What Is Liftgate Delivery Service & Why Would I Need It?

Liftgate delivery service is an economical means for LTL (less-than-truckload) shippers to onload, offload or transload  heavy or bulky items while limiting the risk of damage to those goods and injury to workers.liftgate delivery services

As a longtime 3PL which also provides warehousing and trucking services, we’re committed to getting our clients’ shipments to their destination on time. But it’s going to be of little consolation to them or their customers if it doesn’t arrive intact. Liftgate delivery service helps ensure that.

It’s a fairly common add-on when you work with mid-to-large trucking/delivery services, but not everyone understands why it’s so important – and why contracting with a 3PL trucking company that knows how to properly spec all the weight requirements is imperative.

What Exactly Is Liftgate Delivery Service? 

Liftgate delivery service involves a truck affixed with a piece of hydraulic or electric equipment that is installed on the back of a truck, enabling freight to be lifted several feet from off the ground to the tailgate of the truck, or lowered from the truck’s tailgate to the ground.
The standard for most liftgates is controlled with a simple “up” or “down on a switch box, which raises and lowers the inclined lift to the height where freight will be uploaded, offloaded or transloaded. When workers don’t have to physically lift these items themselves, the risk of injury and product damage are significantly reduced. Some liftgate systems can even withstand thousands of pounds of weight!

Cleveland liftgate delivery service is increasingly valued in the final mile delivery market, especially for goods over 150 pounds. A properly-spec’d liftgate can help slash operator injuries and fatigue, reduce injury times and improve productivity.

The wrong liftgate, however, is gonna cause worlds of trouble. An established Cleveland trucking company with experts who can advise not only whether a liftgate is necessary for the job but also want kind – that’s invalauble. If you under-spec a liftgate, it could result in damage to the freight or serious injuries to those moving it. If a driver or warehousing workers realize the liftgate has been under-spec’d when they get to the site, it could cause major delays and bottlenecks if there aren’t enough workers immediately available to help load or unload.

This arises more in LTL shipping contracts because there are likely to be several different types of goods being delivered on the same truck, all with varying liftgate requirements.

Are There Alternatives to Liftgate Delivery Services?

Liftgates are heavy, sizable pieces of trucking delivery equipment, they may add a fair amount to the gross vehicle weight. That’s part of the reason Cleveland liftgate delivery service costs a little more. It’s understandable companies would want to avoid that cost if possible, but it’s not a decision that should be made flippantly.

You may be able to avoid the extra cost of liftgate delivery service – even with heavy freight – if the consignee (party receiving the shipment) has access too:

  • A shipping dock;
  • Fork lift;
  • Pallet jack

These options too can get expensive quickly, so it’s necessary to carefully chart your best course of action with a dedicated 3PL/trucking partner.

If you have questions about Cleveland trucking and liftgate delivery services, contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or sending us an email.

Additional Resources:

Fleets Target Opportunities in Growing Final-Mile Sector, July 13, 2018, Transport Topic

More Blog Entries:

Are Your Cleveland Trucking Solutions Adaptable? Check With Our 3PL, May 12, 2019, Cleveland Trucking Liftgate Delivery Services Blog

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