If you've decided to use a less-than-truckload (LTL) delivery service, then it's worth checking if companies use trucks with liftgates. While you want to partner with a company that has good price rates and efficient delivery times, extra features such as liftgates can streamline the process for you.
How do liftgates work? What are the benefits of using them?
What Are Liftgates?
Liftgates sit at the back of trucks. They are a type of platform lift
When a driver wants to load a truck, they open up its gate at ground level. They load items onto the gate's platform and raise it to the level of the truck body. They then move the items into the truck. The process is reversed when they want to unload things and deliver them.
Why Use an LTL Service With Liftgates?
Not all LTL services use trucks with liftgates. They rely on their drivers and customers being able to get items onto and off their vehicles.
While this might not be a problem if you have forklifts on-site or if you have a loading dock, pick-ups and deliveries can be more complex and time-consuming if you don't have access to either of these options. You'll have to find a way to get things to the height of a truck body.
If you have to load or unload a lot of orders, then it will take you more time to get them on or off the truck. While your delivery driver might help, you'll still need some people on site every time you have a pick-up or delivery.
While you can order a forklift to make this job easier, this purchase increases your costs. If you only need a forklift for this job, then it might not be an efficient investment.
However, manually unloading a truck can be problematic. People might hurt themselves if they have to lift heavy items on and off a high truck bed. If someone accidentally drops something, then it could get damaged.
Plus, you have to think about what happens when your orders get to your customers. If they don't have a forklift or loading bay access, then they will also need to spend time unloading their orders. You don't want to make your customers do extra work here.
If you use an LTL service whose trucks have liftgates, then you simplify the process. Your drivers load your orders from the ground. They deliver them to the ground.
So, you get faster pick-up and drop-off times. You won't need to invest in extra machinery, and you won't have to worry about people lifting heavy items. The safe passage from the truck to the ground also reduces incidents of accidental damage.
To get started, contact LTL companies and ask if they offer liftgate delivery services.