Regardless of your industry, you likely rely on transportation services in some way. Whether shipping out your product, moving products between warehouses or accepting shipments from suppliers, transportation services make moving cargo throughout the supply chain possible. Transportation companies use several types of equipment, machinery, vehicles and methods to safely and efficiently transport cargo and goods. One option for scheduling pick-ups and deliveries is a liftgate service. Liftgate services are a popular option for several industries that may lack certain capabilities.
Learn more about liftgate services, when to use them and how they benefit your company.
What Is a Liftgate?
A liftgate, sometimes called a tail lift, is a motorized platform that can be raised and lowered at the back of a truck to make loading and unloading easier. For example, liftgates can lift a heavy load from the ground to the truck bed with minimal manpower. Liftgates are most commonly powered by hydraulics, though they can also be electric. They’re typically controlled with a simple up-down switch.
Box or delivery trucks can be specially equipped with a liftgate to provide this capability. Not all trucks are equipped with a liftgate, which is why it’s an extra service you can pay for when scheduling transportation services. The cost of liftgate services depends on the transportation company, the cargo and if there are any additional loading or unloading requirements.
When to Use Liftgate Services
How do you know if liftgate services are something you should add when scheduling your pickup or delivery? Liftgate services are typically required for deliveries at locations without the capability to load or unload the cargo. For example, many warehouses that send and receive numerous daily shipments are generally well-equipped to load and unload trucks and trailers, so they wouldn’t need liftgate services.
However, liftgates are commonly needed where freight or cargo can’t be lifted to the height of the trailer or from the trailer to the ground.
Lack of Loading Dock
Loading docks allow delivery trucks or trailers to back right up to the dock so it’s level with the tailgate, allowing cargo to be loaded or unloaded easily. Some locations or facilities don’t have loading docks or shipping bays, which makes loading and unloading heavy shipments or freight items significantly more difficult or impossible in some cases. A liftgate is often the safest way to load and unload shipments without a loading dock.
The goods can be raised or lowered and then moved using a forklift, hand truck or dolly.
Construction site deliveries often need to be made with liftgate trucks because these sites also lack loading docks. Many of the materials being delivered to these sites are heavy and bulky, making the cargo unsafe to unload by hand. Liftgate services enable construction materials to be delivered directly to sites without a docking area. Pallets of materials can easily be lowered to the ground and moved around the construction site with a forklift or other machine.
Residential or Commercial Deliveries
Most residential and many commercial buildings require liftgate deliveries. These types of properties typically lack the accommodations for a trailer dock, so the only way to make residential or commercial deliveries is with a liftgate truck. For example, if your company is shipping a large shipment, but you don’t have a loading dock, you could request liftgate services from your transportation company. Then they can safely load your shipment without docking.
Liftgate trucks are commonly used for large residential deliveries. For example, if someone purchases a large piece of furniture or an appliance and has it delivered, it will likely be delivered in a liftgate truck so it can be safely lowered to the ground.
Benefits of Adding Liftgate Services
Liftgate services provide a solution for making pick-ups and deliveries possible without loading docks and shipping bays. Liftgate services are essential for many shipping and delivery needs. Here are a few reasons why adding liftgate services can be beneficial:
Avoid Damaged Cargo
While transportation companies aim for safe deliveries, cargo can easily get damaged during transportation and delivery without the right equipment or expertise. For example, if you’re trying to unload a heavy or bulky item by hand, there’s an increased risk of it being dropped out of the truck and damaged. Damaged cargo can be costly to replace, plus you’d be paying twice for shipping. Liftgates are the best way to load and unload cargo to avoid damaged cargo and unnecessary extra costs.
Like using a liftgate to prevent cargo damage, they also help prevent injuries when handling cargo. Liftgates make loading and unloading significantly safer than doing the heavy-lifting. Trying to move large, bulky or heavy cargo by hand creates a risk of back injury, strained muscles, fractures and other serious injuries. Rather than struggle to load or unload a shipment, transportation companies use liftgates to prevent workplace injuries.
The loading and unloading processes can be time-consuming without adequate help. The process requires manpower and time to complete safely and effectively. Depending on the location or situation, people may not always be around to help with these processes. For example, some warehouses lack the staff to have designated employees for loading and unloading shipments. Luckily, liftgates make handling the processes more efficient for the delivery crew.
Rather than waiting for a facility’s staff to come unload a truck, transportation companies can use a liftgate to drop off their load and be on their way. This helps trucking companies maintain efficiency, deliver your shipments on time and keep your supply chain moving.
Easily Ship LTL
Liftgates are especially beneficial when transporting less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. LTLs often include shipments from multiple companies that may be going to multiple locations. As such, the entire truckload typically won’t be unloaded all at once. Liftgates make it easy for partial loads to be unloaded quickly at each stop. They also keep shipments moving throughout the supply chain rather than getting held up at facilities waiting for other cargo to be unloaded.
Trust EMO Trans for Your Transportation and Logistics Needs
When partnering with a transportation and logistics company, you need a partner that offers effective shipping options that meet your company’s needs. At Emo Trans, we offer various comprehensive global transportation services and prioritize customized transportation to ensure your goods and cargo are effectively shipped. From coordinated supply chain management and warehouse control to air and ocean transportation services, we offer the services you need to keep your products moving through the supply chain.
Explore our transportation and logistics services or request a customized quote to find out how we can help you manage your company’s logistics.