Snowmobile in short bed truck
Guide and Tips

How to Load a Snowmobile in Short Bed Truck

Can a snowmobile fit in a short-bed truck? Everyone is looking for the answer to this question because everybody wants to carry his or her snowmobile in their truck bed. Don’t worry we’ve covered all the important factors and considerations in this post.

Typically, an average-sized snowmobile can fit in the bed of most trucks, although certain parts of the snowmobile may extend beyond the truck’s back. By utilizing flags and straps, accommodating a full-sized snowmobile in the truck bed is usually not an issue.

While planning to transport snowmobiles with a truck, you should remember that each truck has various weights and dimensions of loads that they can accommodate. Kindly read on to see the dimensions and weights of snowmobiles that different kinds of trucks can accommodate.

Snowmobile in Short Bed Truck | What to Consider

Sometimes you will need to transport your snowmobile across places where there is no snow or ice and if you own a truck, you need to verify whether your snowmobile will fit in it.

1. Measure your Snowmobile

To determine the length of a snowmobile, measure the distance from its frontmost point to the rearmost point while the skis and tracks are in their operational positions. With a tape measure, you can easily measure the snowmobile’s length on your own.

  • If you measure a kid-sized snowmobile, you’ll obtain a value between 72 – 73 inches.
  • A youth-sized snowmobile has a value between 84 – 85 inches.
  • A full-sized snowmobile, which is the average, has a value between 115 – 130 inches.

While the length of a snowmobile is crucial for determining if it will fit in a truck, considering its width will help determine if there is space to accommodate other items alongside it in the truck bed. The width of modern snowmobiles has values between 36 – 50 inches.

2. Calculate your Snowmobile’s Weight

Before discussing the average weight of snowmobiles, it’s important to understand the two types of weights they have: dry weight and wet weight. The dry weight refers to the snowmobile’s weight without fuel, oils, and other fluids, while the wet weight includes these fluids.

For our measurements, we will only consider the dry weight. Snowmobiles typically range in weight from 408 to 600 pounds, but we have determined that the average weight of a snowmobile is 490 pounds.

Will Your Snowmobile Fit in the Short Bed Truck?

Short-bed trucks are typically around 77 inches long, although some may be slightly longer. Considering this length, it becomes apparent that a short-bed truck is not suitable for transporting a full-sized snowmobile. However, it can safely accommodate kid-sized snowmobiles, which typically range in length from 72 to 73 inches.

Short bed trucks can safely accommodate the youth-sized snowmobiles as well since their length range between 84 and 85 inches.

When placing snowmobiles in a truck bed, it is vital to securely fasten them using sturdy cords. The intention of this fastening is to prevent the snowmobile from falling while the truck is in action.

Some examples of snowmobile models that will fit in a short-bed truck

Arctic Cat ZR 12073
Arctic Cat ZR 20084

How to Load Snowmobile in Short Bed Truck

Here’s a video of someone loading a full-length snowmobile into a short-bed truck to show you even though it’s technically possible, it really doesn’t fit well.

How to Load a Snowmobile in a Truck

There are multiple methods to load a snowmobile onto a truck. One of the most convenient ways is to utilize a dedicated snowmobile ramp designed for this purpose.

In case you do not have a ramp or prefer not to purchase one, you can still load a snowmobile onto a truck. However, this process becomes slightly more complex, and you will require assistance from a few friends.

In the following section, I will guide you through each method I have personally used.

These three methods will successfully load your sled into a pickup truck. Along with tie-downs or rope, you’ll need a ramp or friends to assist you.

Use a Ramp ( First Method )

A ramp is the easiest way to load a snowmobile. They can be somewhat expensive, but I recommend purchasing one if you need to load up often. 

1. Attach ramp to tailgate/bed of the truck

Snowmobile ramps are available in various styles, but they are all designed to attach to your truck’s bed or tailgate. To use a ramp, unload and unfold it if necessary, then position the truck side end on top of the bed or tailgate.

Some ramps feature clamps that tighten down to secure the tailgate, while others have straps that can be tied to loops or hooks in the bed. Many ramps offer both clamps and straps. Alternatively, specific models can be directly connected to the bed and slide out.

Before proceeding, ensure that everything is tightly secured and properly tied to guarantee safety.

2. Line up the snowmobile with a ramp

You want to make sure that your snowmobile skis and track are directly centered with the ramp before driving up into the bed.

You can drive the snowmobile around and take a wide approach to straighten out if you are in the snow. Or, you might need to lift the rear end of the machine to align it properly.

3. Drive the snowmobile up the ramp and into the truck bed

With the snowmobile properly aligned, apply an even throttle to drive it up into the back of the truck. Avoid giving too much gas, but ensure there is enough power to ascend the ramp.

It may take a few tries to get the hang of it, so aim for steady throttle control while loading the snowmobile onto the truck.

4. Tie down and secure the sled

After loading the snowmobile into the truck bed, it is crucial to secure it to prevent any movement during transportation. Even if the tailgate is closed, properly tying down the snowmobile is essential to avoid any potential damage to both the truck and the sled.

Use Human Power ( Second Method )

Another method involves relying on physical strength to lift the snowmobile into the back of the truck. Ideally, three people would be perfect for this method to ensure the safe and secure lifting of the snowmobile.

1. Position your sled near the tailgate

Similar to how you position the snowmobile when driving up a ramp, you want to get it straight and center with the truck bed. You can drive it on snow or lift/slide it into position.

2. Lift the front end onto the tailgate 

For this step, it is recommended to have one person inside the truck bed and two others positioned to lift each ski. The two individuals on the ground will lift the front end of the snowmobile until the person in the truck can securely grip it.

Once the skis are resting on the bed, the person inside the truck stabilizes the sled while the other two individuals move toward the back to complete the lifting process.

3. Lift the rear end and slide into the truck bed

Next, the individuals on the ground should lift the rear end of the snowmobile and push it toward the truck. Simultaneously, the person inside the truck can pull the snowmobile.

By combining these efforts, the snowmobile will smoothly slide into position in the back of the truck.

4. Tie down and secure the sled

Same process and idea here as with any other method. Fasten the snowmobile securely into the truck bed before driving. 

Use a Snow Ramp ( Third Method )

The third method entails utilizing an existing or constructing a snow ramp to load a snowmobile into a truck bed. If you happen to be at a popular location, there may already be a ramp available, simplifying and enhancing the effectiveness of this method.

1. Position the truck in line with the ramp

In contrast to the previous two steps, the focus here is on aligning the truck bed with the ramp, rather than centering the snowmobile with the truck. Typically, I prefer to reverse the truck directly towards the ramp, ensuring that the truck bed is in contact with the snow or ground.

2. Drive the snowmobile up the ramp and into the truck bed

The process is straightforward: drive the snowmobile up and over the ramp, guiding it into the truck bed. It is important to maintain steady throttle control and avoid going too fast or too slow.

Excessive acceleration can cause the snowmobile to slide forcefully into the back of the bed. Thus, maintaining a controlled speed is essential for a successful and safe loading process.

3. Tie down and secure the sled

Use ratchet straps, rope, or any other type of solid cordage to secure the snowmobile into the back of the truck. 


While loading a snowmobile without a truck ramp is technically possible, I highly recommend investing in one, especially if you frequently need to transport your sled. Using a ramp is the simplest method and allows for independent loading without the need for assistance.


Quick Technique:

1. Use an appropriate ramp for your snowmobile. Not all ramps are created equal.
2. Attach your snowmobile ramp to your truck. …
3. Align your snowmobile with the ramp. …
4. Ride your snowmobile up and into your pickup bed.

Fit in or not:

Whether a snowmobile will fit in the bed of a truck depends on the size of the snowmobile and the size of the truck bed

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