Loading Up

If someone is around to give me a hand, it’s easy to lift my trike into the truck I use to transport it.  Two people can lift the trike high enough to get it into the cargo area with no trouble, once the rear seats are folded.  (Mine always are.)  If I’m alone, the procedure is a little more complicated, but not by much.  Mostly, it just requires a bit of gear.

First, I drop the handlebars

If I’m loading it myself, I use a ramp (it’s a folding portable wheelchair ramp — lousy picture, but you get the idea)

a giant doorstop

and some padded twist cables

that I loop around the front of the trike to pull it into the truck.

I climb inside the truck, pull the trike up, fold the ramp, close the doors and drive off.  To unload, I just reverse the steps, but I don’t use the doorstop, since it’s easy enough to follow the trike down the ramp.

The process is surprisingly easy, and no more bother than hanging a bicycle on a rack and tying it down.  The ramp slides along the side; a couple of empty cardboard boxes keep both the trike and the ramp from sliding around when the truck is moving.

The truck is an 18-year-old SUV, with a boxy profile — perfect for loading bikes. My “every day” car is a subcompact, and the truck is used only for recreational transport.  It gets driven for well under 5,000 miles a year, but those are very useful miles.

eMoto, the manufacturer of my trike, says they don’t know of a  rack that will carry the trike, although there’s no reason why a wheelchair or scooter lift that fit into a trailer hitch wouldn’t do the job. (Not in wet weather though; the trike isn’t weatherproof.)

Another alternative might be a four-bike rack, providing the weight limit was within  range,  lifting the trike wasn’t an issue, and you could figure out a way to place the trike on the rack.  You’d need a long arm, though, (or, more likely, arms) to make sure you had sufficient clearance for the third wheel.

This one is a Yakima swing-away, meaning you can swing it out of the way, and still open the tailgate.  I have no idea if it would work with the trike, and don’t see weight specs in the description, but it might be worth investigating.  (Apparently the rack weighs 42 pounds, so carrying 65 shouldn’t be much of an issue, if all other requirements were met.)


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