Aluminum Plate

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Well-known member
RRR Supportor
Aug 26, 2020
Northern NJ
Question for you guys.... my buddy has a storage lift and wants to make some panels to fill the center so he can store his 3 motorcycles on top and his hot rod on the bottom. The span is 40" from ramp to ramp and wants to go with 40 x 48 sheets of 1/8 aluminum with 4 - 2x4 wood cross beams. With the 4 cross beams at 12" or so apart do you think the 1/8 Aluminum will bend? These are 3 800 pound dressed Harleys. I'm thinking the 1/8 is too thin. Any thoughts? Thanks guys
I don't believe the 1/8" aluminum nor the (4) wood 2 x 4s will be enough support for even one Harley. 1/8" aluminum plate will flex if my 260lbs body walks across it if it was supported by 2 x 4s. 1'8" aluminum is what they make aluminum oil pans and radiator tanks with, clamp a 12" wide piece in a vice and you can bend it by pulling on it. Might work for a few times to get the Harley's into a trailer or the storage lift, but I sure wouldn't trust that arrangement to support one Harley above anything I would value, let alone 3 Harleys.

I'm thinking 1/4" thick 2" x 2" aluminum angle frame work with 5/16" aluminum plate, with aluminum angle support under the Harley tires might work. I would also want a way to be sure each of those Harleys were secured to the aluminum framework individually.
Got to disagree. 1/8" aluminum diamond plate supported on a 40" span by 2" by 4"'s on 12" centers should be sufficient. If he's just filling in the 40" span only one of the bikes would be in the span area, sitting on the construction. The crossbeams must be well fixed to the ramps though.

Now for the counterpoint, sheet steel is cheaper and stronger. Steel rectangular tubing isn't expensive if you have a supplier nearby and they have cut offs.
Thanks for the input guys.... I'm thinking 1/8 steel diamond plate, continuous hinge on each side to flip over on some rectangular tubing when the bikes are on. When have to work on the car they flip over onto the ramp runners. Nothing to take off, just flip and push the rec tubing down out of the way.

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