Ramping Up

Dad fixed the ramp going into his tool shed this past week. In its previous incarnation, the ramp was a sheet of plywood attached to a framework of 2x4s. The general consensus was that the ramp was probably sturdier than the actual shed.

I’m not entirely sure when the ramp first came into being. I think Steve had some role in it, and I’m certain he was the one responsible for attaching it to the shed. The ramp is essentially a 6×6 platform, resting at an angle. At the bottom, the ramp has, over time, settled into the ground so that wheelbarrows, lawnmowers and the like can easily roll on and off. At the top, Steve attached the ramp to the base of the shed with a handful of nails. After a single summer, the nails pulled loose from the base of the shed, leaving about a foot of difference between the top of the ramp and the bottom of the shed.

This has proved to be something of an obstacle for rolling wheelbarrows, lawnmowers and the like from the top of the ramp into the shed. It had been like that for several years.

Now that the ramp has been repaired, Dad’s commented that he somewhat misses having a level platform there. It was useful for changing the oil in the lawnmower and such, but he philosophically shrugs his shoulders and says, “That is the way it goes.”

I don’t think the problem is simply “That is the way it goes.” I think he repaired it wrong.

What I have in mind would be to replace the wooden structure with a steel plate such as the ones they use to temporarily cover deep holes in the street until they finish doing whatever caused them to dig up the street. Instead of just attaching the plate to the front of the shed though, a hydraulic lift goes under it at the shed end. At the other end there needs to be a track of some sort so the plate can move back and forth freely. That way Dad would have the flat platform he’s used to. And when he wants a ramp, all he has to do is flip a switch (I assume he’d go for the powered lift instead of the hand-cranked one) and voila, the platform turns into a ramp!

That would be the best of both worlds! :-)

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