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Tailgate Lifts – The Differences and Which One is Right For You

Eurocold truck with Cantilever tailgate lift
A Eurocold truck with a Cantilever tail lift

Today, many trucks need a tailgate to load and unload products with ease. Tailgates are platforms added to trucks that help to lift a load on and off a truck. There are three main types of tailgate lifts: cantilevers, tuck-aways and sliders. All three types are designed to take certain weights based on truck size and individual lifting requirements.  

Cantilever Tail Lifts 

Cantilevers are platforms that when not in use sit vertically against the back doors of a truck. They are then lowered until they reach the ground where it can be loaded. The platform then raises and lines up horizontally until it is level with the rear doors, ready for loading into the truck body.  

cantilever tail lift
A cantilever tail lift

Tuck-Away Tail Lifts 

These are a folding platform which (as the name suggests) tuck away under the rear of the truck chassis when not in use. A gear mechanism lowers the lift until there is enough space to unfold the tucked away platform. The platform then raises horizontally until it is level with the rear doors. 

tuck-away tail lift
A tuck-away tail lift

Slider Tail Lifts 

Sliders are similar to tuck-aways as they sit under the truck, but they sit flat rather than tucked away under the rear of the cab/chassis. It is then drawn out horizontally and lowered or raised as needed. 

slider tail lift
A slider tail lift

How They Operate 

All three types of tailgates can be operated with foot and hand controls. They can also be controlled from a central control panel installed next to the tail lift. For safety, two foot controls need to be pressed simultaneously to raise or lower the platform accordingly. A hand control can also be used. It is a remote unit which plugs into the central control panel.  

Safety rails can also be installed on sliding tail gates to ensure a safer platform when riding it. These lower when not used and can be raised when needed. Additionally, all tailgates have safety measures in place that stop them from operating if incorrectly used. A safety by-pass feature is installed to ensure the tail gate is not overloaded. The power pack is also calibrated and adjusted at the installation stage to ensure the correct amount of pressure is sent to the tailgate so that it can operate to its optimum capacity.  

The Right Tailgate 

So which tailgate lift is right for your business? This largely depends on how the truck will be used and what is being transported. Cantilevers are strong, quick and easy to use, however not all docks will accept trucks with them, and there needs to be a two-to-three-meter clearance behind the truck to lower it. The back doors of the truck can also not be opened without lowering the cantilever lift.  

Cantilevers are ideal for those who will not be regularly accessing their load, such as ice transporters. They are also ideal for transport companies with large trucks that need to lift a lot of weight into the truck. 

Tuck-away lifts do not obstruct door access and will not be damaged when reversing into a loading dock. This is because they are stored underneath the truck. They do have a reduced platform depth however, and the platform must be folded and unfolded manually.  

Tuck-aways are the ideal tail lifts for trucks that transport milk, seafood, meat, chicken, dairy, medical needs, florists and those that make multiple drops. 

Slider lifts share similar benefits to a tuck-away lift but boast a longer platform.

Sliders are the ideal lifts for third party logistic companies, and trucks transporting produce and milk.  

At Eurocold, we can help you find the right tailgate lift for your business needs.