Tailgate Lift Assist

Trailer tailgate lift assist is a spring attachment that lessens the weight of the tailgate during lifting or lowering.

Description:

The tailgate lift assist is an engineering control that may help reduce stooped postures and heavy lifting. A tailgate lift assist is an attachment for a utility trailer that helps unweight the tailgate while lifting or lowering it. Two springs attached to a cable on each side of the tailgate help support the weight of the tailgate and make it easy enough to lift or lower with two fingers.

There are four different models of tailgate lift assists designed for a utility trailer.

The Rack’em Double Barrel Trailer Tailgate Lift (figure 1) can support a maximum tailgate weight of 200 lbs. It is only installed on one side of the trailer so it cannot be used for split rail tailgates. The spring is enclosed in a metal tube for safety.  This model uses a chain instead of a cable attachment to the tailgate. The manufacturer claims that the chain attachment makes it more durable than other models.
Figure 1. Rack’em Double Barrel trailer tailgate lift assist

The eLegator Trailer Tailgate Lift (figure 2) can support a maximum tailgate weight of 125 lbs.  It is installed on one side of the tailgate so it cannot be used for split rail tailgates. The spring is not enclosed so be careful to prevent clothing or body parts from becoming pinched in the coils when closing the tailgate.

Figure 2. eLegator Trailer tailgate lift assist

The Buyers EZ Gate Trailer Tailgate Lift (figure 3) can support a maximum tailgate weight of 180 lbs. It is installed on one side of the trailer so it cannot be used for split rail tailgates. The spring is enclosed in a metal tube for safety.  This model uses both cable and chain attachments to the tailgate.

Figure 3. Buyers EZ Gate trailer tailgate lift assist

The Gorilla-Lift Trailer Tailgate Lift (figure 4) can support a maximum tailgate weight of 300 lbs.  It is installed on both sides of the trailer so it can be used for a split rail tailgates. The spring is enclosed in a metal tube for safety.  This model uses a cable attachment to the tailgate.

Figure 4. Gorilla-Lift trailer tailgate lift assist


Risks Addressed:

Heavy lifting and stooped postures can cause lower back disorders, such as muscle strain or a disc herniation (“slipped disc”), which is bulging of disc material possibly pressing on the spinal cord or nerves that go into the leg.  The trailer tailgate lift assist can help reduce heavy lifting and stooped postures by minimizing the weight of the trailer tailgate.


How Risks are Reduced:

A trailer tailgate lift assist reduces heavy lifting and stooped postures because the springs in the lift are designed to support the weight of the tailgate.  The operator only has to apply slight pressure to raise or lower the tailgate and spends less time in a stooped posture.

Safety and health experts believe the trailer tailgate lift assist will help to reduce heavy lifting and stooped postures because lifting or lowering heavy items in a stooped posture increases compression and shear forces on the low back.  Reducing the weight of the tailgate reduces the risk of heavy lifting.  Additionally, in many cases the tailgate is so light that below the waist it can be raised by hooking a foot on the side of the tailgate and raising it up to arm level. The maneuver eliminates stooped postures.


Effects on Productivity:

The trailer tailgate lift assist does not increase productivity.


Contributors:

Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC; and Kaya Mills, SPT – Eastern Washington University


Hazards Addressed:

Availability

Buyers EZ Lift
To obtain information, visit http://www.buyersproducts.com or contact 440-974-8888

eLegator Lift
To obtain information, visit http://www.elegator.com or contact 1-866-353-9671

Rack'em Double Barrel
To obtain information, visit http://www.rackemmfg.com or contact rackemmfg@aol.com

Gorilla-Lift
To obtain information, visit http://www.northerntool.com or contact 1-800-838-0516

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.