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What Is a Liftgate?

What Is a Liftgate?

A liftgate is a platform/deck installed on the rear of a truck or semi-trailer which enables freight to be lifted from the ground to the height of the truck’s tailgate, or from the tailgate to the ground. The standard liftgate utilizes hydraulic pressure to force a piston through a cylinder which raises and lowers the gate. It is typically powered electrically, and controlled via a switch box with a simple “up” and “down” function.

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Why Use a Liftgate?

Any business without a loading dock or a lifting forklift will require liftgate service for their shipments. Common users of liftgates services are establishments that take delivery from a variety of wholesalers and distributors. You will oftentimes see them at department stores and other retail establishments.

Retail home furnishing deliveries will often require a liftgate since the majority of recipients are residential.

Limited Access Areas

A limited access location is any destination that restricts trucks from entering an area. These areas will probably NOT have loading docks, by design. Therefore, a liftgate will probably be needed for any deliveries. Limited access areas include any place that:

  • Is not open to the general walk-in public during regular business hours.
  • Does not have shippers available to assist with the pickup or delivery.
  • Does not have access to a loading dock or platform.
  • Requires a smaller truck for pickup or delivery.
  • Sites that have a gate or guard.

Some examples of limited access locations are airports, construction sites, churches, government facilities, farms, hotels/ motels, hospitals, schools, mini-storage facilities, nursing homes, prisons, and other such locations. Limited access locations that have not been specified as such at the booking of the shipment may be designated as limited access by the driver. This will result in a billing adjustment. To avoid the adjustment after the fact, select the Limited Access accessorial charge when booking the shipment.

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Liftgate Safety

If you need a liftgate delivery for your shipment, stand clear of the platform.

  • Exceeding weight limits | Overloading a liftgate can break it.
  • Distribute weight evenly | Make sure loads are across the entire deck of the liftgate evenly before using. Unevenly loading before its rise can cause the load to topple over.
  • Pre-operation check | Ensure inspection before use to avoid injury or freight damage.
    • Make sure the switch for the liftgate is working properly and performs each function.
    • Check the platform for damage or warping.
    • Inspect the lift arms and pivot points
    • Maintain fluid levels by checking for leaks or loss of fluid in the hydraulics.

In cases where a liftgate is needed, freight is at risk of falling while taking it off of the truck. Therefore, responsible use of a liftgate is mandatory to limit the risk of damage and injury.

Going The Extra Mile For You

When booking a shipment with FreightCenter, the cost will increase if a liftgate is necessary, since it requires more time in the schedule to load and unload the freight. You can help save time by packaging freight correctly to ensure faster loading and unloading. .

Ship With FreightCenter

FreightCenter matches shippers with the freight carrier who is best equipped to handle their shipment. We find the best carrier for your needs to move your cargo at the best available rate. Since 1998, we’ve been happily booking shipments both within the U.S. and around the world. We help shippers avoid the time-consuming process of finding the best carrier for their freight shipping needs, at the best available rate. Our free freight quote tool provides shippers with instant access to freight rates from dozens of top freight carriers. You will be able to compare all rates available and get the best one possible for your shipment.

Get a free instant freight quote online or call us at 8007167608.

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