Wood boards as a backup for Rhino ramps—how high?

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I have a pair of 16,000 lb Rhino ramps I drive my cars up when I change the oil. Because of stories of ramps and jacks failing, I like to use a stack of boards that I have in my garage, as a backup plan. I put them in between the two tires on each side. My question is—is there a given height that my stack of boards should go? Do I simply have to put my stacks high enough to allow me to have room, below the level of the boards, if the chassis falls? Or could the innards at the bottom of the car, drop lower than the frame itself, that is resting on the boards—in which case, I’d need to give myself a few extra inches of leeway here.
 
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Boise, Idaho
How high do you want? Each board is about 1.5 inches thick. So for whatever hight you need you can calculate from there. I put in four layers. It got my Versa up 6 inches. Perfect for my oil change on the Versa. Need higher? Add layers but know that wood can be heavy so you are adding weight as you add on height.
 
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SE British Columbia, Canada
I’d recommend the full height to the chassis and tight against the chassis. May I recommend to pick up a set of jack stands on sale. They are are much easier to work with. (But rememeber to pull them out at the end of the job. )
 
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https://www.walmart.com/ip/Torin-Jacks-3-Ton-Jack-Stand-Pair/14560047 Regular price is over 100 bucks. Is this a reputable company? WM has them for $24. 3 ton capacity would cover the Sienna as well. Alternately, PB has this set: https://www.pepboys.com/product/details/1154551/00773?quantity=1 Harbor Freight: https://www.harborfreight.com/3-Ton-Steel-Jack-Stands-61196.html Not sure which companies can be trusted here. Rather not use chinesium as my backup plan.
Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
I’d recommend the full height to the chassis and tight against the chassis. May I recommend to pick up a set of jack stands on sale. They are are much easier to work with. (But rememeber to pull them out at the end of the job. )
 
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AVB

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Georgia
Originally Posted By: paulri
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Torin-Jacks-3-Ton-Jack-Stand-Pair/14560047 Regular price is over 100 bucks. Is this a reputable company? WM has them for $24. 3 ton capacity would cover the Sienna as well. Alternately, PB has this set: https://www.pepboys.com/product/details/1154551/00773?quantity=1 Harbor Freight: https://www.harborfreight.com/3-Ton-Steel-Jack-Stands-61196.html Not sure which companies can be trusted here. Rather not use chinesium as my backup plan.
Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
I’d recommend the full height to the chassis and tight against the chassis. May I recommend to pick up a set of jack stands on sale. They are are much easier to work with. (But rememeber to pull them out at the end of the job. )
$100 is [censored] wishful thinking, marketing. Those are around $25 anywhere you go.
 
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Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: paulri
Because of stories of ramps and jacks failing, I like to PLACE REAL JACKSTANDS under the car to support it, if needed.
There, I fixed that for you.
 
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Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: paulri
Harbor Freight: https://www.harborfreight.com/3-Ton-Steel-Jack-Stands-61196.html Not sure which companies can be trusted here. Rather not use chinesium as my backup plan
I'll vouch for these (That all pretty much come from china, no matter who sells them) The ratings are utterly ridiculous - 3 tons (6,000 lbs) is wishful thinking at best. Used properly in general auto use, they are just fine. I like to place a 12" x 12" square of 3/4" plywood under each one when used on any surface other than concrete.
 
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Waco, TX
My grandfather built something similar to these about 50 years ago. They are nearly indestructible & will hold a semi-truck!
 

AVB

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Georgia
If you are worried about the ramps failing make some of the pine-o ramps. That is what we used when servicing semi's.
 
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Location
Kansas, USA
Purchase 2, 2"x 10" x 12' boards. One board will make a ramp. Lowes will cut to lengths shown. Get some nails, or screws and adhesive. Cheap. simple, and heavy. I have used them for 8 years.
 

4WD

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Texas
Originally Posted By: Kansas_Ron
Purchase 2, 2"x 10" x 12' boards. One board will make a ramp. Lowes will cut to lengths shown. Get some nails, or screws and adhesive. Cheap. simple, and heavy. I have used them for 8 years.
One nice thing about these is they will not slide away when bringing a RWD vehicle up on them … the first 1-1/2” rise pins them down tight Pine-O Ramps have their place …
 
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CA, USA
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If wood is capable of holding up the car as the primary support, it should also be ok as a backup support, shouldn't it? If possible, I'd like to get more input on my original question--assuming I'll continue using wood boards, how high do the boards have to get? Snagglefoot said take the boards up to the height of the chassis. Is that what is best or what everyone does, who uses boards?
 

Kestas

Staff member
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The Motor City
My ramps are a stack of 2 x 12s. For safety I throw a short log or two under the car and chock a wheel. It's not worth taking short cuts when it comes to safety.
 
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Location
MI
Originally Posted By: paulri
If wood is capable of holding up the car as the primary support, it should also be ok as a backup support, shouldn't it? If possible, I'd like to get more input on my original question--assuming I'll continue using wood boards, how high do the boards have to get? Snagglefoot said take the boards up to the height of the chassis. Is that what is best or what everyone does, who uses boards?
As long as you don't have them stacked haphazardly so that when the car comes down haphazardly, the wood doesn't come tumbling down and the car is sitting on your head. The proper way would be NO space between the car and secondary support so that there is no chance for things to teeter-totter, etc.. Of course the wood has to be higher than the height of your head, chest, etc.. Only you can decide how safe you want to be. I choose to use the proper tool: jack stands.
 
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So the concern with wood boards is that they will be unstable? If in fact the rhino ramps are failing, I can see how a car might push a board off a pile if the car isn't falling straight down... Interesting.
 
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2,119
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Texas
If you are interested in improving safety, use jack stands. They are relatively inexpensive and they are easy to store. Get ratcheting jack stands so you can fine-tune the height.
 
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