Truck Lift Gate Repair, Installation, and Maintenance Tips

liftgate

In a 2003 report of the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are a total of 1.3 million injuries and illnesses in private industries, in which workers need to recover from away from work. One of the top three occupations with the greatest number of injuries and illnesses is laborers and material movers.

Lift gates are commonly an overlooked component on box trucks. More than providing convenience to companies without shipping docks or access to forklifts, lift gates promote the safety of workers facilitating the loading and unloading of cargo.

Some other advantages you get from installing truck lift gate are as follows:

  • The speed and safety of loading operations will increase.
  • The overall efficiency of the fleet will also increase.
  • The trucks will have more flexibility when loading and unloading at dock and ground levels.
  • The possibility of worker injury due to heavy lifting will be reduced.
  • Cargo damages will decrease with proper loading/unloading procedures.

When Do Trucks Need Lift gate Repair?

Like with any vehicle component, the lift gate is subject to wear and tear. But with proper maintenance the lift gate should perform reliably for a long service life.

Typically, you will know if there is something wrong with your lift gate, but to be fully aware of the symptoms, here are some common lift gate issues:

  • The motors are not working.
  • There are leaks from hydraulic cylinders or hoses.
  • The platform does not open/close properly.
  • The operation is too slow.
  • Platform sagging even with smaller or lighter loads.
  • It has jerky and unstable movement when operating the lift.
  • Platforms are gradually drifting down when raised.

Common Mechanical Failures for Broken Lift Gates

The lift gate mechanisms include both hydraulic and electrical parts, and each component needs to function together. And if the lift gate platform is broken, the following could be the culprit:

  • There could be a short circuit in the electrical components.
  • The pressure valves or cylinders might be malfunctioning.
  • The motor solenoids are not functioning.
  • The hydraulic struts are bent or corroded.
  • The hydraulic hoses are poorly installed, damaged, or leaking.

What Are the Benefits of a Quality Service Provider for Lift gate Repair?

Ideally, lift gates should last for a long time, but they are usually taken for granted because of their typically reliable performance. Even though lift gates are for heavy use, this machinery should still receive regular maintenance and repair service.

Below are some of the reasons why your truck lift gate needs a quality lift gate repair service provider:

  • Installing a lift gate is an expensive investment, and it’s not wise to have an amateur repair technician to fix the mechanical problem of your lift gate. It would be best to hire a provider with experience maintaining lift gates.
  • The lift gate is installed on the rear structure of the truck, and a poorly installed lift gate could pose a problem once the lift gate is in operation. Mis-alignment during installation will result in premature wear or failure of vital components.
  • And most importantly, using a dependable lift gate repair service provider ensures your lift gate will operate as it was intended.

Installing a Truck Lift gate

A lift gate installation on a truck is a valuable investment for the workers and the company itself. The U.S Department of Labor is aware of the injuries a worker could get from lifting heavy materials. That’s why they advise companies to use mechanical equipment aids such as forklifts and lift gates to minimize the hazard.

When choosing a lift gate, several component choices should be considered to maximize its benefits, such as the following:

  • Hydraulic vs. Mechanical. The lift capacity should be determined when choosing the type of mechanism of a lift gate. For this category, you can select either hydraulic or mechanical. Hydraulic lift gates are robust, adaptable to uneven surfaces, and a good choice for heavy cargo. On the other hand, mechanical lift gates are typically designed for lighter cargo and typically cost less hydraulically operated lift gates.
  • When choosing a lift gate, the platform should properly accommodate the freight or cargo size and weight expected to be loaded and unloaded on/off the truck. You can ask professionals for expert suggestions.
  • Steel vs. Aluminum. Steel platforms are economical but may be prone to rust. Aluminum works well and is less weight to open and close than steel; however, it is more expensive.
  • Gate type. Rail Gate or Tuck under Lift gate. The tuck under lift gate is stored conveniently under the truck. A Rail gate is attached to the back of the cargo box and covers up a portion of the rear door when not in use.

Practical Maintenance Tips for Your Truck Lift Gate

Without a doubt, lift gates should have repair service from a professional mechanic.  These simple maintenance steps can prolong the lifespan of your truck lift gate.

These practical steps help keep your lift gate working properly:

  • Each lift gate manufacturer has its own recommendations and guidelines. Follow these for the maintenance and inspection of your truck lift gate.
  • You should conduct preventive maintenance intervals based on the manufacturer’s advice. The idea is to detect the small issues before they become a larger problem and lead to other parts failing due to improper maintenance.
  • Keeping a maintenance record is a good practice since it lets you quickly detect any recurring problems. You can use this record to serve as a reference for future lift gate repair.
  • Workers using the lift gate must know the importance of proper usage and be trained as well to operate the lift gate.
  • It is an excellent idea to let your lift gate operators have a mandatory daily visual inspection before using the lift gate out in the field.
  • Advise your staff to report any sudden failure or any noticeable truck lift gate issues.

For your entire truck repair, maintenance, and service needs, contact Truck-N-Trailer Service. Call us at (405) 912-5800 today!