It’s the moving struggle — that extremely heavy antique dresser that Aunt Sally insisted you take is sitting out in the driveway. The problem is exactly that; the dresser is sitting on the driveway and not in the back of the moving truck rental you picked up earlier that day. And it’s just one of the numerous heavy items you have just pulled out of your 4 bedroom house for a cross-country move. How are you supposed to get that 300-pound priceless piece of furniture, and everything else into the truck? Well, there are a few options.
- Help lifting it in from a friend
- Built-in loading ramp
I don’t really suggest option #1, because- let’s face it- who wants to risk injury or breaking the antique dresser by lifting something so heavy even a few feet in the air? Options #2 and #3 are your best bets, but they are two different options for a reason. If it was my decision, I’d choose option #3, the built in loading ramp. But what would you choose?
They both get the job done, so that’s not the issue. What it really comes down to is a few different items: convenience, safety and last but not least, operability.
When doing your DIY move, you’ll more than likely be moving from your house and not a loading dock. Liftgates are normally found on vehicles that have deck heights of four to five feet in the air, this is because these vehicles deck heights are designed to be used in conjunction with a commercial loading dock — not for your residential move. A loading ramp can be deployed anywhere. And some ramps have a very small angle of incline, so you can walk up it with ease.
- Available on most rental trucks
- Made of lightweight aluminum, easy to handle
- Quicker to deploy/pack-up
- Fast loading times due to stationary nature of the ramp — you only have to touch it twice in the whole loading procedure
- Lift/drop delay. A liftgate must be raised every time you want to go up, and lowered every time you want to go down. Hence the phrases “gate up” and “gate down”
- Requires you to put items down on the gate every time you go up to operate the switch
- Constructed of heavy steel that can be intimidating
- Have to unfold the liftgate in order to even begin
- Requires that you operate the gate from ground level and some you can operate from the box, however you still need to climb down and up to load and unload.
Loading ramps, like the ones found on U-Haul rental trucks, provide a convenient easy load option, combined with a furniture dolly, Appliance Dolly or utility dolly. A ramp makes the loading and unloading of a truck much quicker.
- Well-designed sidewalls so you can’t run over the edge. This also helps guide the dolly up and down the ramp.
- Helps reduce injury to yourself due to improper lifting
- No moving parts
- Can be dangerous to operate if not trained
- Hydraulic moving parts
- Multiple pinch points and opportunities for accidents
- Some liftgates require the engine to be running during operation.
Using a liftgate for the first time can be a daunting task. Sure, after some time and experience it’s easy — but who has the time for practice when they’re trying to move?
Do you have any experience with a liftgate and a moving ramp? Which one did you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.