The Do’s and Don’ts of Liftgates

The Do’s and Don’ts of Liftgates

Liftgates play a crucial role in the loading and unloading of goods. They make the job of loading and unloading a truck quite easy when compared to the physical exertion put in by drivers and dock workers. Trying to lift the goods manually often results in health issues later on including back and muscle pain, cuts and bruises, lacerations, and even fatal accidents in worst cases.

Let’s not forget using liftgates comes with a number of strict instructions in order to prevent injury as well. Let’s go through some pointers of “do’s” and “don’ts” pertaining how to properly use a liftgate on a straight truck or trailer.


  1. Clearly calculate the weight capacity of the trailer’s liftgate. Overloading the liftgate can seriously damage it.
  2. Make sure all loads are distributed evenly on the surface of the liftgate platform.
  3. Close and store the liftgate platform before driving off (go through the owner’s manual for specs and details).
  4. Periodically check for leaks and if found, address them immediately.


  1. As stated above, NEVER exceed the load capacity of the liftgate.
  2. Leave any part of the load hang freely over the edge of the platform.
  3. Continue to use a liftgate that makes unusual noises, such as grinding or whining.
  4. Rely on a gate which displays glaring damages such as cracked welds, missing parts, etc.
  5. Walk or stay beneath an elevated platform.
  6. Repair the liftgate yourself, without the proper knowledge to do so.

The very last item in the “Never” list is important to consider. Any repairs should be done by qualified technicians rather than handling the job as DIY. Nudging a gate inappropriately or lying beneath a raised one can prove to be extremely dangerous. With any kind of damage, pump/motor issues, or even the replacement of a worn-out pin or solenoid, a liftgate repair specialist should be consulted to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

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