Truck Lift Gates-What is Best?

By July 7, 2013Trucks

Getting the right lift gate for your truck fleet is essential. The proper lift gate reduces fatigue and injury risks. It also shortens delivery times and increases productivity.

Here are 10 factors to consider when you’re in the market for a truck lift-gate:

  1. What Type and Size of Vehicle
    Of course this depends on if it’s a van, pickup truck or straight truck.
  2. What is the Body Spec
    Determine if the liftgate is for a dry van body, truck, etc. The vehicle’s body width impacts the liftgate’s overall width and available platform sizes.
  3. What is the Bed Height
    Before  spec’ing your liftgate, calculate how much your fully loaded truck weighs vs. unloaded. You need to make sure you spec the bed height correctly with the truck ‘squatted down’.
  4.  How Will the Product be Transported onto the Liftgate
    Here, you’ll need to consider if the product will require a dolly, pallet jack or cart. Does the driver need to ride with the cargo on the platform?
  5. Standard or Level-Ride Platform
    A level ride platform might be preferrable because it stays level at each stage of raising and lowering. Check into different liftgate operation switches, some are wireless and some are handheld.
  6. What is the Required Platform Weight Capacity
    Take into consideration the weight of the pallet, pallet jack and driver(s). This can add 500-600 extra pounds to your required weight capacity.
  7. What is the Platform size
    It’s important to buy based on your cargo size and not your budget. If a smaller platform is present, workers may not use it correctly, resulting in damage or injury.
  8. What is the Lift Gate’s Expected Duty Cycle
    Do your trucks need a liftgate once or twice a week? Then you’ll probably want a liftgate that tucks under, so as to not block the back of the truck. Since liftgates typically get charged from the truck’s battery, factor in how many stops you typically have in a day and ensure you have enough battery power.
  9. Where will the Truck be Operated
    Cold weather and/or hilly terrain needs to be considered in order to purchase the correct liftgate.
  10. Steel or Aluminum Platform
    It’s been determined that aluminum has a 10-15% weight advantage over steel, however, consider your particular truck when considering which to go with.

Proper Liftgate For Your Truck

It’s important to conduct your own research to understand the liftgate features you need for each of your trucks or vans. More information on truck liftgates can be found at the Work Truck website.

Author Truck-N-Trailer

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