Within the variety of liftgate styles, each is meant to improve truck loading and unloading, especially when the shipping or receiving location does not have a loading dock, making manual loading and unloading necessary. Liftgates can increase delivery speed, particularly with heavy cargo.
Liftgates also can help minimize product damage because cargo delivered with the help of a liftgate is subject to less harm from dropping or mishandling. Additionally, liftgates are able to enhance workplace safety related to personnel back and lifting injuries.
For a liftgate to provide the lowest cost of operation, it must be specified correctly. Having the appropriate type of liftgate for the intended application is essential to the liftgate’s performance and safe operation. The liftgate also must be well-maintained. Keeping a liftgate in good operating condition also decreases the risk for malfunction, helping prevent worker injuries, loss of time and loss of products.
One of the foremost considerations in determining the appropriate liftgate is how much weight and square footage is transferred on a daily basis on the vehicle, liftgate manufacturers say. This information is needed to determine the liftgate’s platform size and hauling capacity. Overloading a liftgate can be a potential safety hazard, and it could affect the liftgate’s performance over time.
Additionally, rust is an unavoidable reality with liftgates, according to liftgate manufacturers. Not only does rust on a liftgate have the potential to degrade the overall appearance of a liftgate, it could create problems in its operation as time passes. Therefore, depending on operating conditions, it might be worthwhile to consider additional corrosion and rust inhibitor exterior coatings.
Other important considerations are vehicle size; overall body width; where the liftgate will be mounted; and type of doors: overhead, rollup or swinging, the manufacturers say.
Beverage-makers also must consider the following questions:
Liftgates come in a range of models and load-carrying capacities. Common types of liftgates include the following:
Lengthening product life
Drivers must understand and strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s suggested use of liftgates. Doing so maximizes the longevity and efficiency of any liftgate. Typically, the majority of problems occur when operators are not using the liftgate in the proper manner.
Another essential element to maximizing liftgate life and efficiency is to maintain oil and fluid levels in hydraulic pumps. The system’s hydraulic fluid is responsible for transference of power, perhaps the most critical aspect of a hydraulic liftgate. By maintaining the proper fluid level in the hydraulic reservoir, consistent function of the liftgate is ensured.
It also is imperative to clean and lubricate liftgates according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedules. When done properly, this minimizes minor issues with liftgate operation. BI
Five essential liftgate preventive maintenance steps
Preventive maintenance for liftgates starts with drivers. They need to be instructed that as part of their daily pre- and post-trip vehicle inspections, they should check the liftgate to make sure it is in safe and proper working order.
Regardless of the type of liftgate, officials at Anthony Liftgates recommend five essential steps that drivers should take:
1. Operate the liftgate.
2. Check the entire liftgate for damage.
3. Check all pivot points and fasteners.
4. Check for any hydraulic leaks.
5. Check to make sure all safety and warning decals are in place. BI