Truck Liftgate Repair
When do trucks need liftgate repair?
A Properly installed and maintained liftgate make loading and unloading heavy cargo much safer. In fact, without a quality liftgate, most passenger trucks wouldn’t be able to function well as work vehicles.
A liftgate works by lowering and raising a hydraulic-operated platform that you control with an electrical switch. It’s a simple, powerful piece of machinery that can lift loads as heavy as 3,500 pounds.
When it comes to liftgates, it’s all about safety and efficiency on the job. In most cases, requiring liftgate repair is a common, yet a very fixable, issue for commercial trucks and passenger trucks alike. Like all auto parts, a liftgate will need maintenance after a certain period. Ordinary wear and tear on hydraulic components can eventually lead to a complete malfunction of the unit if you forego maintenance too long.
If you’re on the job and have problems operating a liftgate, it can cost you and your business valuable time, money, and loss of reputation. Here is how you know you might have an issue.
Common signs of broken liftgate doors
If you think you might need a liftgate repair service, there are several things you can watch out for before going to a shop. Often, the beginning of trouble with liftgates is subtle, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for early warning signs.
Pro tip: It’s not normal for a hydraulic liftgate to be overly noisy or lurch up and down. The motion should be smooth.
Even the best liftgates on the market can break after extended use. When they do malfunction, the signs are fairly easy to spot.
Common signs that your truck needs liftgate repair service include:
- Motors that stop working
- Fluid leaking from hydraulic cylinders
- Platforms/doors that don’t lower or raise at all
- Very slow operation
- Platforms/doors that don’t lower or raise completely
- Sagging platforms/doors even with smaller loads
- Jerky, unstable movement when operating the lift
- Platforms that gradually drift down when raised
Certainly, many other things can go wrong, but these are the most likely symptoms after using a liftgate for a long time.
What's the best way to repair liftgates?
Under ideal conditions, liftgates should last quite a while, but by their very nature, they take a lot of abuse. They’re manufactured to take a beating, yes, but they will still break if you don’t care for them properly.
Noticing the most common signs of problems is a fantastic start, but the next step is to try and pinpoint what specific type of mechanical failure is responsible for the trouble. What makes liftgates difficult to troubleshoot and fix on your own is the fact that the same issue can have a different cause.
For example, a liftgate can get stuck whether or not the lift’s motor remains operational. Do you replace the motor entirely, or do you replace the hydraulic components? A knowledgeable shop will be able to tell the difference.
Common mechanical causes of broken liftgates
When you need liftgate repair service, which often refers to fixing the machine’s loading platform, any number of mechanical problems can be the culprit. Since liftgates are a combination of hydraulic and electrical components, each part has to work together properly for the unit to function well.
Mechanical failures come in all shapes and sizes, but the most common issues are:
- Dead motor solenoids
- Bent or corroded hydraulic struts
- Faulty pressure valves or cylinders
- Poorly installed or cracked hydraulic hoses
- Short circuits in electrical components
Sometimes, issues with electric liftgates are the result of poor installation in the first place.
Not every liftgate works best with every truck, especially when it comes to commercial shipping or running a small business.
Unless you’re comfortable welding, grinding, and cutting electrical wiring, you shouldn’t try to repair a liftgate by yourself. It’s easy to do more harm than good if you’re not careful with how hydraulic components work alongside electrical components.
What are the benefits of a quality hydraulic liftgate repair service?
Liftgates are usually pricey to install since you need specialized skills to handle the welding and electrical wiring. When you take care of your liftgates, you can squeeze much more life out of your work truck.
Also, a properly installed liftgate places less stress on your truck’s suspension system overall. Heavy cargo already weighs down trucks enough without an over-sized, clunky liftgate making the problem worse.
But everything comes back around to safety when repairing hydraulic liftgates.
Things can go awry in any number of ways. If the platform drifts down slowly instead of locking into place as it should, for instance, you might try to move loads too quickly. You may cause a needless accident just by trying to work around faulty equipment.
When in doubt, trust your gut and have a pro perform a liftgate installation.
At TLC Auto & Truck Repair Service Center, we take the time to diagnose every issue thoroughly because we believe in bringing our family’s values to yours.
We care! After 30 years of business, honesty and integrity genuinely matter to us.
Our commitment is to guarantee most repairs for 24 months or up to 24,000 miles. We’ve been blessed to receive over 70 5-star reviews on Google, and we hope you’ll become one of our satisfied customers, too.
Stop by our shop, or call us to learn more about our repair services. We’re happy to greet walk-in customers as well as schedule an appointment at your convenience.