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How to shorten a liftgate's downtime

June 03, 2023

We have our fingers crossed that your liftgate will not break down, but when it does, we want to ensure you have a game plan in place (or that you have a plan for your customer). Since your business, or your customers’ business, relies on these liftgates to function, you should always know what to do long before your liftgate goes out of service.

Let’s cover a few main topics including how to prevent your liftgate from going out of service, how to shorten the downtime of your liftgate, and some secondary thoughts and ideas in case your liftgate is out of service for a prolonged amount of time.

At LiftGateMe, we’re here for you and want to see your business succeed. Let’s take a look at how we approach and think about shortening the downtime of a liftgate.

What you'll discover in this article:

  • How to shorten the downtime of a liftgate
  • Which spare parts to keep on hand
  • Backup liftgate solution

Want more guidance like this? Keep in touch.

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How do you shorten the downtime of a liftgate?

A disabled liftgate not only costs money to repair, but it also can bring normal business functions to an abrupt halt. That’s why our aim is to help you minimize downtime.

There are several ways to shorten the downtime of a liftgate:

Choose a reliable liftgate distributor

At LiftGateMe we distribute only for America’s top manufacturers of liftgates and can send you any item in our 40,000+ part database (including new complete liftgates!). Keep our number, email, and website on hand, we’re here for you.

Choose a reliable supplier

Choosing a major and reliable supplier for your liftgate can help to ensure that you have access to high-quality parts and technical support when you need it. In the last decade some smaller incumbents have entered the industry, but at LiftGateMe we remain a proponent of industry leaders who have proved their reliability, longevity, and leadership through the decades.

Think twice on aftermarket suppliers. Although they may be cheaper than OEM parts, you will be faced with unreliable parts, parts that do not fit your liftgate, parts that will void your OEM warranty, and ultimately, sheer frustration. At LiftGateMe we will not supply aftermarket options simply because we will not put our reputation on the line.

Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance can help to prevent breakdowns and extend the life of the liftgate. This can include things like checking and replacing worn or damaged parts, lubricating moving parts, and cleaning/tightening connections.

Keep spare parts on hand

Keep a supply of common spare parts on hand, such as hydraulic hoses and fittings, seals, and switches and solenoids. Always remember that parts differ per liftgate model and can even be different depending on the model’s year. This can help you to quickly repair the liftgate if it fails, reducing downtime. We’ll go over this a little bit more below.

Training liftgate operators

Properly training liftgate operators can help to reduce downtime by ensuring that the liftgate is used correctly and safely. This can include training on how to load and unload cargo, how to properly operate the liftgate, and how to identify and troubleshoot common problems.

Have a backup plan

Having a backup plan in place can help to minimize downtime if the liftgate fails. This could include having a backup liftgate available on another vehicle, or making arrangements to use other equipment or transportation methods if the liftgate is not operational. We’ll go over this in a little more detail below.

Use a remote monitoring system

A remote monitoring system can alert you to problems with the liftgate before they become serious, allowing you to take proactive steps to minimize downtime. This is a new feature in the industry which we hope will be universally offered in the future.

Unfortunately, we can’t prevent our liftgate from breaking down, but we can take a series of smart steps to reduce the amount of downtime and risk it poses to our, and our customers’, business.

Have other thoughts? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Have a question? We'd love to hear from you.

No liftgate serial number? Click here for a visual guide to locate it, then contact us.

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What spare parts should I keep for my liftgate?

The specific spare parts you should keep on hand will depend on the make, model, and year of your liftgate. It's a good idea to consult the owner's manual or the manufacturer to determine which parts are most likely to fail and need replacement.

That said, there’s a few common items that we usually advise our customers to keep on hand for their liftgates (especially if they have multiple of the same), including:

Hydraulic hoses and fittings

These are important parts of the liftgate's hydraulic system, and they can fail or become damaged over time.


Worn or damaged seals can cause leaks in the hydraulic system, which can lead to downtime.

Electrical components

These can include things like switches, solenoids, and wiring. Electrical problems can cause the liftgate to stop working, so it's a good idea to have these parts on hand.

Wear items

These are parts that are prone to wear and tear and may need to be replaced over time. Examples include wear pads, lift chains, rollers, and bearings.

These are some of the common items we advise our customers to keep on hand for their liftgate fleet, but again it will differ depending on your make, model, and year.

Backup liftgate solutions

We came up with a few secondary ideas to reduce downtime when in a pinch. These aren’t ideal scenarios, but if you haven’t thought of them, it may be worth a second look.

Check with the manufacturer

Contact the manufacturer of your liftgate to see if they are aware of any truck rental companies that supply liftgate vehicles to source locally in your area.

Rent from a local equipment rental company

Many local equipment rental companies have liftgate equipped vehicles available for rent. This can be a good option if you only need a backup liftgate on a short-term basis.

Look for a liftgate repair and maintenance company

Many liftgate repair and maintenance companies may have a fleet of rental trucks/trailers with liftgates that they can provide to customers while their liftgate is being repaired. This can be a convenient option, as the company can typically handle both the repair and the loaner liftgate for you.

Summing it up

At LiftGateMe we’re here to guide you through the Liftgate industry both when you need general parts and when you need to think about how to make hard decisions that affect YOUR immediate business.

We know a disabled liftgate is the last thing any business wants to deal with since it can cost some of our customers thousands per day when it unexpectedly breaks down, which is why we want YOU to formulate an action plan before this happens so you are prepared.

Have thoughts or insight? Comment below or email us today.

Your Team at LiftGateMe

Have a question? We'd love to hear from you.

No liftgate serial number? Click here for a visual guide to locate it, then contact us.

Email is required : )
Required - how can we help?
What make is this request for?
Let us know that you're a human.
Thanks, we'll be in touch momentarily. Sit tight, you're in great hands : )

Disclaimer: The content of this article and website is available for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for the professional advice of a mechanic who has personally inspected your vehicle, liftgate, or any property, nor does it create a relationship of any kind between LiftGateMe and you. Every situation may be different, and LiftGateMe does not make any warranties, whether express or implied, as to the accuracy, fitness, or applicability of the information, liftgate, vehicle, parts or other property, portrayed in this article and website. LiftGateMe makes no guarantee of results or outcomes. LiftGateMe will not be liable for any damages related to personal injury, property damage or loss of any kind that may result from the use or reliance of our information and/or any automotive parts represented. You are using the information and automotive parts portrayed in this video solely at your own risk.

Thanks For Reading!

- Your Team at LiftGateMe


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