Adding a lift gate to the back of your truck can make loading and unloading of any cargo faster and easier for you overall. It can also add to your own safety or the safety of workers; you'll need to rely less on your own physical strength when hauling cargo and in turn, you reduce your risk of injury when you use a lift gate. When choosing a lift gate for your truck, you want to ensure you get the right one for your cargo and your truck. Note a few factors that many truck owners often overlook when choosing a new lift gate so you don't make the same mistakes.
1. Width and strength
The wider the lift gate, the more it may cost, but often truck owners choose a size based on standard cargo and nothing else. Note how your cargo is often loaded and unloaded when choosing a width and strength for your gate. If your cargo is loaded by a heavy-duty dolly and if the driver or more than worker will stay with the cargo as it's on the gate, you need something wide enough and strong enough to accommodate. A pallet jack will need more room and strength than a small metal dolly, and if the cargo requires two workers to keep it steady, you'll need a wider and stronger gate than one used to simply move boxes up and down.
You also don't want to risk spilling your cargo from an undersized gate. If you're loading a standard four-foot-by-four-foot pallet, you don't want a three-foot gate. If your cargo hangs over the edge, it's more likely to spill or fall off the gate. The cost of replacing damaged goods can be much steeper than the investment of a larger gate.
2. Tilt versus sliding gates
Gates will either tilt up into position behind the rear door of the truck, or slide down and be stored under the truck when not in use. If you don't need to use the gate with each delivery or pickup, you may want one that slides under the truck so you don't need to open and close it with each delivery. This will make deliveries easier and your gate suffers less unnecessary wear and tear. However, many truck owners forget to consider deliveries on uneven terrain. If you often deliver to residential homes, a sloped driveway can get in the way of a gate that slides out and into position. A tilting gate may simply rest on the slope and be a better choice for these types of terrains.
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