You need to understand your application and how it affects liftgate specs for your truck or trailer. Photo: Anthony Liftgates
As liftgates become a more commonplace feature in today’s final mile delivery market, it’s essential that fleets spec the right liftgate from the get-go. For while the right liftgate can reduce operator fatigue and injuries, shorten delivery times and improve productivity, the wrong liftgate can open the door to a host of new problems.
With that in mind, what are the top considerations for fleet managers as they spec liftgates for the trucks in their fleet?
1. Start and end with the liftgate application
What is it that you want a liftgate to achieve? What cargo will you be handling? What are the dimensions of the cargo (length, width and height)? How heavy is it? The type of liftgate will vary greatly by what you’re delivering – there is a vast difference in size between a pallet of groceries and a refrigerator.
“If you deliver 2,000 pounds, and occasionally 3,500 pounds plus the weight of the driver, you don’t need a liftgate with a 6,000-pound capacity,” explains Kurt Walker, director of sales and marketing at Anthony Liftgates. But, he adds, do not forget to factor in the weight of the equipment used to move the product. A pallet jack, dolly or cart might increase capacity weights by anywhere from 100 to 1,000 pounds.
Anton Griessner, vice president of marketing and business development at Maxon Lift, provides a sample estimation to help fleet managers calculating weight:
Driver Weight: 250 pounds
Pallet Weight: 50 pounds
Pallet Jack Weight: 200 pounds
= 500 pounds (before product weight is added in)
It is also necessary to consider how the cargo will be secured. “Does it need to be secured with cart stops as you drive it out? Does the platform need to be horizontal all