January 8, 2023

What Is A Lift Gate?

Are you running an eCommerce business that often ships heavy packages? If so, you likely understand the importance of ensuring your customers receive their orders safely and promptly. Investing in delivery efficiency tools like lift gates can be beneficial to ensure successful deliveries are completed. But what exactly is a lift gate? In this blog post, we'll break down everything you need to know about lift gates and why they should be considered for all shipments of bulky or heavy items!

What Is A Lift Gate, And What Are Its Uses?

A liftgate is a hydraulic device that raises and lowers goods from a truck or trailer to the ground. They are often found on trucks that deliver heavy or oversized objects, making it much easier for the person unloading the car to do so.

Lift gates come in various shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same primary purpose. If you've ever had to unload a truck, you know how helpful these devices can be. With a lift gate, it can be easier to move large or heavy objects around.

It is also essential to know the examples of uses of a lift gate required to improve your shipping decisions. Liftgates are used for uploading, offloading, or translating cargo from trucks without manual effort by workers. They are essential requirements in cases where you need appropriate facilities for loading and unloading cargo. Most importantly, liftgates are mandatory for sites that don't have a loading dock. Liftgates could help load or offload items weighing more than 150 pounds without any risks to the safety of items or workers.  

Types of Lift Gates

The following important information would be the different types of lift gates and their uses. You can come across three common variants of lift gates such as cantilever, rail-lift, and tuck-under lift gates. Here is an overview of the specifications of each liftgate variant. 

Tuck-Under Lift Gate

As the name implies, the tuck-under lift gate would remain tucked under the truck's tailgate unless you choose to use it. Standard models of tuck-under liftgates would be level between the ground and the cargo bed, creating a slightly tilted ramp. Tuck-under liftgates are popular for dock-height trucks, which don't need special equipment for loading and offloading cargo.

Cantilever Lift Gate

The Cantilever lift gate for trucks helps keep the cargo level during the loading and offloading process, irrespective of the terrain. Cantilever lift gates come with a large and sturdy platform that can help load from the back or sides. Operators could adjust the tilt of the liftgate conveniently, and there is no need for manual intervention.

Rail Lift Gates

The particular types of lift gates would also draw users' attention toward rail-lift gates. Rail-lift gates could be helpful for individual applications, offering significant value advantages. Rail-lift gates are attached to the tailgate and offer a more robust and stable platform for loading and offloading bulky cargo.  

Related: What Is A Warehouse Mezzanine?

The Benefits Of Using A Lift Gate

The list of critical factors you must consider before choosing a liftgate service provider would only be complete with their benefits. How can a lift gate help you? Various carrier fleets specializing in LTL or less-than-truckload shipments offer lift gate services with the following benefits.

Safety of Workers

Transportation of heavy materials has been one of the prominent reasons for injuries at different types of workplaces. Injuries during loading and unloading cargo from trucks can not only affect employee health but also affect productivity. Liftgates deal with such concerns by providing a reliable solution to load and unload goods. 

Safety of Cargo

Improper handling and loading of cargo could damage items being shipped. Therefore, logistics service providers could have to pay more for the damages. In such cases, a lift gate required for valuable products could save you from incurring unwanted costs.

Efficient Use of Human Resources

The most prominent value advantage of liftgates is the opportunity for optimal use of human resources. Liftgates require a minimal workforce, and you can allocate professionals to work on other tasks. The shipping service delivery crew could achieve high productivity without an additional force.  

How To Choose The Right Lift Gate For Your Needs?

The clarification for "what is a liftgate" and the outline of benefits of liftgate services show its importance for shipping activities. However, it would help if you reflected on some crucial factors before finalizing a liftgate for your requirements.

Compatibility with Truck Specifications

The first thing you should look for in a lift gate would be compatible with your truck's specifications. It would help if you chose a lift gate that matches the design of the rear door. 

The terrain of Docking Site

It is also essential to account for the terrain at the docking site to choose a liftgate service for ensuring optimal stability. For example, cantilever liftgates can offer better stability in uneven terrain.

Weight Capacity and Platform Dimensions

Most importantly, you must also evaluate a lift gate's weight capacity requirements and platform dimensions. It would help if you chose liftgates capable of handling your weight capacity requirements based on the weight of the loading platform, cargo, and containers.      

Lift Gate Installation Tips

The best practices for installing lift gates required in a guide on liftgates could help you avoid unwanted consequences. Liftgates are an essential investment for shipping companies, implying the necessity of important installation tips such as the following. 

  • Always read the instructions provided in the installation manual before installing the liftgate.
  • Only operate the liftgate with prior training.
  • Use suitable safety equipment such as a face shield, protective clothing, and eyeglasses during installation.
  • Check for binding, scraping, or grating noises during installation to fix them before operating the liftgate.
  • Depending on the lifting equipment in hydraulic and electric liftgates, you must keep the working area clean and well-ventilated.


With the right tool in your delivery arsenal, like a lift gate, you can ensure that all deliveries are completed promptly with no risk of any items being damaged in transit. Your customers will remain happy, and your business will continue to run smoothly. It is also important to remember that investing in a lift gate may only sometimes be necessary. Consider the size and weight of your packages when making your decision. Overall, it's good practice for those running an eCommerce business to be aware of the benefits offered by lift gates and other delivery efficiency tools — doing so keeps customers satisfied and maximizes the success of their shipments! If you're interested in learning more about delivery efficiency tools, check out a 3PL management company that specializes in them today! Here at Conveyr, we have the experience and knowledge to help you ship efficiently — contact us now and see why many businesses are choosing us as their go-to 3PL partner. With our help, you'll unlock optimal shipping performance with every order.

Recommended: Do You Have The Best Guard Railings In Your Warehouse?

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