I currently haul my Yamaha Big Bear in the back of my Tundra and wanted to fill y’all in on how to correctly haul your ATV in the bed of your truck.
How to haul an ATV in a pickup truck? In order to haul your ATV in the bed of your truck, you will need some ramps, a heavy duty ratchet strap, and a cushion to go between the front of your truck bed and the front of your ATV and a towel to lay on your tailgate to prevent the ramps from scratching your tail gate. The first step is apply your truck’s emergency brake and then position and secure the ramps as recommended by the manufacture. Make sure your ATV is in Low or 1st Gear and then drive it up the ramps slowly and steady. Once your back tires are on the tailgate, let off the gas and hit the brakes to prevent slamming into the front of your truck bed and bending it (like I did). Or potentially breaking your back glass. Put a ratchet strap across the rear tires pulling the tires down and forward at the same time. Lock the hand brake and slide the ramps under your ATV. You can use a piece of rope or wire to secure the ramps to your ATV’s rear axle to prevent the ramps from sliding. Now you are ready to hit the road!
Now that you know the basics of hauling an ATV in a pickup, let’s talk more about the details on how to load your ATV and how to properly strap it down to ensure the safety of people driving behind you.
How to load an ATV into your Truck Bed?
Loading your ATV can be quite nerve wrecking at times but with the proper knowledge you will be fine. As mentioned earlier, set your truck’s emergency brake. This prevents your truck from being pushed forward causing the ramps to be pulled from the tailgate. Place a towel on the edge of your tailgate and then position your ramps properly. Secure your ramps to your truck following the ramp’s instructions. Place some form of cushion (I used one of my foam gym mats) at the front of your truck bed.
Now you are ready to drive your ATV up the ramps. Put your ATV in Low or 1st Gear and drive up the ramps slowly and at a steady speed. Keep the gas steady and don’t be afraid. Once your rear tires are on the tailgate immediately let off the gas and hit the brakes. Set your hand brake to lock the brakes on your ATV and you are ready to strap it down.
How to Secure ATV Ramps To Your Truck?
Securing your ATV ramps is very important when loading an ATV for obvious reasons. Most ramps come with chains that can be hooked to your tailgate latches. If you do not have chains then I would recommend using 1-2 small ratchet straps depending on the type of ramp to secure the ramp. You can go underneath the ramp and connect it to where your trailer chains would typically hook up or anything that is secure and will pull the ramps toward the ground ensuring they will not slip off. Please make sure you are securing your ramps when loading on concrete, asphalt or any hard packed ground because this is when they have the greatest chance of slipping off your tailgate.
How to strap an ATV in your truck bed?
Now that your ATV is loaded, it is time to strap it down. I recommend a heavy duty ratchet strap that is fairly new and not weathered at all. I always roll my straps up and keep them dry to extend their life and it makes me feel more comfortable going down the road knowing that my strap isn’t going to randomly pop.
Hook one end of your strap to the left rear tie down in your truck bed and hook the other end to the right rear tie down. If you do not have tie downs, you can hook your strap to the steel latches that secures your tailgate when it is up. Position the strap on the rear tires to where it is pulling your ATV forward and downward at the same time. You may have to unlock your hand brake if your ATV still has a ways to go before touching the front of the bed. Tighten down the strap and push the ATV forward at the same time until it is touching the bed.
Push and pull your rear rack to ensure everything is tight and secure. Make sure your hand brake is set.
Recommended Ramp for ATV’s
I am currently using the steel 1000lb capacity tri-fold ramps (set of 2) from Harbor Freight. These ramps are made of steel and are quite heavy. If I had to purchase another ramp it would be the Yutrax 78” Aluminum Tri-Fold ramp which has a capacity of 1750lbs. After reading the reviews it seems to be a great ramp for the price. I would go with the longer option (78”) to give you less of an incline. The aluminum construction is nice for transporting to and from the garage yet strong enough to give anyone the confidence to load their machines.
Will an ATV fit into your truck bed?
Planning on purchasing an ATV but not sure if it will fit? Almost all ATV’s will fit inside the bed of a full size truck. If you drive a small size truck such as a Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, etc. then you should measure the ATV before buying or purchase a small trailer.
The problem I had was my tool box, upfront, took up too much space and my ATV did not fit. My Tundra only had a 5 1/2’ bed so every time I wanted to load up my ATV, I had to remove my tool box. I certainly was not putting the front tires on top of the tool box so I had to ditch the large tool box.
I ended up purchasing an Undercover Swing Case Tool Box. This swing case box has been the best thing since sliced bread. No more jumping into the back of the truck to access my tool box to, then, find out what I was looking for wasn’t there. All I have to do is drop the tailgate and pull a little lever which enables it to swing around and allows me to access my tools. It doesn’t have much space but, heck, this is all I need to carry the basics. I currently only have one on the drivers side but plan to buy another for the passenger side as well.