Monday, October 17, 2016

Loading and Unloading the ATV from my Ford Ranger

Whelp, it was time to get new tires on the Ranger...  The old ones I purchased used about five years ago already, and I don't swap them out seasonally the way we do with the Echo.

As such, I thought it made sense to get the ATV readied for winter at the same time.  I leave this operation to KC Automotive, as they are better equipped and more experienced to get right into the nuts and bolts on a machine with which I'm not mechanically familiar.

The actual tire fitting and winterizing took place on separate days, so I ended up returning a day or two later to pick up the ATV (as well as deliver a computer I had repaired earlier in the day).

It was very nice to return home and find Donna and Kenny exploring the end of the driveway.  Donna managed to catch a shot of me on the highway coming in.
The prodigal father returns!
Heading up the driveway.


And I disappeared as I turned around.
Donna decided to chronicle my unloading of the ATV photographically and perhaps it would be of interest?
Awesome to have such a nice helper!
Previously, I would borrow the ramps from KC and load at home, then return the ATV and ramps, only to repeat the process once it was completed.  KC's original ramps were very narrow and I was always very timid about driving the ATV up and down them off the back of the truck.  When I saw that Canadian Tire had a sale on a set of combination snowmobile/ATV ramps that were far wider and linked together, I was sold.
Linking all three together to create a wide platform.
I always link all three pieces together, and then use some ratchet straps to anchor them to the truck itself.  I once witnessed someone attempt to drive an ATV up onto the back of a truck, and as they reached the top, the ramps fell off the tailgate and a calamity would likely have ensued if myself and a third fellow hadn't jumped in to grab the back of the ATV and hold it until it was driven fully onto the truck.
And fastened to the truck so nothing can go wrong.
The front tires of the ATV always are wedged by the wheel wells of the truck - it's a bit of a jump to drive it over those wheel wells in either direction - especially concerning when you were driving on as they clunk down and the winch comes perilously close to the rear window.  I always wedge a piece of plywood in that space before loading the ATV.  I call it the "Eric" board since the...  incident.
Got all the tires over the hump and starting down the ramp.  Time to dismount!
Anyway, today I was unloading - the last two times I have loaded and unloaded the ATV, I haven't actually rode it beyond the first and last moments.  Instead, I've tried to dismount and use the winch to do the important work of getting the ATV up and down the most precarious part of the ramp.  It strikes me as being a bit safer - I can better see the tires on the ATV as they move up and down the ramp to make sure they aren't in danger of heading off the side.  It is also twelve or more stone less weight for the ramps to support.
Letting the winch do the hard part.
I got the ATV unloaded without incident, and much more enjoyably with my help, and then used the opportunity to bring in two more logs that Grandpa had cut and winched into a good position.
Cut high up the ravine and winched down to the trail by Grandpa.

Nice dry pine, ready for the sauna!

Easier to turn the arch separate from the ATV in this spot.

Abandoning the next birch log at a tight turn.  I'll cut it up here and just carry it to the splitting zone.
Life with Kenny and Donna around sure is good.

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