warranty, the length of the terms will vary from brand to brand. Read some of the feedbacks from current users to get a better sense of how the device will hold up once it is delivered to your home or place of business.
4 – Discount Ramps 6009-V2 Plastic Car Service Ramp
Another discounted vehicle hoisting device is the Discount Ramps 6009-V2. It is made using a unique combination of heavy-duty plastic that is honeycombed to prevent moisture buildup. It is only limited for use on vehicles weighing 4,000 pounds or less, which is a significantly lower number than the one offered by RhinoGear Ramps. The low profile design might be suitable for smaller cars or ones with a lower body profile. If I had to choose between this product and the one reviewed above, it is the RhinoGear by a wide mile!
5 – Scepter 08226 Plastic Automotive Ramp Set
Some of you might not be familiar with the brand called Scepter, but they’re well established in the automotive parts and tools industry. Most professional mechanics and tradespeople know about the company. This particular set of car ramps is designed to support vehicle weight up to 12,000 pounds. The weight of your car will be distributed evenly due to the parabolic arch that is embedded into the center of each ramp. The design style of the Scepter vehicle ramps allows for the easy flow of dirt, rain, and snow, while it is my contention you should only be using this type of car hoisting tool on a dry weather day. Scepter automotive ramp set are made lightweight and yet offers you a cheap way to work underneath your vehicle or truck with ease.
Safety Tips for Using a Car Ramp
Drive onto the ramps slowly, while ensuring both tires are on the ramp the right way. Unless you have someone guiding you, you might have to position the vehicle at the entrance to the ramp, and then step out to ensure it is placed the right way.
Never use you ramps on a steep incline terrain. You get better traction when the ramps are placed on an even surface with a solid ground. It is not safe to place the ramps on a ground that is icy or filled with snow. It might sound like basic common sense, but people actually do this stuff.
Lastly, I would suggest you engage your parking brakes while also using a wheel looking device to hold your vehicle in place as it is resting on the ramps. The wheel lock should be placed behind your vehicle’s two back tires, which makes it harder for your vehicle to slip off the ramp. One of the cheapest wheel locks with high-performance metrics is the Camco 44492 Super Wheel Chock.
6 – Race Ramps RR-WC-10-2 10″ Adjustable Wheel Crib
The last item to be reviewed is unlike the other top five. The way you use the Race Ramps RR-WC-10-2 wheel crib is open to manipulation by your imagination. Sometimes you just want your vehicle to be hoisted higher so that you can see and reach the parts to be repaired easily. Having said all that, this device works better when used with a combination of other car hoisting tools. It is more like a stable stand your car can rest on. The only trick is how do you get each tire on your vehicle high enough so that you can place this device underneath? You definitely will need a good steel service jack to raise each wheel up to place the device. It is designed with anti-skid features, which means no sliding or slipping. The Race Ramps RR-WC-10-2 is definitely a more durable and safer alternative to working under your vehicle with just a jack stand holding it up. It is available for purchase in six different sizes, with few having adjustable heights.
Conclusion: What are the Best Car Ramps?
Your final selection from the auto service ramps listed above will be based on what type of routine auto maintenance you intend to perform. You’ll have to decide if you want the ramps to be made out of rubber or metal, which in this technological age is not a barrier to getting a sturdy product.
Getting your car on the ramps require you practice till you get it right. If you’re working at home be sure kids keep at a distance while trying to get the vehicle on the ramp or getting off it. Regardless of the way you look at it, well-made car ramps offer the safest choice when trying to do routine auto maintenance that calls for access to the underbelly of the vehicle.