Going to build a ladder drop. Any Advice?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Going to build a ladder drop. Any Advice?

    Hello,

    Ok so, My dad has a lot that is within riding distance of my house it also has a tractor that we own that we could use BTW. So i want to build a ladder drop, about 5 feet tall and I want to make the process of building it as simple as possible. We are planning on it looking something like this:



    We are planning on a transition about 5 foot down from the lip. We have enough wood for the cross planks or whatever that the treads go on and where the wasatch builders sign is... I am planning on making the frame about like the geometry of that one is. I just dont know if a 96 inch 2x4 will be long enough for it to be not to steep of an on-ramp angled high enough for the edge to be about 5 feet off the ground so that we can do the drop without having to hit it so hard and only being able to wheelie drop it like the one in the pic is. the on-ramp is going to be 96 inches long and so is the top level part. We can use the tractor to smooth it out and build a tranny if need be (although we can put the drop on the adge of a downslope). I am just wondering how many more of those 96 inch 2x4's I should buy to complete the whole entire thing. Also, we might need hard ware to build it. I am building it with my neighbor by the way.



    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Wood is EXPENSIVE, use natural materials if you can such as cedar trees, it will save you tons of money. You could also look at just building some dirt jumps with the tractor or even build up a huck jump out of dirt, dirt is free! If you do use lumber use treated lumber and screws, you can also never have too many supports so make sure you support that sucker. Sink the supports 2-3 feet into the ground as well. I hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    just build.....you will learn along the way...gets your friends and dad involved....more minds the better
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by drain bamage
    Hello,




    We are planning on a transition about 5 foot down from the lip. We have enough wood for the cross planks or whatever that the treads go on and where the wasatch builders sign is... I am planning on making the frame about like the geometry of that one is. I just dont know if a 96 inch 2x4 will be long enough for it to be not to steep of an on-ramp angled high enough for the edge to be about 5 feet off the ground so that we can do the drop without having to hit it so hard and only being able to wheelie drop it like the one in the pic is. the on-ramp is going to be 96 inches long and so is the top level part. We can use the tractor to smooth it out and build a tranny if need be (although we can put the drop on the adge of a downslope). I am just wondering how many more of those 96 inch 2x4's I should buy to complete the whole entire thing. Also, we might need hard ware to build it. I am building it with my neighbor by the way.



    Thank you!
    If you are going to build something, you need a plan, if you have a plan you can figure out on your own how much timber you need. Not trying to be a smart ass either.

    You do not need to sink anything into the ground, I built a "practice" drop in my back yard of similar dimensions, make the base that sits on the ground wider than the top and it won't tip over, the higher it is, the wider the base needs to be.

    Use standard 8ft 2X4 stud as its cheaper than pretty much any other sizes per length, around $1.6/length from a good lumber yard.

    5ft is about the highest you'd want to go with a 8ft long up ramp, the top where its levels out when its higher likes to grab cranks... not fun.

    I used 2X4 rungs, spaced a 2X4 width apart, this is sketchy since it likes to grab ankles. Luckily chicken wire is cheap and can be stapled over it to prevent foot stickage, also gives you more traction when its wet. Chicken wire comes in 24" width rolls, make your rungs 2ft wide, roll it on and staple it down...

    use 3.5" spiral nails for the rungs, holds well and is way cheaper than screws.

    Use screws for all your structural members.

    You will need to triangulate your structure to make it rigid.

    I bolted the supports and the cross members of mine together with 3/8 lag bolts, so I could take it apart for moving/storage.

  5. #5
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    Pending on what part of the world you live in Cedar may not be an option. Hemlock is a decent alternative if thats available to you. It has good rot resistance - not as good as cedar but if you strip the bark off it will last a good long time.

  6. #6
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    Ok thanks for the replies. Home Depot sells a 2x4 for $1.60 a peice for one of those 8 footers. and we'll just buy some hard ware also...

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    If you want to ask specific questions (how many 2x4s do I need), then we would need more specific info... you say MAYBE it will go on a downslope... that has a BIG impact on the angle of the on-ramp. Survey the area where you want this thing... 5ft tall AND a 5 ft landing transition adds up to a pretty decent sized drop, so you gotta figure things out the right way. An experienced builder IN PERSON could be a big help... or some trigonometry. I'll tell you this-gaining 5 ft over a 96 inch stringer is almost a 40 degree angle on flat ground... doesn't sound like much to say it, but riding it is a whole different story-hit it with speed and it will pop you up in the air. Gaining 5 ft on a downslope is a whole other matter...

    Also, any span of 8 ft would be better with 2x6s for stringers rather than 2x4s.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

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    Ok thanks. The drop itself will sit on flat and the lip will be right next to the edge of a slight downslope wich we could prolly use as a tranny or if we neeed so build one with dirt. And yes I looked at an 8 foot long 2x4 coming up to five feet. It is a pretty big incline. We can't build it up at the lot so we will put the on ramp and the top level together up at the lot and just haul the two peices in the truck. I just dont know if we go much longer on ramp if it would even fit in the bed of the truck... I may see if they have a 108 inch long one or bigger.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    just build.....you will learn along the way...gets your friends and dad involved....more minds the better
    ^^^ This is a smart man. That is EXACTLY what Kenny and I did with our FR park on his lot.
    You almost have to combine technical carpentry/building skills with an artistic/fluid mindset. And the way you do that is like SMT says, just build.
    Before you do, you can get a general idea of what you want, where you want to build it and how it should flow. THEN build. Make adjustments as you go.
    Jump it onto something off of something or over something.

    There's more to freeriding than dirt jumps.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Six Pack
    IAlso, any span of 8 ft would be better with 2x6s for stringers rather than 2x4s.
    You are correct sir....
    Or if you don't have 2x6s, you can use 3 2x4s as stringers (one in the middle). That is an equal amount of wood as 2 2x6s. You can bolster that even more with cantilever braces going from the bottom of the upright to just short of the middle of the stringer on each end.

    Wood is EXPENSIVE, use natural materials if you can such as cedar trees, it will save you tons of money. You could also look at just building some dirt jumps with the tractor or even build up a huck jump out of dirt, dirt is free!
    Unfortunately, dirt isn't the best option here. We have anywhere from 2 inches to about 2.5 feet of topsoil, then either solid sand and/or limestone. And a lot of the soil here is very clay-ish. That's why most of our stuff is made of wood.
    Last edited by rmb_mike; 08-07-2009 at 03:37 PM.
    Jump it onto something off of something or over something.

    There's more to freeriding than dirt jumps.

  11. #11
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    UPDATE: Today we just finished to top, level part. It is approximatly 11 feet long. All we had is 2x4's so that is what we usedNow we need to build the supports and on ramp. The thing is, The drop will be twice as fun if you can do it with out having to slow down and wheelie drop off of it. If The on ramp is too steep or not long enough, we couldn't hit it with the speed we will need without only being able to wheelie drop/pedal kick off the lip. We can fix that by either decreasing the height of the drop to about the picture or lengthening the on ramp. We are not building the drop where we will have it. We are building the drop all together in the backyard and when it is complete we will unscrew it into about 3 different peices and then take it up to the lot (only about 4 minutes away) and reassemble it. I am just worried that if we make the on-ramp too long it wont fit in the bed of the truck and will need more support, if its too short, it wont have the correct flow that we are shooting for. I dont know I am just trying to make this drop as good as possible and dont want to mess it up so sorry if I sound really spazzy or something.

    Thank you

  12. #12
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    make the ramp longer... if you need to, just go and rent a trailer to take it over there.

  13. #13
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    Hey man - i just got your PM and thanks for using my ladder as an example.

    looks like you are on your way to making a solid ladder..

    one thing i did was make a hinge for the ramp up to pivot on. that way when we installed it you could change the ramp angle to match the terrain once you dug the legs into the ground.

  14. #14
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    You will probably need to build it a little higher in order to destroy your fork and get the crash replacement.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  15. #15
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    pfff

    All I am doing is just riding my fork. the fork doesnt need to be broken to do the crash warranty..................

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan_daugherty
    Hey man - i just got your PM and thanks for using my ladder as an example.

    looks like you are on your way to making a solid ladder..

    one thing i did was make a hinge for the ramp up to pivot on. that way when we installed it you could change the ramp angle to match the terrain once you dug the legs into the ground.

    That is what i was saying we should do so we can build some dirt to change the up-riding angle on the ramp so if you wanna go quick you dont catch air and lose traction and crap causing a mess ha.
    thanks!
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  17. #17
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    Hey man take some pics of what you have done!!! How much cash did your dad drop on this structure?

  18. #18
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    My dad didint drop any. I am going to go buy some wood.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by drain bamage
    My dad didint drop any. I am going to go buy some wood.
    With your dads money... I mean you obviously aren't old enough to have a job. All aside, post some pics of what you have done so far

  20. #20
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    haha i had extra wood from building my basement that we used. and i had a job for 4 months cleaning toilets for an elementary school. haha it was terrible. but hey, 500 bucks for 1-2 hours after school for 4 months i guess isnt bad when its all said and done. the only problem about buying wood is moving it. wood isnt that expensive. like 1.60 for a 90 something inch 2x4 isnt bad. not like its hard to get 10 bucks for some wood.
    but anyways, i will post up some pics tomorrow.
    thanks!
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  21. #21
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    Please post pics..I will be builing one soon (also some skinnies) and want to get ideas. Did you use 2x4's where you ride on? How far apart did you space them? Thanks! If I can think of any ideas Ill tell you them lol.

  22. #22
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    Yes we used just regular 2x4s and a miter saw. We spaced them about an inch apart but you could go maybe 1 and 1/2 inch to 2 inches apart probably as well.. You'll barely feel anything riding ip onto it and stuff. I like the hinge idea though.. What kind of hinges did you use Ryan?
    Thanks!!
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  23. #23
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    Here are some pics.. about half way done, and about 11ft long too. needs a few improvements and we are working on it haha.
    Its not as fancy as his, but you get the point ;-)



    And one for comparison with the dog.


    What do you think?
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  24. #24
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    I would have built a frame for the base like so:



    Makes it much more sturdier and easier to piece together to an up ramp. You really should build it as a frame... Hope this helps

  25. #25
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    thanks, i may just add in those supports.
    thanks!
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker_maniack
    What do you think?
    I think it is funny that you would use the dog as a comparison for an 11 ft deck that is sitting on the ground.... what are we comparing?

    If you are asking which one is better to ride on, then definitely NOT the dog, even though it appears to be a little higher.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  27. #27
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    OP,
    If there is any way that you can transport the materials to the site and build it on site, that would be so much better.
    Building on site allows you to better adjust your building to the terrain on which you're building and it eliminates having to transport the bulky, cumbersome ladder.
    But since you already have that ladder built, if you can find a kinda smallish, steep hill to stick that on the side of, you won't need to build it any longer. The hill drop will provide you with some extra height. Then just have the trail lead up to it.
    Jump it onto something off of something or over something.

    There's more to freeriding than dirt jumps.

  28. #28
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    good idea mike, we will consider that for sure!
    and as for the dog, i was mostly kidding haha. i mean the dog helps the comparison (makes the ramp look bigger than without the dog) but yeah haha its still an 11ft ladder on the ground haha.
    see ya round
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