With an elevated shed, a ramp becomes necessary, not just a convenience, even more so if your lawnmower is one of the powerful riding models. Yet how exactly would you go about building a ramp in the first place? Is it really very difficult?
DIY vs Buy
Not as much as you might think. Now of course you could go out there and purchase an actual metal lawn mower ramp, custom made to your specifications, but in ninety nine out of a hundred cases, this is not really necessary, and you will find that a ramp made out of wood will serve as well. And yes, it will turn out to be much cheaper than any all-metal model, and what's more, you can actually build it yourself. Is that really possible?
There's no reason why not – these days company's that specialize in these ramps manufacture do it yourself kits that will allow you to build your ramp quickly and easily.
Step by step instructions
Or if you want to save even more money you can actually build the ramp up from scratch.
It's really not half as difficult as it sounds, and even if you have to buy a few tools to do it, you will find yourself using those tools again and again in the future, so the cost of the tools can be taken as a long term investment.
Then we come to the actual amount of wood that you will need for the ramp – remember that to properly service your riding mower, the ramp should be wide enough to allow passage comfortably – this would mean that your ramp should be a minimum of a foot wider than the greatest width of your mower. Yes, take that tape measure and measure your mower – in matters like this you can't be too careful.
Now we come to the slope, and just how much slope – or how long a ramp, if you prefer it – you need.
Generally speaking you will need a minimum of a foot of ramp for every three inches that your mower has to climb.
So if your shed is a foot off the ground, you are going to need at least four feet of ramp. Keep this in mind when building and positioning your lawn mower ramp, and it's very difficult to go wrong.
Now a ramp of this sort is usually made of pressure treated beams, around four inches by four inches across. These will fit into a frame, and individual beams should really not be more than a foot apart, to provide proper support.
Remember that your lawn mower weighs around four hundred pounds, and then you must add to that your own weight as well. If you don't build your lawn mower ramp sturdy enough there's a good chance it might collapse under you, leading to a nasty accident.
Well now the rest isn't difficult – cut the beams at an angle where they touch the ground and shed, so that they'll fit properly, place plywood on top and attach it securely to the beams with bolts, and stick some good rubber matting above that to provide good traction.
Add some molding at the sides to ensure that you don't drive off the ramp by mistake, and you have a lawn mower ramp that any commercial builder would be proud of.