Truck and Van Lift Gate Operational Safety Tips

two men evaluate truck door and lift gate

The lift gate, a platform installed from the rear or side of the van or truck, is used to facilitate lifting or lowering of cargo from the truck. This mechanical device works using a hydraulic system, making the process of raising and lowering it fast and easy.

Like most other parts and systems installed in your commercial van or truck, the lift gate requires correct installation and alignment for proper operation. It is equally important to select the proper type of hydraulic truck lift gate so it will perform its intended purpose with a long service life and at peak performance at all times. Consider the lift gate’s compatibility with your truck or van’s applications. Decide on the size and weight of the platform, and see about using cart stops.

Challenges

Lift gates are designed to solve problems on lifting and lowering cargo, but it can be quite a challenge to operate it under specific circumstances involving the cargo, the weather, slope of pavement, or the operator. Finding the right type of lift gate with high-quality parts and components is critical to ensuring that it performs and lasts as expected.

Some of the most pressing and common issues with lift gate systems include:

  • motor problems
  • platform does not raise or lower or does either very slowly
  • latch pin is bent
  • hydraulic oil leaks
  • roller wheel easily breaks
  • control switch malfunction

Regular wear and tear, and structural damage from improper operation techniques can cause these problems and result in downtime. In such cases, have your lift gate inspected and serviced by a certified truck lift gate mechanic.

Safety Tips

Lift gate usage should help make things easier for you to load or unload cargo from your truck. It is a must to use it properly and with care to avoid accidents that could be fatal. Here things to remember to ensure a safe and proper lift gate operation:

  • Remember that the lift gate is designed to lift cargo, not people.
  • Stay at a safe distance from the exposed shear points when using the lift gate. Do not get between the platform and the cargo box threshold or the truck bed and the platform.
  • Double-check for a slippery platform caused by snow, rain, and other substances.
  • When not in use, stow the lift gate properly in the receiver saddles or with the safety hook/latch.
  • Fold the lift gate up securely before driving.

It is advised that, in case of a problematic or damaged lift gate, that you call a professional van lift gate mechanic to diagnose and repair it. Do not attempt to fix the hydraulic system unless you have obtained proper knowledge and training.

For all your lift gate repair, parts, and service needs, contact Truck-N-Trailer today!