What's new in: Liftgates

Corrosion protection among concerns

A liftgate can make life easier for drivers and shippers alike. Whether you need a liftgate for a Class 8, a straight truck or a delivery van, there are plenty of options available.

Concern over corrosion due to highway deicers and other roadway chemicals remains a key issue for customers of liftgate manufacturers. Anthony Liftgates recently replaced its powder coat finishing system in favor of the metal polymerization corrosion protection process from PRP Industries.

“PRP MP corrosion protection is a proprietary process that results in a molecular bond between a co-polymer [finish] and the base metal [similar to the process that takes place when metal products are galvanized],” says Mike Bilinski, Northeast U.S. regional sales manager for Anthony. “PRP Industries has successfully been providing and testing this process in real-world conditions over the past 20 years. The results are a molecularly bonded anti-corrosion treatment that protects against magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, rock chipping, acid rain, extreme conditions, and ‘rust creeping’ should surface scratches occur.”

All of Anthony Liftgates’ products feature lifetime warranty on the bushings, steel pump, motor enclosures and heat-treated components.

At Thieman Tailgates, customers are not only focused on corrosion and rust prevention, but are also looking for a number of other features. Level ride platforms, larger platform sizes, foot-activated cart stops, in-cab shut-off switch, and LED light options are among their requests, says sales coordinator Doug Greves.

Greves says the company’s focus on improving liftgate reliability includes a low-voltage thermal switch, in-line fuse, dual pumps and motors, power unit enclosures, and molded switches. Thieman is also using more aluminum in its product line, which helps with rust prevention and also lessens the weight of the units. A new option is to put all liftgate components through a hot dip galvanizing process, Greves explains, adding that customization is always an option.

“We feel the industry is becoming much more specialized and that’s why we focus on custom-designed units,” Greves points out. “If a customer has a special need, we use our engineering expertise to try and meet that request. Customer requests vary from galvanized units, all-aluminum units, deeper platform depths, bolt-on installations, and special paint options.”

Tommy Gate Co. focuses its product line on cargo vans, pickup trucks, service bodies, flatbed, stake and van bodies, and dump bodies. Ranging in lifting capacities from 500 to 3,000 lbs., every Tommy Gate lift sold comes with a “safety-trip” bar designed to disengage anytime an object is detected in the pinch point between the rising platform and the steel liftgate mainframe, says Keith Francese, marketing communications.

“Customers want a liftgate that will fit their vehicle, is easy to install and use (and safe), has minimal maintenance, is durable, and stays clean and nice-looking,” Francese explains. “Our most recent products are the Cantilever Series and the High-Cycle Railgate Series.”

The Cantilever Series is designed for panel vans. It attaches underneath the vehicle in front of the rear bumper in a “bolt-on” installation that requires no welding.

“It’s simple to control with little required maintenance and no rust-corrosion issues, and extremely cart-friendly,” says Francese. “Most cargo used with these panel vans will be wheel-based, so the Cantilever Series platform supports even large size carts and has built-in cart stops.”

The High-Cycle Railgate accommodates 2,500- and 3,000-lb. capacities and includes a roller-based slider for a smoother, more predictable motion with decreased maintenance. “With self-open and selfclose features, the operator never has to touch the platform,” Francese says.

The unit includes a 12-in. taper for a more manageable loading degree” from ground to platform. It has an aluminum platform for rustresistance and loading depths up to 70 in.

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