There are many reasons why you may want to put your motorcycle on the flat bed of your truck. It may be a competition bike, in which case it can’t be ridden on the road, or maybe it doesn’t have insurance, or perhaps you simply want to take it with you on vacation so you can explore on two wheels while you’re away? Those are just two reasons why you might want to transport your bike by truck, so how do you safely and securely load it onto a truck?
The How To Guide that Tells You Everything
Our guide focuses on the physical aspect of loading and transporting a motorcycle as well as the safety of loads when loading and in motion. You will need a ramp to get a bike onto a truck, so we’re assuming you have one. Let’s start with the basic point of where to load your bike onto the truck.
Choose Your Location
Where you park the truck to load your bike is important. Find a flat area or park the truck with the rear pointing up a slight hill. Now you need to secure the truck by making sure the parking brake is applied. The tailgate should be removed where possible or supported to prevent damage if not removable. Once you are happy, the truck is secured, attach the ramp as instructed by the makers. It is vital that the ramp is securely in place before you begin the process of loading.
Before we move on, it is strongly recommended you use wheel chocks as an added precaution. This will ensure the truck cannot move in the event of a system failure in the brakes. Also, ensure your tie-downs are secured to the truck and ready to be applied to the bike when it’s loaded.
A quick checklist before the next points – truck safely secured on a flat or slight incline, ramps securely attached and tailgate supported if necessary, chocks under front wheels, and tie downs in place. We’re ready to start loading!
Drive or Push?
This is the question: can you drive your motorcycle onto the flat bed? If you have a full width ramp, the answer is possibly, but it’s not recommended. If you have a single wheel width ramp, it is definitely not recommended! The possibility of mistakes and accidents is too high when driving a bike onto a truck, which is why we recommend you push it and have someone with you to make sure everything is safe and sound.
Once you’re ready, it’s suggested that two people balancing the bike push it slowly up the ramp until both wheels are beyond the ramp and on the flat bed. This is why a slight incline is the best place to load your bike, as it will reduce the angle of the ramp and make things a lot easier. Once on the flatbed, you have to begin the process of securing the bike in place for the journey. It does not matter if you are going a short or long distance: a bike that is not correctly secured can easily fall, and the result could be catastrophic – let alone expensive!
So, how to secure the bike on the flat bed.
Securing the Bike
We strongly recommend you use a front wheel chock to give the bike some stability when it is standing on the flat bed of the truck. This will add to the security provided by the tie down cables. These should be secured to the bike using soft loops for added care and need to be tied tight to enable the bike to be as motionless as possible when on the truck. You might also want to check out United Pacific motorcycle and heavy truck parts for details on security bikes to heavy duty trucks and specific parts.
Once you have secured the bike both front and back, you can remove the ramps and put the tailgate back in place. We advise you to check the compression on the suspension of the bike as it should not be too heavily compressed by the tie downs. When you’re satisfied, everything is fine, you’re ready to go.
Before pulling away, inspect all the links and connections to ensure they have been put in place correctly and are locked and secure. This may seem like a chore, but it’s a necessary one. Once you have done a few miles, find a safe place to stop and check over everything again. This will show you if your straps are tight enough or need tightening further. Along the journey, always check the bike is still stable and in place whenever you reach a stopping point, just to remain on the safe side.
Unloading is a reverse of what we have written above, but you are free to put the ramps in place before or after freeing the motorcycle from its ties. Always stay safe and take care, as you’re dealing with a lot of tension in the tie downs and a heavy and valuable machine in the form of your treasured bike!
Other Factors to Consider
There is no slow-down in the popularity of motorcycling, and it remains not just a form of transport but a pastime for many people who have cherished machines. We believe that the above guide gives you all you need to know about safely and securely loading your bike onto a flat bed truck with the least possible chance of damage to either vehicle.
While driving, remember that you are carrying a load of another vehicle, so your truck will behave and handle differently from normal. You may find stopping distances are exaggerated, so be ready to brake early and take full notice of the traffic around you.
We hope we’ve helped you get your bike safely onto your truck, so have fun and drive carefully.