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Lift Gate Service

Lift Gate Service

Explore the vital role of lift gates in trucking, enhancing loading/unloading efficiency. FreightCenter offers lift gate services, crucial for businesses of all sizes.

Have you ever observed a forklift gracefully maneuvering around a towering delivery truck, struggling to unload large equipment? This is where lift gates come into play. FreightCenter offers lift gate services with many carriers to meet our client’s shipping and delivery needs. This article delves into the realm of lift gates, examining their vital role in trucking and their significance for businesses of all sizes and types. 

Whether delivering heavy machinery or transporting delicate medical equipment, we will explore why lift gates are a highly valuable service. If you have more questions, call us, and we’d be happy to assist. 

What is a lift gate?

A hydraulic-powered platform, a lift gate, is affixed to the back of a truck or trailer. Its purpose is to streamline the process of loading and unloading goods, especially in situations where conventional dock facilities are not accessible or feasible.


Types of Lift Gates

  • Tuck Under Lift Gates
    • Compact and space-efficient.
    • It is ideal for urban deliveries with limited space.
  • Rail-type Lift Gates
    • Employ a rail mechanism for smooth vertical movement.
    • Suited for handling heavy and bulky items.
  • Cantilever Lift Gates
    • Keeps cargo level regardless of the terrain.
    • Extend horizontally, providing additional reach.
    • Commonly used for versatile loading/unloading scenarios.


Do I need a Lift gate?

They are required when either the pickup or delivery location does not have a way to lift or lower freight from the truck to the ground and vice versa. 

Location as no loading dock- A building with no loading dock or shipping bay will be unable to load/unload a standard 53ft trailer unless a forklift is available. 

Cargo weighing over 100Ibs each will need a lift gate. There could be safety issues for the driver and customers if you try to unload something heavy by hand. 

Residential and Home Deliveries – One thing for sure is most homes do not have a dock or forklift available to move freight around. Freight shipments are typically over 100 pounds and were not shipped via parcel services for that reason.

Unless it’s an apartment building with a dock, a home-based business with a warehouse on the property, or a farm, a lift gate typically will be needed.  

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Who operates the lift gate?

The driver will always be responsible for operating the liftgate, including taking the freight from inside the truck and onto the lift gate when delivering.  

How much does lift gate service cost?

The price to use lift gate will vary from carrier to carrier. An average service charge is $50-$150. Call us and let us know if you need a lift gate. We work with many different carriers and can find the least expensive option for you. 

Is a lift gate necessary if I already have a forklift?

In our experience, companies or individuals with a forklift or shipping dock typically do not need lift gates. The semi-truck backs up to the dock and is level with the truck. Companies with forklifts can raise and lower the cargo in and out of the semi-truck. 

There will always be special situations. Like when a full-size 53-foot trailer cannot access a company’s dock, and no forklift is on site. Then, the truck will need to have a lift gate. Some freight carriers in certain locations only have 53-foot trailers and won’t be able to send a smaller truck to access the dock. 

How Lift Gates Work

A. Mechanism and Functionality

Lift gates work by using hydraulic systems, which rely on fluid pressure to move the platform up and down. This clever mechanism enables accurate control and flexibility when accommodating different cargo sizes and weights.

B. Hydraulic Systems and Technology

Modern lift gates are fitted with state-of-the-art hydraulic technologies, providing improved dependability, effectiveness, and safety characteristics. These mechanisms frequently incorporate sensors and controls to ensure optimal functionality.

C. Safety Features and Regulations

Safety is extremely important when it comes to lift gate operations. Manufacturers follow strict safety standards and regulations set by organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They incorporate features like anti-skid surfaces and automatic stop mechanisms to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

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What are the dimensions of a lift gate?

Lift gates can range in size. Here are lift gate sizes from some top carriers.  

AAA Cooper – 45″x48″x60″

ABF Freight – 80″x60″x60″

Averitt Express – 80″x60″x60″

Estes Express – 84″x48″x60″

Old Dominion – 72″x48″x60″

R+L Carriers – 60″48″60″

Roadrunner – 76″x48″x60″

SAIA – 72″x48″x60″

TForce Freight – 80″x60″x60″

XPO – 80″x60″60″

*This information must be verified and is subject to change as terminals frequently change/update their equipment. Give us a call to assist. 

How Much Weight Can A Lift Gate Hold?

It depends on the type of lift gate the carrier has attached to their truck. It can range anywhere from 1500 Ibs to 3500 Ibs.

Here is how much weight some top carriers’ lift gates can hold.

AAA Cooper – 2,000 Ibs
ABF Freight – 2,000 Ibs
Averitt Express – 3,000 Ibs
Estes Express – 1,500 Ibs
Old Dominion – 1,000 Ibs
R+L Carriers – 2,000 Ibs
Roadrunner – 2,000 Ibs
SAIA – 2,000 Ibs
TForce Freight – 2,500 Ibs
XPO – 2,500 Ibs

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This information must be verified and is subject to change as terminals frequently change/update their equipment. Give us a call to assist.

Industries That Utilize Lift Gate Services

Lift gate services are now essential in many industries, providing flexible and effective solutions for loading and unloading. Let’s look closer at how lift gates are used in specific sectors.


Retail and Delivery Services

In the super competitive world of retail, where getting deliveries quickly and dependably is important, lift gate services are a big deal. All kinds of retailers, from little mom-and-pop shops to big chains, use lift gates to make unloading goods at their stores easier and more efficient.


Efficient Inventory Management:

    • Retailers often receive shipments with varying sizes and weights. Lift gates facilitate the efficient handling of diverse cargo, enhancing inventory management processes.


Urban Deliveries

Lift gates offer a convenient answer in crowded city areas where there might be a need for more regular loading docks.

Tuckaway lift gates are widely favored for their ability to save space, making them a top choice when maneuvering through narrow areas during deliveries.


E-commerce and Parcel Delivery

In the era of e-commerce dominance, where the last mile of delivery is critical, lift gates have become instrumental in the delivery ecosystem.


Last-Mile Efficiency

Lift gates enable delivery trucks to efficiently manage the unloading of numerous large commodities during the final delivery.

With their extended reach, Cantilever lift gates contribute to seamless last-mile operations.



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Medical and Healthcare Logistics

In medical and healthcare logistics, where accuracy and safety are critical, lift gates are used to move essential supplies.


Medical Equipment Handling:

    • The healthcare sector often deals with heavy and delicate medical equipment. Lift gates with advanced hydraulic systems provide the necessary stability and control during unloading.


Heavy Equipment and Machinery Transportation

Heavy machinery and equipment industries experience significant advantages from liftgate services, which simplify the complex task of loading and unloading heavy loads.


Construction and Manufacturing

    • Liftgates are integral for transporting heavy machinery in construction and manufacturing.
    • Rail-type liftgates, capable of handling substantial weight, are commonly employed for these applications.


Efficient Loading and Unloading:

    • Liftgates provide a fundamental level of control when handling heavy equipment. This control is essential in ensuring the unloading process goes smoothly and efficiently, reducing the chances of any damage occurring.


Liftgate services are truly changing the game in logistics for various industries. They are adaptable and dependable, always coming up with customized solutions to meet specific requirements. As technology progresses, we can look forward to even more improvements in lift gate systems, making the transportation of goods even more efficient.

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LTL Freight Shipping

Need to ship smaller loads without paying for a full truck? That's where Less Than Truckload (LTL) comes in! FreightCenter connects you with a vast network of carriers offering cost-effective LTL solutions for all your shipping needs.

Partial Truckload (PTL)

Got cargo between LTL and full truckload needs? FreightCenter's Partial Truckload (PTL) is your perfect match! Ideal for shipments too big for Less-Than-Truckload but not quite filling a full truck, PTL offers cost savings through shared trailer space. Yet, you still benefit from a dedicated truck, meaning faster delivery and lower damage risk. Think win-win!

Full Truckload (FTL)

Need to move big cargo fast and secure? Our Full Truckload (FTL) services offer dedicated trailers, minimizing handling and maximizing speed and safety. Whether your shipment is oversized, high-value, or requires special equipment, we customize FTL to fit your unique needs. Plus, enjoy competitive rates that won't break the bank.


Forget the international shipping maze! FreightCenter guides your business smoothly across borders, handling paperwork, and freight forwarding with trusted partners. Enjoy competitive rates, personalized solutions for every shipment, and the peace of mind that comes with expert care. Don't let borders limit your reach – partner with FreightCenter and unlock the world!

Air Cargo

If you need to ship something quickly across the world, FreightCenter's Air Cargo can help. We work with many airlines to find affordable options for you, and our team ensures your shipment gets where it needs to go without any problems. Trust us for fast and affordable air shipping.

Container or Ocean Freight Services

Are you looking to ship goods overseas? FreightCenter's Ocean Freight service is an affordable option for you. We have partners with cargo ships that provide real-time tracking, flexible choices, and expert teams that care for everything. Refrain from settling for unreliable or costly services - rely on FreightCenter's Ocean Freight to sail around the world safely and confidently.


At FreightCenter, we provide fast shipping options to ensure urgent shipments reach their destination quickly. Our team of logistics experts work hard to find the best solution for your needs, whether that's air freight, exclusive truck transport, or other services. You can trust us to deliver your shipment reliably and efficiently every time.


FreightCenter's Temperature-Controlled Shipping ensures your perishables, pharmaceuticals, or chemicals travel in perfect condition, regardless of the distance. We have a wide range of temperature-controlled options that match your specific needs. Our dedicated team monitors and adjusts temperatures meticulously, ensuring your products arrive fresh and potent—Trust FreightCenter's Temperature-Controlled Shipping to keep your cargo safe and sound every step of the way.


FreightCenter's Heavy Haul is your go-to logistics provider for oversized cargo. Our expert team, specialized trailers, and custom solutions ensure your massive shipment arrives safely and efficiently. Contact us today to conquer your biggest shipping hurdles!


FreightCenter suggests using rail transportation as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method for shipping over long distances. This mode of transportation is ideal for moving large quantities and applies to intermodal shipping. Our team of experts can evaluate whether rail transportation suits your specific shipment needs and will guide you throughout the process. You can count on FreightCenter to help you find the most efficient and affordable transportation solution that meets the unique requirements of your business.


FreightCenter's White Glove service is a specialized transportation option for meticulously handling high-value, delicate, or oversized items. Our trained professionals specialize in preparing, loading, transporting, and unloading your items. Opting for our White Glove service guarantees that your items receive the highest level of attention and detail, ensuring a safe and secure delivery process.


Specialized transportation is used for goods that can't be transported by usual methods, like those that are too big, too heavy, or have an unusual shape. FreightCenter offers customized solutions for specialized transportation that cater to the unique needs of our customers, including oversized, overweight, or irregularly shaped cargo, hazardous materials, high-value goods, or items that require specialized handling.

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Benefits of Using Lift Gate Services

Increased Efficiency in Loading and Unloading:

  • Reduced Time and Manpower: Liftgates significantly reduce the time required for loading and unloading heavy or bulky cargo. Traditional methods, often involving forklifts, manual labor, and ramps, can be slow and labor-intensive. Liftgates eliminate the need for additional equipment and personnel, streamlining the process and saving valuable time.
  • Improved Safety: Manual handling of heavy cargo poses significant safety risks, including potential injuries to workers and damage to goods. Liftgates eliminate these risks by providing a safe and controlled platform for loading and unloading, enhancing workplace safety and reducing liability concerns.
  • Enhanced Accessibility: Liftgates enable loading and unloading at locations without dedicated loading docks or ramps. This expands delivery options and accessibility, particularly for businesses operating in urban areas or with limited infrastructure.
  • Reduced Product Damage: Traditional methods can damage products due to jostling, dropping, or improper handling. Liftgates provide a stable and controlled environment for cargo movement, minimizing the risk of damage and ensuring goods arrive in pristine condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a lift gate?

A. A liftgate is a hydraulic platform attached to the back of a truck, facilitating the transfer of goods between the truck and ground level. It is particularly useful when a loading dock is unavailable, ensuring easy and safe loading and unloading of cargo.

Q. What is the average lift gate size?

A. The average lift gate size can vary depending on the truck’s intended use. A common size for LTL carriers is 80″x60″x60″.

Q. How much weight can a lift gate hold?

A. The weight capacity of a lift gate can vary depending on the specific model and type of lift gate. The standard range for LTL carriers is 1,000 – 3000 pounds. 

Q. What is the average lift gate charge?

A. The average lift gate charge typically ranges from 50 to 150 dollars. The cost varies based on the carrier.

Q. What does common carrier with liftgate mean?

A. Lift gate is a service option that a common carrier can provide at the origin and destination. The truck has a motorized platform that can raise or lower your freight. 

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