Liftgates for the Final Mile

Liftgates for the Final Mile

Unlike the shrink-wrapped pallets of freight you’ll find in most van trailers, last-mile delivery trucks carry everything from packages containing wireless earbuds or camping tents, all the way up to snowblowers and washing machines. If you can buy it online, somebody will have to deliver it.

But how does one de-truck a 400-pound snowblower and get it up a customer’s driveway? A liftgate would be helpful, perhaps one with cart-stops along the edge of the platform to prevent stuff from rolling off. A couple of securement-strap tie-down points might come in handy, too. But for all the safety trappings you can buy, if drivers find them cumbersome and difficult to use, they will just rust away on the back of the truck.

The home-delivery business is driving up demand for liftgates, and manufacturers are rising to the challenge with smaller units that can fit onto more chassis with more options. Liftgate choices will be narrowed by what final-mile truck chassis and body are selected, and which liftgates are designed to fit that application, says Terry Eyink, engineer for Thieman Tailgates, which offers a broad range of products.

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