A liftgate is a piece of truck equipment that is installed on the rear of a truck to facilitate the load or unloading process.
With a push of a button, a liftgate's hydraulic lift system provides the truck with the ability to lift the freight from the ground to the height of the of the loading dock and to lower it down to the ground.
Trucks fitted with a liftgate have a steel base attached to the back side of their trailer, near the bumper.
Benefits of using a liftgate
1. Using a liftgate avoids accidents and injuries, which may happen during loading or unloading the freight.
2. Using a liftgate to load or unload freight protects it from too much manipulation.
3. Using a liftgate reduces the amount of staff needed for loading and unloading processes.
4. Using a liftgate bypasses the need for a loading dock.
5. Using a liftgate reduces the need to use a forklift.
Type of liftgates
Here’s an overview of the three most common lift gate types along with some key considerations you’ll want to keep in mind when making your decision on which one to use.
A tuck-under liftgate stays out of your way until you engage it.
It tucks right under the truck allowing the freight to enter the cargo area giving you full access to the cargo doors as there would be no liftgates.
Tuck-under liftgates are very popular, especially for dock-height trucks that may not always need a lift gate for loading and unloading.
A Cantilever liftgate allows to keep the cargo level during the loading and unloading process regardless of the terrain.
A Cantilever liftgate has a very large platform, which allows it to load from the back or sides.
The liftgate operator can adjust the tilt of the platform as necessary.
These types of liftgates are less labor intensive because there is no manual folding or unfolding of the platform.
They usually come with remote controls to power up and down like a draw bridge for convenience.
These lifts come pallet compatible and cart friendly thanks to special design options like cart stop.
Rail-liftgates have their specific applications where they perform best.
When not in use, this type of liftgates lay flat against the rear of the truck's cargo body. But, when engaged, they provide a large and level platform for optimal stability.
The rail-liftgates are ideal for loading and unloading bulky and heavy items on the street.
Its biggest drawback is that when not engaged, it covers the rear doorway.