What Is Lift Gate Delivery Service & Do I Need It?

If your business ships products to other businesses or clients via truck, you’ve more than likely heard about lift gate delivery service. As a highly-valuable service, lift gate delivery service involves a truck equipped with an electric or hydraulic piece of equipment that allows it to lift heavy cargo. The cargo can be either lowered from the truck’s bed to the ground or from the ground to the tailgate of the truck. 

At On Track Freight Systems, we offer lift gate delivery services to best meet the unique needs of our clients. And we’re often asked questions about lift gate delivery service as well as the benefits of this value-added solution. 

To provide additional clarity, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) in regards to lift gate delivery. Continue reading to learn more and don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at On Track Freight Systems for all of your logistics and shipping needs. 

What Is A Lift Gate?

A lift gate refers to a foldable metal platform that is mounted on the back of a commercial truck. In countries outside of the U.S., the term “tailgate” may be used instead of liftgate. And in the U.S., “liftgate” and “lift gate” are used interchangeably. No matter the moniker used, the purpose is to extend out from the truck in order to act as an extended platform to raise pallets from the ground up to the bed of the straight truck or trailer and to lower down pallets as well.

Thanks to lift gates, freight carriers can move cargo with a pallet jack from the trailer to the ground with relative ease. When cargo or freight is extremely heavy and cannot be loaded or unloaded by hand, lift gates spare the drivers from having to lift it themselves.

Does My Business Need A Lift Gate Service?

One of the most overlooked services businesses forget when figuring out the cost of their freight orders is whether a lift gate service is required for delivery. Liftgate service may be required whenever you have freight that is either too big or too heavy to lift, and there isn’t a loading dock available. In general, there are two different types of liftgate services:

  1. Liftgate pickup where the liftgate is used to pick up cargo; and 
  2. Liftgate delivery is where the liftgate is used to drop the cargo off at its final destination. 

When you add liftgate service to your shipment, the truck driver will move your cargo on and off the liftgate platform. If it is a delivery, you will also need to move the freight once it’s off the liftgate unless you have added the inside delivery service. 

If I Have A Forklift, Do I Need A Lift Gate?

Lift gates are usually not needed by companies that have a forklift or shipping dock available. With shipping docks, trucks can be backed up to the platform and unloaded since it does not need to be adjusted to the ground first.

Companies with forklifts also don’t regularly need lift gates since the forklift is able to raise and lower pallets from the freight on its own. Most of the time, lift gate services are aimed towards businesses that don’t have a forklift or shipping dock on the origin or receiving end of a shipment. If you are concerned about sending a shipment across the country and not knowing the receiving facilities capabilities, hiring a logistics service can relieve you of the extra headache in figuring everything out.

Do Residential Deliveries Need A Lift Gate Service?

The short answer is yes. On average, most homes are not equipped for the unloading of trailers or straight trucks. Trouble is not far behind when large shipments cannot be handled by USPS, UPS or FedEx, yet need to be dropped off at a residence; such as furniture or homebuilding materials. If a business is not able to directly load and unload large shipments on its own, an outside delivery service with a lift gate can be the solution your clients need. 

What Else Makes Lift Gate Services So Special?

Although there are some items that can technically be loaded and unloaded with sufficient manpower, why create the extra burden when a lift gate can make the whole process smoother? To put it simply, there are a number of benefits to using lift gate delivery, including:

  • Helps prevent injuries to employees, 
  • Protect products from being damaged, and
  • Can lead to savings due to requiring less overall manpower for deliveries.

How Much Does Lift Gate Delivery Service Cost?

For the most part, virtually all freight carriers will levy an additional charge for lift gate delivery service. The amount charged for lift gate delivery service can depend on a number of factors, including where the service is provided, the weight of the shipment, as well as the carrier. Reach out to On Track Freight Systems today to receive a free quote on our lift gate delivery service. 

Contact On Track Freight Systems

At On Track Freight Systems, we can accommodate all of the above. If you need assistance coming to a conclusion, a rate quote inquiry can give you an idea of how much it will cost to get your orders from point A to point B.