Across several different industries, businesses of many kinds encounter the same logistical challenge.
Loading docks are often 4 feet or more off the ground. This design is optimal for moving items directly on and off a large trailer.
However, it is sometimes necessary to move goods at the ground level. For these jobs, ramps provide safe and strategic access.
Concrete ramps have traditionally been an option for these applications. Unfortunately, there are several reasons why these are not always ideal.
Here are some of the disadvantages of concrete ramps:
- Building them is costly, requires a permit, and has a long construction time that halts productivity.
- Removal can be difficult if you are leasing a building and decide to relocate.
- They can't be transported to new facilities, adjusted for different heights, or moved when not in use.
The issues listed above, among many others, are challenges that Medlin Ramps endeavors to solve.
Like McNICHOLS, Medlin Ramps is a family business founded on the goal of providing the highest levels of service to customers.
In 1990, Don Medlin and his wife Marilyn founded a company called Medlin Equipment. Don, a master welder, decided to teach Marilyn his beloved craft, and together they assisted customers with fabrication services. Eventually, their son Mark joined the company venture, but the Medlins knew they could serve customers in even greater ways.
In 2002, Mark Medlin saw a unique type of ramp being used outdoors. It was made from steel and was placed in front of loading dock openings. He was intrigued by the benefits and functionality of a non-concrete ramp, so he decided to take action.
Increasing their service capabilities, the Medlins decided to buy the small company that produced these products and eventually changed their company’s name to Medlin Ramps. However, it wasn’t until after the purchase was complete that the real innovation began. As Mark looked into the way the previous company went about their business, he realized there was a better way to build steel yard ramps.
With customer ease and satisfaction at the forefront of his mind, Mark designed his own, more efficient ramp. These new ramps would be more adjustable and allow for increased mobility and safety.
One of the products Medlin Ramps uses to build their innovative ramps is McNICHOLS® Serrated Bar Grating.
Serrated Grating is the ultimate source for slip resistance—providing excellent traction even in severe weather conditions like rain and snow. Notches on the surface of the panel create extra grip for both foot and wheel traffic. Unlike concrete ramps that can become slippery with gasoline runoff, Bar Grating allows the passage of liquids, detergents, chemicals and debris.
In addition to the advanced ramp design, Medlin has long sought out new methods to save their customers time and money.
One of these methods was expanding the company’s presence throughout the United States. To reduce shipping costs for East Coast customers, Medlin Ramps decided to add new locations in North Carolina and Tennessee.
A New Mexico facility, opened this year, will also help Medlin elevate customer service through increased manufacturing capacity. With the New Mexico location, more ramps can be built at a time, and the company will be able to serve more customers at a quicker rate.
Recently, Mark realized there was another way they could help customers get more value out of their ramps. Not only will the company buy back used yard ramps that aren’t needed anymore, but they also introduced a ramp renting program.
For Mark and the Medlin team, it’s all about being the best partners they can be. Relying on innovation, teamwork, and—most importantly—inspiration from their customers, Medlin Ramps looks forward to providing solutions that make hard work a little easier.