With the move to rear-load bulk trailers versus traditional side-loaders, liftgates have been playing a much more prominent role in beverage distribution fleets. A number of leading liftgate suppliers offer a variety of solutions ideal for the day-to-day demands of beverage distribution.



The Railift Series from Maxon features a variety of design configurations designed to meet a range of needs within delivery fleets. The Railift DMD is a medium-duty fully hydraulic lift with a twin-cylinder design, which eliminates the maintenance costs associated with other cabin or cable-equipped liftgates, the company says. It also features a pump-and-motor assembly housed within the liftgate’s main structural enclosure, as well as fully sealed switches and harnesses to protect them against possible corrosion. It’s also factory pre-filled with a multi-temperature viscosity oil that ensures optimal liftgate operation, even in extreme weather conditions. The DMD also sports recessed lights, a license plate holder and an all-aluminum platform.



Palfinger offers a range of lift capacities for its ILD direct lifts, from 3,500 to 6,000 pounds, available in either a painted or galvanized finish. Its platform size is one of the largest on the market, at 84 inches by 80 inches with a 16-inch aluminum retention ramp, according to Gene Ayres, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing. The configuration enables center load on the platform, allowing for driver safety when moving loads up and down. The company’s products use standardized dimensions and a common parts design concept across the entire Palfinger liftgate line, with easier maintenance and repairs in mind. The liftgates also include heavy-duty, hardened and corrosion-protected pins with low-maintenance greaseable bushings.

There’s also a driver-selected Power Down On-Demand, which gives drivers the option to use gravity on the descent to save on battery usage if not needed.

Another key area for liftgate innovation has been in the company’s solid state, telematics-ready electronics controls with built-in diagnostics designed to immediately identify potential electrical problems, thereby greatly reducing troubleshooting times, the company says. All are internally protected from electrical shorts.



Anthony Liftgates Magnum Railtrac (MRT) Series, available in capacities of 3,500 to 6,500 pounds, offer a centralized hydralics system (CHS), where sensitive components are housed safely inside the stainless steel pump box, with ground-level access to solenoids for safer service. The hydraulic pistons are retracted when the gate is stowed to protect from pitting that causes leaks. The MRT liftgates feature a low-profile design with dock-friendly, 10.5-inch-deep rails with no bumpers or light boxes protruding beyond the rails.

The patent-pending retention ramp design on the MRT Series has no moving parts, springs or chains, lowering the hassle factor, the company says. Additionally, standard features include pressure-compensated flow valves designed for constant controlled speeds at all times; heavy-duty toggles that are potted to permanently separate and seal electrical connections from corrosion; and self-venting cylinders that allow air to be easily purged from the hydraulic system for smooth, level operation, the company says. Anthony’s signature warranty covers three years of mechanical and three years of electrical and hydraulic, parts and labor. There’s a 10-year structural corrosion warranty on galvanized and stainless components.



At the Work Truck Show in March, Dhollandia North America showcased four of its models, including the DH RM 20 Fold-Away Gate, DH RP12 and DH SM30, as well as its liftgate designed specifically for vans, the DH LSP 0.7. Belgium-based Dhollandia plans to have an even greater presence in the U.S. market, as construction of its new, $30 million facility in Gaston County, N.C., continues, with completion expected this fall. The 160,000-square foot site will house manufacturing operations for the company’s hydraulic liftgates.


Purkeys Battery Charging Solutions

A liftgate is useless if its battery isn’t properly charged, and Purkeys offers solutions to help ensure that such a scenario rarely comes to pass. The company offers the Purkeys Direct and Purkeys Select single- and multiple-source charging systems that automatically regulate and maximize the available battery charge time to fully charge liftgate batteries. When batteries are fully charged, they last longer and run more efficiently, helping fleet managers ensure that they’re not replacing their batteries multiple times a year, the company says. The single-source systems connect to a single charging source — such as a dual- or single-pole stinger cord or seven-way auxiliary cord — and use it to fully charge the liftgate batteries. The multiple-source systems automatically detect the best available charge source and use it to fully charge the batteries. The system continues to charge for a time even after the tractor engine shuts off. The Purkeys solutions combine the entire charging system in a single, space-saving nosebox. BI