The Benefits of Tail Lifts and Using a Professional Tail Lift Service for Repairs
You may have heard the term ‘tail lift’ but not be completely aware of what they actually are. Essentially, this is a mechanical device permanently fitted to the back of a van or lorry, which is used for the purpose to facilitate the materials handling of goods from ground level to the level of the load bed of the vehicle or the other way round. Plenty of tail lifts are hydraulic or pneumatic in operation, however, they can also be mechanical, and are controlled by an operator using an electric relay switch. The usage of a tail lift can obviate the need to use machinery such as a forklift truck in order to load heavy items onto a vehicle or can be utilised to bridge the difference in height between a loading dock and the vehicle load bed. Tail lifts come available for many sizes of vehicle, from standard vans to articulated lorries and can benefit your business in lots of ways.
A broken or damaged tail-lift is certainly not a great thing for anyone; such faults certainly can’t be ignored but they can be prevented. Here in this blog, we talk you through the many benefits of a tail lift service, as well as some of the safety precautions you need to take in order to use a tail lift efficiently.
Tail-lifts are perfect for lorry operators who are moving goods in and out of their vehicles professionally. Nonetheless, the consequences of not maintaining one efficiently, or delaying repairs on a broken unit, can cause freight operators far more damage than a logistical headache.
With loads of vehicles being used every single day for all kinds of businesses, the opportunity for making your transport business run more smoothly is as real as ever and can be a reality for you with the purchase of tali lifts. However, if you do not use a tali lift safely there is the potential for devastating effects on the victims, this can also impact heavily on the operator’s management, in terms of fines and even jail.
There are plenty of advantages of tail lifts. Generally, a tail lift is meant to endure a very heavy load of items with masses as much as 2500kg. There are two various types of tail lifts out there today that are obtainable to operators of van’s, lorries and trucks.
What is a tail lift?
A tail lift is a mechanically-operated platform mounted to the end of a vehicle. The platform is raised or lowered so it is either level with the body of the vehicle or the ground. With this in mind, awkward or bigger items can be unloaded easily without the risk of injury or incident.
What kinds of tail lift are there?
Column lifts are better suited to smaller vehicles with limited ground clearance. The platform is rear-mounted via an H-frame and runs vertically across the body of the vehicle. The lift itself is chain linked to a hydraulic power pack, while the exterior platform can be manually opened and closed.
Cantilever lifts are chassis mounted and fold upwards to form part of the rear. They are mainly used for large loads unsuited to smaller column lifts. While the operational cycle time is quite slow, cantilever lifts are fully hydraulic. So, they have bigger lifting capabilities than column lifts.
Tuckaway lifts are also chassis mounted with a foldable split platform. Unlike a column lift or cantilever, this does not restrict access to the rear as it requires lesser storage space. As well as this, as the lift is mounted beneath the rear, it is not likely to get damaged. However, they do require more ground clearance.
Parallel Arm lifts support lower lifting capacities and are often installed on pickup trucks and service truck bodies. The parallel “arms” attach to the sides of the lifting platform and guide the platform out and away from the liftgate mainframe. Parallel Arm designs can either feature two hydraulic cylinders applying force directly to the lifting platform or a singular hydraulic cylinder using some version of a cable-pulley system.
Railgate lifts are similar to Column Lifts in their design but overall support lower lifting capacities. Railgate lifts get their name from the “outrails” which install directly to the vehicle body and serve as the guides for the liftgate platform. Platforms on tailgates are bigger than those of parallel arm lifts and, like column lifts, fix at a 90° angle from the outrails and lift vertically.
Slider Lift designs, like tuckunders, are work by folding and storing directly underneath the vehicle bed. Moreover, slider designs feature lifting platforms that “slide” out from underneath the vehicle bed (instead of lowering and unfolding). Slider lift designs support some of the highest lifting capacities of any type of hydraulic lift.
Health and safety
Taking all of this into consideration, health and safety is crucial. Fall off a tail-lift and you could end up badly injured. That’s why manufacturers willingly supply safety rails – however, they are not always deployed by the driver, particularly if they have to be put in place manually.
The answer is to specify rails that deploy automatically when the platform is lowered down into place. a column lift, for example, is often available with automatic folding rails mounted on the left- and right-hand side lifts runners, and permanently attached to the platform.
Also consider that construction sites will not permit vehicles to unload using a tail-lift if it isn’t fitted with safety gates, warns Saint. It is not just a matter of time before they become mandatory in all industries that they are used.
If you are an employer or a self-employed person that provides lifting equipment for use at work, or if you have control of the use of lifting equipment (such as a delivery driver) then you are legally responsible for the tail-lift under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER).
Inspections must take place at a frequency of no more than every six months, and it is a legal requirement that you have the current report of this examination for the tail-lift that is fitted in place to the vehicle.
Transcare – Quality tail lift and tail lift repair services
At Transcare, our highly skilled and experienced technicians can offer repair and maintenance services for the majority of tail lift brands. Based in Derbyshire, we are proud to be a UK authorised tail lift service agent for DEL Cargotec. From LOLER Inspections to weight testing and double-deck service, our team offers all of the appropriate services to ensure that your hydraulic loading equipment is always in top condition. No matter where your vehicles are in the UK, our mobile testing service ensures that they meet the weight testing and certification at all times.
It’s essential that your vehicle hydraulic loading equipment is safe to use at all times. At Transcare, our professional and highly trained team provide specialist double deck and tail lift services in Derby. We deal with all major makes and models and are dedicated to ensuring that your hydraulic loading equipment is safe for use.
If you own and manage a fleet or run a logistics company, you’ll understand the vital importance of working with a trustworthy fleet maintenance provider that can help you ensure you always remain compliant with regulation as well as competitive. Here at Transcare 28 Ltd, we’re experts in this field and provide our clients with a comprehensive fleet service including truck repair and truck diagnostics. You can depend on us for your trailer, commercial vehicle and truck maintenance and repair in Derby, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. To find out more about the services we provide or about what we can do for you, please visit our website or get in touch with us, we’d be delighted to help!