9 Types of liftgates used in the transportation industry

9 Types of Liftgates Used in the Transportation Industry

Liftgates are specialized devices installed on the rear of primarily straight trucks and pup trailers, and are used to facility the loading and unloading of freight. Liftgates are often required when pickup or delivery location do not have a dock or have other restriction preventing the truck access. Liftgates make delivering to both skidded and non-skidded freight more feasible in tough to access locations. Different liftgate options offer varying levels of convenience, ease of use, and functionality.

Check out our list of the common types of liftgates below:

  1. Tuck-Under Liftgate: A tuck-under liftgate is mounted under the truck body, and can be stored horizontally when not in use. Tuck-under liftgates are popular because they don’t extend from the rear of the truck when not in use, which can be advantageous in tight spaces or when reversing the vehicle.
  2. Column Liftgate: Column liftgates consist of vertical columns on each side of the rear of the truck. These columns support a platform that is raised and lowered using hydraulic power. Column liftgates are known for their stability and capacity to handle heavier freight.
  3. Cantilever Liftgate: Cantilever liftgates extend outward from the back of the truck before being lowered to the ground. They have a single arm which swings out to provide a loading platform. This type of liftgate is great for situations where you need to reach over the edge of a dock or other obstacles.
  4. Railgate (Rail Liftgate): A railgate features a folding platform that slides out on rails from under the truck. The platform is then lowered to the ground. Railgates are popular due to their versatility and ability to accommodate a variety of loading conditions.
  5. Conventional (Hydraulic) Liftgate: A conventional liftgates have a hinged platform that is raised and lowered using hydraulic power. These liftgates often feature a folding design that allows the platform to be stored vertically when not in use.
  6. Slider Liftgate: Slider liftgates combine the features of both a railgate and a conventional liftgate. It features a folding platform that slides out on rails and then raises or lowers using hydraulic power. This design is useful for adapting to various types of freight and loading requirements.
  7. Cantilever Slider Liftgate: This type of liftgate is a combination of the cantilever and slider designs. It features a cantilevered arm that slides out on rails before lowering the platform. This type of liftgate provides good flexibility and can be used to reach over obstacles. 
  8. Folding Liftgate: Folding liftgates have a platform that folds in multiple sections, allowing for compact storage when it is not being used. These liftgates are often used when the truck has limited space for a traditional liftgate.
  9. Level Ride Liftgate: A level ride liftgate uses a hydraulic system to maintain a constant level when raising and lowering the platform. This ensures that the platform remains parallel to the ground, making it easier to load and unload freight.


In conclusion, the type of liftgate depends on factors such as the size and weight of the cargo being transported, the frequency of loading and unloading, the available space around the vehicle and the specific requirement of operator.

Looking to learn more about transportation? We are always open to answering any questions! Reach out to us today through operations@wood-hall.com or give us a call at 519-213-1000!

-The Team at Wood-Hall Logistics


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