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Liftgates, Straight Trucks, & Residential Shipping


What’s up with Liftgates?

We talk about liftgates a lot here at FreightPros, and so we wanted to provide some serious clarification about what they are, when they’re used, and other bits of information you should know if you’re looking to use liftgates in your LTL.

What is a Liftgate?

It’s a lift on the back of trucks used in LTL shipping that moves the freight on and off the truck. Think of it as a freight elevator.

The majority of LTL shipments have a minimum weight of 100 pounds. You throw in that LTL shipments are commonly packaged on standard sized pallets and you’ve got a heavy and unwieldy bit of freight.

Enter the liftgate. If you don’t have a shipping dock available (where you can load and unload the freight using a forklift or other machinery), you’re going to need help getting freight that large off the back of a carrier truck.

While most shippers have access to a forklift and/or loading dock, there is a large contingent of customers that regularly need liftgates: LTL shipments picking up or delivering to a residence.

There’s a lot to know about residential shipping (download the Residential Freight Paper), but suffice to say, a residential pickup or delivery will ALWAYS require a liftgate.

The good news is that most trucks used in residential shipping already have a liftgate on the back of the truck. We usually call these trucks “box trucks” or “straight trucks.”

The bad news is that, like residential shipping, there will be an additional charge for using a liftgate at both pickup and delivery. Usually the charge is under $50, however each carrier will have their own pricing.

One of the perks of using freight brokers comes with their ability to get special pricing, sometimes FAKs, that cover liftgates or offer discounted liftgate prices. Ask your broker if you use liftgates often.


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