Test and Review:
When a vehicle hoist is not available, floor jacks and jack stands are the common alternative. Stands take time to set up, cramp space and slow our workflow. A practical solution is vehicle ramps, and when it comes to quality and safety, we chose OTC 5268 ramps for our shop.
Many shops and DIY mechanics do not have a vehicle hoist. Jack stands and a floor jack are familiar equipment. Major shortcomings are time consuming setup and the amount of space these stands take up. In this scenario, there is no room for a creeper. Even a lube, oil and filter job is challenging.
Safety and time are top priorities at our shop. When comparing truck ramps, we chose the OTC Tools brand. The OTC 5268 ramps have a 20-ton capacity and are popular at shops that service medium and heavy duty trucks. Our “fleet” is light trucks with the Ram/Cummins 3500 weighing 8,800 pounds as equipped and the XJ Cherokee tipping the scale at 3,750 pounds. We have a wide margin of safety here!
The OTC 5268 ramps have an overall height of 9-1/4″ with the platform height at 8-inches. For our 37″ x 12.5″ x 17″ tires and 4-inch chassis lift, these ramps open up a significant work space beneath the vehicle. Maximum tire width rating for the 5268 ramps is 10-inches, which is the actual tread width of these tires. For a commercial medium- or heavy-duty dump or cement truck with extra wide tires, or even a 4×4 rock crawler with 40″-42″ rubber, OTC Tools offers the OTC 5269 ramps for maximum tread widths to 16″.
While the Ram 3500 will not clear the residential garage door height, the XJ Cherokee fits. These OTC 5268 ramps are just the right height for closing the garage door with the Jeep on the ramps. This makes all-weather work easier, safer and more comfortable. (Caution: Never run a vehicle in a closed shop!) The Jeep has a 6-inch long arm lift and 33″ diameter tires.
There is a substantial amount of clearance with the Jeep on the ramps. The ramp concept is simple: Lift the tire bases a full 8-inches from the floor with the vehicle sloped. The front end and chassis service is now open and accessible! For our preventive maintenance schedule, the time saved using these portable ramps is substantial. Fleet shops, shops without a vehicle hoist and serious DIY’ers find these ramps valuable.
It’s easier to perform work and far less messy with this much available space. Maneuvering beneath the vehicle is simpler. It’s no longer a challenge to reach drain plugs and grease fittings. Awkward repairs become less daunting, and scooting about on a creeper is faster without stands in the way. When a vehicle hoist is not an option, this is a solution for small shop bays, low ceilings and home DIY work.
The lifted Ram will not fit into the residential garage, but in fair weather these ramps are optimal for our service and maintenance tasks. Here, the OTC 5268 ramps eased the installation of White Knuckle Off Road Products rock slider running boards. Work is uncluttered and considerably safer. A creeper rolls unrestricted beneath the vehicle. Wheels chocked, the vehicle is in low range 4WD and Park. Low Range 4WD makes climbing these ramps easier and more controlled.
With planning, the time spent crawling out for tools and parts can be reduced. This is as good as it gets for floor level vehicle work. We recently purchased the Whiteside Tool Stud Creeper with adjustable head and seat rest. This makes work easier, safer and far less fatiguing. With the OTC 5268 ramps, a comfortable creeper and a MYCHANIC tool tray, we save time and increase the safety and productivity of our shop!