A Guide to Walk-in Cooler and Freezer Exterior Ramps

Adding ramps to your walk-in cooler or freezer – whether interior or exterior – is a helpful, and sometimes necessary, feature. Whether you are in food service, flower arranging, or pharmaceuticals, you likely need to carry heavy loads in and out of your walk-in. With a ramp, you can load up a cart or hand truck with your product and roll it over the threshold with ease. In some cases, however, you might not need a ramp, and in others, the municipal policy requires it. Use our guide to determine if you need an exterior ramp for your walk-in. 

Does Your Cooler or Freezer Need an Exterior Ramp?

Not all walk-in coolers or freezers need a ramp! In fact, first asking the question “does my walk-in cooler need a floor?” will get you started on your inquiries about ramps.

Flooring Options

With Arctic Walk-Ins, several flooring options let you truly customize your cooler or freezer for your project requirements. All floors use the same polyurethane foam insulation that’s in the walls. So no matter which one you choose, it will keep your product cool!

Type of FloorLoad RatingDescription
Economy600 lbs/ft2Smooth aluminum covers 4” insulation, suitable for foot traffic.
Standard1200 lbs/ft2Base metal choices of aluminum, stainless steel, and aluminum diamond treadplate cover 7/16” OSB wood over insulation. Suitable for light rolling racks, hand trucks, and light carts.
Heavy Duty1500 lbs/ft2Base metal choices with optional additional overlay metals over ¾” plywood. Suitable for hand trucks and medium carts.
Pallet Jack2600 lbs/ft2Base metal choices with optional additional overlay metals over ¾” plywood and load-bearing structural reinforcements. Suitable for keg carts and pallet jacks. 

When Ramps Make a Difference

If you don’t need an insulated prefab floor or a load-bearing floor for your project or your walk-in will handle only foot traffic then a ramp is probably unnecessary. If you do need a floor included in your cooler or set up, then there will be a height difference between the floor of the cooler and the floor of the room. In fact, cooler floor panels range between 2”-5⅜” in thickness. Adding a ramp will make it easy to access the box and to roll carts or hand trucks in and out of your walk-in. 

Even if you don’t use rolling carts, certain municipalities require ramps to be added to walk-ins with step-up floors as a safety precaution. Before you set up your cooler or freezer, check with local codes to see if a ramp addition is a requirement.

Overall, if you add a floor to your walk-in, you should consider adding a ramp for ease of access.


About Ramps

A good ramp for your walk-in will hold up at least to the same load-bearing standards as the floor you chose. Secondly, it should approach the height of the walk-in floor at a gentle angle. That means that the length of the ramp may depend on the height of the floor. Thicker floors will need longer ramps. Arctic takes the sturdiness of  its walk-ins ramps seriously. Each ramp is built around a ½ inch plywood base attached to cross wood supports.. Topped with either 16 gauge stainless steel or aluminum diamond treadplate, the ramps mirror the construction of the coolers themselves. Interior ramps are recessed on the floor panel at the door entrance and exterior ones are self-standing detached from the floor panel.

As you design and order your Arctic walk-in, reach out to your sales associate for any questions about ramps and other possible add-ons.