What is a Hydraulic Tail Lift Truck?

A hydraulic tail lift truck is a type of vehicle equipped with a hydraulic lift mechanism at the rear of the vehicle. This can be raised and lowered to provide a platform for loading and unloading heavy or bulky items that cannot be easily shifted by hand (e.g. a treadmill). In these situations, the hydraulic tail lift truck is essential as it can lower its tail lift platform to the ground level and easily transfer heavy and bulky items from the truck bed to the ground. This makes it easier for the delivery crew to complete their job efficiently, reducing the risk of injury or damage to the goods.

Examples of freight that may require a hydraulic tail lift truck for transportation include heavy motor engines, large boxes, pallets of goods and other items that are too heavy or cumbersome to be loaded or unloaded manually.

The hydraulic tail lift is made up of a hydraulic system that utilises a pump, reservoir, and hydraulic cylinders to raise and lower the platform. The hydraulic system is controlled by a series of levers and buttons, which allow the operator to control the height of the platform and ensure that the load is secure. The hydraulic tail lift truck is typically equipped with safety features such as anti-slip flooring and safety gates. These features help prevent goods from sliding off the platform and they also serve to protect the operator and other workers on site.

Hydraulic tail lift trucks are widely used in many different industries, and play a vital role in the transportation of goods and equipment in Australia and around the world.

History and Development

The history of hydraulic tail lift trucks can be traced back to the early 20th century, when the first hydraulic systems were developed. During the 1950s and 1960s, the use of hydraulic tail lifts became more widespread, as they became a more cost-effective and efficient means of transporting goods. Over the years, hydraulic tail lift trucks have undergone numerous improvements, with advances in hydraulic technology allowing for greater control, safety, and reliability. Today, modern tail lift trucks are equipped with advanced safety features, such as automatic locking mechanisms and overloading sensors, to minimise the risk of unwanted incidents.

The use of hydraulic tail lift trucks remains instrumental in the transportation of goods and equipment in many different industries. They are commonly used in the construction industry, for transporting building materials, tools, and machinery, as well as in the retail industry, for delivering goods to stores and warehouses. They are also used by logistics companies, for delivering goods to residential locations, where a traditional forklift would typically not be available.

Requirements and Limitations of Hydraulic Tail Lift Trucks

Not all types of freight require the use of a hydraulic tail lift truck, and the decision to use one will depend on a variety of factors such as the weight, size, and type of the freight, as well as the specific requirements of the transportation job.

There are maximum dimensions and weight limitations for the freight that can be transported using a hydraulic tail lift truck. The lift mechanism must be capable of handling the weight of the freight being transported, and must meet the required Australian safety standards. Often tail lift trucks only open at the rear, limiting the size of the goods which can be carried in the vehicle. Typically, the maximum dimensions of items able to be transported with a standard tail lift trucks are 2.3m in length, 1.2m in width, and 2.4m in height. Additionally, the typical maximum weight that can be transported using a tail lift truck is 1000kg.

As these requirements can vary, it is essential to check the specific requirements of the transportation provider to ensure that the tail lift truck they intend to book meets the specific requirements for your freight consignment.

Do Goods Need to be on a Pallet for a Tail Lift Service?

It is not always necessary for items to be on a pallet when being transported with a tail lift truck, but it can make the loading and unloading process easier and more efficient. Using a pallet can help to keep items stable and secure during transportation, reducing the risk of damage and making it easier to handle heavier items.

If the goods will be moved between transport depots, they are typically required to be on pallet to safely and efficiently load and move the freight with a forklift or pallet jack.

Empty Pallet On Pallet Jack

However, some tail lift trucks are designed to handle non-palletised items, such as large boxes or heavy machinery, and can be equipped with straps or other securement devices to ensure that the goods remain stable during transport.

In general, whether items need to be on a pallet when being transported with a tail lift truck will depend on the specific requirements of the freight, the type of tail lift mechanism, and the weight and dimensions of the goods. It is best to consult with the transport provider to determine the best way to move the goods.

It is especially important to note that exceeding the maximum dimensions and weight limitations for the freight that can be transported using a hydraulic tail lift truck may result in the freight not being able to be collected or delivered. This is often referred to as a “futile” pickup or delivery, for which extra costs are likely to be charged.

Extra Charges for Freight Services

When booking a delivery service, requesting a hydraulic tail lift truck is likely to increase the overall transport cost. This is because trucks with a hydraulic lift require more specialised equipment and take longer to load. However the cost is going to be much less compared to e.g. renting a forklift or crane truck. It also ensures that your goods are received rather than being turned away due to there being no safe unloading options.

If the requirement for a tail lift truck is not specified at the time of booking, the delivery company may refuse to deliver your goods or may have to rebook the delivery. This is likely to cause delays and result in additional charges for the futile delivery and wait time.

It is therefore advisable to always indicate in advance if a tail lift truck is required for the delivery or collection. This helps to ensure that the correct equipment is available and that the delivery can be completed smoothly and efficiently, without any additional costs.

Cheaper and Easier than a Hiring a Crane Truck

There are some alternatives to booking a hydraulic tail lift truck for your delivery. Heavy or large items can be unloaded with a forklift or crane truck which would be required to be on site at the time of delivery. This equipment can be hired separately to your transport booking or requested as an additional service.

Rental minimum hours and charges for a forklift or crane truck can vary greatly depending on the rental company, location, and type of equipment being rented. Typically, there is a minimum number of hours that must be rented (usually four hours or more), and additional charges may apply for overtime or if the equipment is returned late. Additionally, there may be charges for delivery and pickup of the equipment, as well as requiring a licence to operate. In contrast, booking a tail lift service as part of your goods transport will typically only be a small additional fee added to the transport cost. And since the delivery driver will operate the tail-lift as part of the delivery, there is no extra costs for specially qualified workers at the receiving end.

Row of white crane trucks lined up with backdrop of blue sky

A Cost-Effective and Efficient Solution

Using a tail lift truck service offers numerous benefits for the transportation of your freight. From its versatility in handling different types of goods to its ease of use, a tail lift truck provides a cost-effective and efficient solution for your delivery needs, when manual loading is not an option. The use of a tail lift truck reduces the need for additional equipment, such as a forklift or crane truck, making it a convenient choice for residential or commercial deliveries. With its ability to ensure the safe and secure transport of your goods, tail lift truck services are an excellent option for those looking for a reliable and stress-free delivery experience. So, if you’re looking for an effective solution to delivering heavy and bulky items, make sure to request a tail lift truck service at the time of your freight booking.