Knowing how to load a snowmobile into a truck is useful when traveling to your nearest trail or taking a sled to the mechanic.
My name is Chaz, and I’ve been snowmobiling for most of my life. I’m an enthusiast, and I’ve loaded many types of sleds into trucks, trailers, and other vehicles over the years.
This article will show you a step-by-step guide on how to load a snowmobile into a truck. It’s a pretty simple process, but you’ll want to get it right to avoid any damage to your vehicle or sled.
Put your truck in park, and let’s get loaded.
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If you don’t have a ramp or don’t want to buy one, you can still get a sled loaded up – it’s just going to be a little more complicated, and you’ll need the help of a few friends.
I’ll walk you through each method that I’ve used in the next section.
How to Load a Snowmobile in a Truck
The three ways I’ll show you here will all work to get your sled loaded up into a pickup. Other than a ramp or the helping hands of friends, the only other thing you’ll need is tie-downs or rope to secure the snowmobile once it is loaded up.
Use a Ramp
A ramp is the easiest way to load a snowmobile. They can be somewhat expensive, but I recommend purchasing one if you need to load up often.
1. Attach ramp to tailgate/bed of the truck
Snowmobile ramps come in a few different styles, but they all attach to your truck’s bed or tailgate. Unload and unfold the ramp (if needed) and place the truck side end on top of the bed or tailgate.
Some ramps have clamps that tighten down to squeeze the tailgate and stay in place. Others will have straps that you can tie to loops or hooks in the bed. A lot of ramps have both of these. Other models can be directly connected to the bed and slide out.
Make sure everything is tightened, tied, and secure before proceeding any further.
2. Line up snowmobile with ramp
You want to make sure that your snowmobile skis and track are directly centered with the ramp before driving up into the bed.
You can drive the snowmobile around and take a wide approach to straighten out if you are in the snow. Or, you might need to lift the rear end of the machine to align it properly.
3. Drive snowmobile up the ramp and into the truck bed
With the machine lined up, evenly hit the throttle to drive it up into the back of the truck. You don’t want to give it too much gas, but you also need enough to get up the ramp. This can take a few attempts to get used to, but just try to be steady with the throttle.
4. Tie down and secure the sled
Once you have the snowmobile loaded into the bed, you need to secure it so that it won’t move around when you drive. Even if the tailgate closes, tying things down is essential to avoid damage to your truck or sled.
There’s no exact way to tie things down properly. I like to use ratchet strap tie-downs. I’ve also just used rope. I’ve seen other people get by with a bunch of bungee cords.
Use Human Power
The next method involves using brute strength to lift the snowmobile into the back of the truck. Even if you are a self-proclaimed strong person, you still need at least one other friend to make sure it doesn’t slip. Three people are ideal for this method.
1. Position sled near the tailgate
Similar to how you position the snowmobile when driving up a ramp, you want to get it straight and center with the truck bed. You can drive if on snow or lift/slide it into position.
2. Lift the front end onto the tailgate
This step works best with one person in the truck bed and two others lifting either ski. The two people on the ground lift the front end into the air until the third in the truck can grab a hold.
Once the skis are resting on the bed, the person in the truck steadies the sled while the other two head towards the back to finish the lift.
3. Lift rear end and slide into the truck bed
The people on the ground should now lift the snowmobile’s rear end into the air and push. The person in the truck can pull, and these efforts combined will slide the machine into position in the back of the truck.
4. Tie down and secure sled
Same process and idea here as with any other method. Fasten the snowmobile securely into the truck bed before driving.
Use a Snow Ramp
The third method involves using or building a snow ramp to get a snowmobile into a truck bed. If you are riding at a popular location, there may be a ramp already established, making this method easy and effective.
1. Position the truck in line with the ramp
This is the reverse of the other two steps. You want to center the truck bed with the ramp rather than centering the snowmobile with the truck. I usually back the truck right up to the ramp, so it is touching the snow.
2. Drive snowmobile up the ramp and into the truck bed
This is as simple as it sounds. Drive the snowmobile up and over the ramp and into the truck bed. You don’t want to go too fast or too slow and need to maintain steady control of the throttle. If you give it too much gas, you can slide hard into the back of the bed.
3. Tie down and secure sled
Use ratchet straps, rope, or any other type of solid cordage to secure the snowmobile into the back of the truck.
Even though you don’t technically need a truck ramp to get your snowmobile loaded, I would highly recommend getting one if you need to travel with your sled often. It’s the simplest method and you can do it without assistance.
Do you have a method for loading a snowmobile into a truck that I didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments below.About Chaz Wyland