Wooden pallets can make a great ramp.
image by Shin0 at SXC.hu
Whether you need a sturdy ramp to get a mower into the shed, or want to practice jumps with your bike, you can easily build a strong wooden pallet ramp to suit your needs. One wooden pallet, some spare 2x4 lumber and electric and hand tools are all that's required to construct a ramp as good as any you could buy.
Make a Pallet Ramp
Measure and cut three 2x4 wooden boards the same length as the wooden pallet you are using for the pallet ramp. Measure and cut two more boards the width of the pallet. Also cut three 1-foot pieces of 2x4 board. Make pencil or pen marks at the correct measurements as a guide to cut with an electric saw.
Determine the slope of the pallet ramp necessary to reach where you want it to go. A ramp for sheds or patios should not rise more than 3 inches per foot of length. An average 4-foot long pallet could end up being 1-foot at the highest end. Of course, you can make a ramp using multiple pallets to get the correct measurements for your particular project.
Nail one of the 1-foot tall 2x4 boards to the end of each pallet-length 2x4 boards cut in step one to form an L-shaped structure. Lay each of these down in turn and use another board to form a straight line from the top of the short end to the bottom of the long end. Make a mark on the top and bottom board with a pencil. This shows the angle you need to cut to make a smooth ramp surface. Cut the small triangles off with an electric or hand saw.
Position the 2x4 boards cut to the width of the pallet parallel to each other on the ground. Nail the L-shaped structures you prepare to each side of these boards and one in the center for added support. This entire structure forms the base of your pallet ramp.
Use long nails or screws to attach the wooden pallet to the angled tops of the 2x4 boards. Measure and cut a piece of plywood 2 inches longer, but exactly the same width, as the wooden pallet surface. Position the plywood so it overhangs the pallet 1 inch at both the top and bottom of the ramp. This will complete the entire slope without affecting the integrity of the support. Nail this securely to the pallet for a smooth pallet ramp surface.