A commercial truck goes a long way in meeting the logistic demands you and your company face. The increased hauling capacity a heavy-duty work truck provides allows you to work both harder and safer, as long as you have the right truck accessories for the job.
One important component to consider installing on your commercial truck is a liftgate. Camco Wheel & Axle is well-aware of the benefits that the right liftgate can bring by both simplifying and speeding up every day loading.
But, as always, installing the wrong liftgate will not only fail to help you with your daily workload, it will also cost you both time and money to replace or remove and fix any damage to your truck. Consider the following before you decide on a new liftgate.
This is, by far, the most important number to get right when choosing a liftgate for your commercial truck. If a liftgate is installed at the wrong height, it can quickly become a nightmare for you and your team.
There are two separate heights to consider before installation:
- The laden height is the height of your truck bed while it is carrying the maximum amount of weight it can haul. Under the strain of a full load, the rear suspension of your truck will be lowered, dropping the height by a few inches.
- The unladen height is the measurement you’ll get when your truck is carrying no cargo and has no weight bringing it down
A liftgate chosen with both of these heights in mind will make loading and unloading a much more efficient task, regardless of how much you are carrying.
There are two ways that you can power a liftgate that is installed on your commercial truck – with the truck’s battery or with an additional battery. Deciding which is best for your operation requires a keen understanding of your daily schedule.
The key factor in determining whether you will need an extra battery for your liftgate is the number of places your truck has to be at during any given workday.
If you and your team are only making a few stops/deliveries a day, then the battery you have should be more than enough. But, anyone with a regular customer base who rely on you daily, should opt for the separate battery.
These are installed on the undercarriage of a truck and are only used to operate the liftgate you decide on.
What you haul should factor into your installation choice as well, specifically the weight of what you move from location to location.
There are three classes of load weight: light, medium, and heavy-duty. There is a platform size and weight that corresponds to each, so knowing the weight of your typical load is critical.
Other equipment and materials that are involved in the loading and unloading processes, like pallet jacks, should also be accounted for when determining the weight of cargo.
The platforms on liftgates come in both aluminum and steel and picking one over the other comes down to two basic considerations.
The first is durability. An aluminum platform will be more resistant to corrosion than steel and allow you to lift additional weight. At the same time, they will lower the overall cost of fuel for your trucks.
The only downside to aluminum platforms is that they will cost more than steel, and you have to decide whether the increased capacity they offer is enough to offset the price difference.
Steel platforms may not last as long, meaning a quicker turnaround on replacing your liftgate, but they are still a solid option if aluminum is not within your budget.
No matter what kind of commercial truck you use, there is a liftgate that fits it and the work you use it for. Picking the right one requires some planning but doesn’t have to be a headache.