I wanted to solve two problems with this project. The first and most important was to make a ramp for my aging (Sam) and short (Molly) dogs. Sam is 10 years old and has recently had trouble jumping into the back seat floor area of my Ford F150 truck. Molly is 8 years old and can still navigate it easily if she jumps on the step bumper first.
The second was to be able to store the Ramp in the bed area. So I used the built in slots in the liner of the side walls to determine the length of the ramp.
As a bonus it also functions as a cargo retainer and or a bed divider. If you ever had a pick up truck and put something small in the bed, it always ends up out of reach. So you end up having to retrieve it.
Step 1: Measuring the Length of the Ramp.
I wanted the ramp to be wide enough for the girls to navigate safely and easily, I also needed to keep the width within the constraints of the door opening and the door not opening to 90 degrees. I considered plywood but decided dimensional lumber would be a better option for me. So I went with a 8' 2x12.
The distance between the slots in the bed is 62 and 1/4 inches.
My 10" miter saw can't cut a 2x12 all the way, so I had to turn the board over and finish it with a second pass.
A test fit showed it would work perfectly.
Step 2: Sanding,priming and Adding Side Boards
After sanding the 2x12 with 220 grit sandpaper I rounded over all edges with the sander. It was then primed with a water based enamel. I added a 1x4 side wall on both sides to act as a visual guide. I had the dogs practicing on the bare 2x12 and they wanted to jump on and off the side. The 1x4 was then sanded, the edges rounded over and primed. The 1x4 was cut 6" shorter then the 2x12 to accommodate the eye bolts.
The brad nailer was used to temporarily hold the 1x4 before screwing it into place
I attached the 1x4 with 2 and 1/4" deck screws spacing them out every 8 inches.
The ramp was then painted with 2 coats of Porch and Floor paint.
Step 3: Attaching the Eyebolts
Four 1 15/16" eye bolts were installed near the corners. The holes were predrilled.
By leaving the 1x4 3" short on both ends it allows the ramp to be mounted from either end.
Step 4: Mounting the Ramp for the Dogs to Use.
The step bumper mounting bracket was conveniently located in front of the back door. The ramp sits on top of the step bumper. I already had a 18" bungee cord which was the right size. To attach the bungee cord you hook one end of it to either eye bolt, then lower it, go around the bracket and bring it up the other side. It's quite easy to do, plenty of room and easy access.
Step 5: Adding Anti Skid Tape
I put down 2 strips of the 4" wide tape according to the 3M instructions. The ramp isn't very steep, but I was concerned about rain/snow making it slippery.
Step 6: Training the Girls to Go Up and Down.
My girls are quite well behaved and easily taught new things. I also found that it was much easier to teach them one at a time to use the ramp.
I used treats and toys as motivation. It's going to be an on going training for awhile, but it's coming along nicely.
Step 7: Material and Tools
Both the 8 foot 2x12 and the 12 foot 1x4 were purchased from the big box store.
The 4 pieces of 1 15/16" eye bolts were from the local hardware store.
Paint was left over from painting the front porch.
The deck screws were also already purchased.
Step 8: Conclusion
It completely meets my needs and is easy to store and remove from the bed. I don't know the total weight of the ramp but It's not a struggle to lift, carry, or place it in the bed. I'm a little over six feet tall so I could see someone significantly shorter having some trouble reaching it.
I may add two bungee cords to it when it's stored if I feel it's moving around at all in the bed.
Thank you for reading it.
I'm going to enter this Instructable in the "Pets Challenge" contest.
Runner Up in the