Liftgate Delivery Service: Everything You Need to Know About

If you’re in the market for last-mile delivery, liftgate delivery service is an option you should consider, mainly if you’re shipping items that weigh more than 150 pounds. This kind of truck delivery service lowers bulky items from the truck bed to the ground using a hydraulic device called a liftgate, helping to avoid accidents, property damage, and the need for extra labor.

However, liftgate delivery service does come at a cost. So, you will want to weigh the benefits against the cost to see if it’s the right choice. Additionally, you can consider alternatives to liftgate delivery service, such as a forklift, cargo shipping dock, or pallet jack. To learn more about liftgate delivery service, read on.

What Is a Liftgate?

A liftgate is a metal platform attached to a cargo truck’s back. It makes loading freight easier by using hydraulics. To load cargo, it can extend to the ground. After lifting to truck level, it can then be lowered into the truck. When there isn’t a loading dock connected to the store or warehouse for quicker access to the truck, this is the most accessible approach to load and unload heavy or fragile things. In short, a liftgate transfers cargo from the ground to the truck bed’s level and vice versa.

Liftgate Delivery Service

A liftgate delivery service is a truck delivery service in which the truck is equipped with a mechanical device (called a liftgate) that is used to lower heavy items from the truck bed to the ground.

You need a liftgate delivery service when your freight is too heavy to raise and you don’t have a loading dock or forklift. The carrier determines how much weight is considered too much. Depending on where the service will be offered, the service is referred to either as Liftgate Pickup or Liftgate Delivery Service.

The Necessity of Liftgate Delivery Service

Not all freight deliveries are conducted to receivers with forklifts or shipping docks. Businesses that don’t frequently receive hugely sizable freight shipments won’t usually spend money on the infrastructure required to load and unload the cargo. The same is true for houses and residential buildings. A liftgate delivery service is used when a freight dock or forklift is unavailable at the pickup or delivery location.

In the market for last-mile delivery, the liftgate delivery service is becoming more and more popular, particularly for items weighing more than 150 pounds. A properly configured liftgate can decrease operator fatigue and injuries, shorten recovery periods, and increase productivity.

Prominent Locations Where a Liftgate Delivery Service Is Needed

The following are some typical scenarios where lift gate service would be more crucial than ever:

Residential locations: Most residences require frequent freight delivery but lack trailer or truck docking infrastructure. Without suitable unloading facilities, handling sporadic deliveries of goods will be challenging. Therefore, a liftgate may be necessary if you occasionally pick up or deliver items to your home. These services should be reserved in advance to ensure the smooth completion of the task.

Construction and commercial locations: There are often docking places missing from construction sites. However, there should be the best delivery service possible because building sites require goods continuously till the job is finished. A liftgate delivery service is essential to guarantee that packages are delivered precisely.

Cargo Loading Dock
A Cargo Loading Dock

Benefits of Liftgate Delivery Service

There is no denying that liftgate service offers superior advantages. Among them are:

1. Avoiding Injuries

In many sorts of workplaces, injuries are most frequently caused by lifting heavy objects. Although it won’t damage the workers, it will postpone the actual work, which will have other harmful effects. Most often, these injuries occur when people attempt to lift objects without the correct equipment and technique. A liftgate eliminates this risk by providing a good service.

2. Preventing Damage

Damage may result if the load is not managed appropriately when transporting goods on a typical truck surface. This could result in further costs that are more than the initial outlay. You can find yourself having to pay for both the delivery of the damaged goods and another shipment by paying an additional fee for liftgate service. Liftgate services can help you prevent this, especially if your goods are expensive.

3. No Need for Additional Manpower

Liftgate delivery services will only need a few workers to finish the job. There’s a risk that some workers will be working on other things, and there won’t be someone assigned to do the loading or unloading. With liftgate, the service delivery team will handle the task without additional staff members because they will be compensated for doing so.

The Cost of Liftgate Delivery Service

The rule of thumb is that you will need lift gate services if your shipment load weighs more than 150 pounds and you lack the necessary tools to handle the loading and unloading operation. Freight delivery firms will charge extra for using the service; you must notify them in advance if you need it. Failure to do so could typically result in a billing adjustment that is more expensive than booking a liftgate before placing an order for the service. The majority of freight forwarding businesses around the world adhere to this standard procedure.

Liftgate delivery service fees are under the extra costs required when freight delivery firms execute tasks other than standard pickup and delivery. However, a clear indication that additional services will be used and a reservation for them will ensure that additional, higher-than-usual fees are avoided.

The cost of the liftgate service varies depending on the carrier, the weight of your shipment, and the service location. Most carriers have a minimum and maximum fee and charge every hundred pounds of freight. According to LTL Freight Service Fee Comparison Guide, the cost of the liftgate service can range from 85 to 500 dollars.

Note that if you agree to assign a specific percentage of your shipments to a particular freight company, you might be able to bargain for a discount on liftgate service.

Choosing the Right Freight Carrier for Liftgate Service

If you wish to start an account with a freight carrier and frequently require liftgate service, find out what proportion of its fleet is equipped with a liftgate. If the carrier’s service is poor, you won’t likely be pleased with it.

When liftgate delivery is required and an adequately outfitted truck is unavailable, shipments will sit on a freight terminal’s dock. If there aren’t many vehicles with liftgates, it can take a while before one that can make the delivery gets to the terminal. If the wait takes too long, you might end up with a dissatisfied client.

Similarly, depending on the wrong carrier could result in you having to wait days for liftgate collection.

Liftgate Delivery Service Weight Restrictions

When employing a liftgate delivery service, you must be mindful of the weight of your handling units. The amount of weight these hydraulic lifts can support has a maximum. Some carriers have a single weight restriction, such as 2500 pounds.

Different liftgate-equipped trucks from varied carriers have various weight restrictions. For instance, R+L’s website lists these three:

Liftgate-Equipped TrucksCapacity
C-Trucks2,500 Pounds
Trailers3,000 Pounds
B-Trucks5,000 Pounds
Weight Capacity for Different Liftgate-Equipped Trucks – Source: Eniture Technology

What Happens If the Cargo Weight Exceeds the Liftgate Capacity?

When a carrier must deliver a liftgate, and the weight of the handling unit (such as a palletized or crated shipment) is greater than the liftgate’s weight capacity, the truck driver must disassemble or break down the handling unit. This action will cost you money.

The truck driver will return the shipment to the terminal if the handling unit cannot be disassembled or broken down into smaller weights. You will then be forced to make additional plans, which may include paying to have the shipment brought back to you.

Alternatives to Liftgate Delivery Services

A Forklift Used to Load and Unload Cargo

Since liftgates are substantial, heavy items used in truck deliveries, their weight may significantly increase the overall vehicle weight. This contributes to the slightly higher cost of liftgate delivery service. It makes sense for businesses to avoid paying that expense wherever possible, but this is not a choice that should be hurriedly taken.

Even with oversized freight, you might be able to avoid the added expense of liftgate delivery service if the recipient, or consignee, has access to:

Pallet Jack
A Pallet Jack Used to Load and Unload Cargo

With a committed 3PL/trucking partner, carefully map out your best action plan, as these choices can also rapidly get very expensive.

Wrap Up

A liftgate delivery service is a truck delivery service in which the truck is equipped with a hydraulic device (called a liftgate) that is used to lower heavy items from the truck bed to the ground. This service is becoming more popular, particularly for items weighing more than 150 pounds.

Liftgate delivery service has many benefits, such as avoiding injuries, preventing damage, and no need for additional human resources. However, there is also a cost associated with this service which can range from 85 to 500 dollars.

When choosing a freight carrier for liftgate service, it is essential to consider the weight restrictions and the carrier’s reputation. Additionally, alternatives to liftgate delivery service, such as a forklift, cargo loading dock, or pallet jack, should be considered.


What is a liftgate?

A liftgate is a metal platform attached to a cargo truck’s back to make loading freight easier by using hydraulics.

What is a liftgate delivery service?

Liftgate delivery is a service offered by a carrier. The truck is equipped with a hydraulic liftgate to allow the driver to lower your shipment to the ground, making it easier to unload.

Why do I need a liftgate delivery service?

A liftgate delivery service is the best way to receive your shipment if you do not have a loading dock or forklift available.

How much does a liftgate delivery service cost?

The cost of a liftgate delivery service will vary depending on the size and weight of your shipment. According to LTL Freight Service Fee Comparison Guide, the cost of the liftgate service can range from 85 to 500 dollars.

What are alternatives to liftgate delivery services?

If you have a loading dock or forklift available, you may not need a liftgate delivery service. Otherwise, you may use a hand truck or dolly to move your shipment from the truck to the ground.

What advantages can liftgate delivery services offer for shipping?

Some advantages of liftgate delivery services include preventing injuries, preventing damage, and eliminating the need for additional human resources.

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