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.

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.

Moving Trucks: Ramp vs. Liftgate


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.

Moving Trucks: Ramp vs. Liftgate


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?

Moving Trucks: Ramp vs. Liftgate

What are your experiences with a rental truck ramp or liftgate? Share with us in the comments.

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24 Responses to Moving Trucks: Ramp vs. Liftgate

  1. leo says:

    lift gate because you can put alot more on and it does all the lifting / inclines for you

  2. Anthony says:

    Thanks, A very useful information .

  3. Anthony says:

    Thanks,A very useful information.

  4. zach says:

    pallets are hard to move up and down a ramp

  5. Sue says:

    I have done far more moving than any normal person would do in a lifetime. The question of ramp or lift-gate comes down to – It depends upon the size of the move (i.e. how much you are moving), how many people are going to be loading/unloading, and the weight of the stuff being moved. With several helpers and dollies a ramp is 100% the way to go. Even big bulky awkward items can be handled on a ramp with enough hands. But if there are only a couple of you (or worse, you’re on your own} then a lift gate is EXACTLY what you need. Anything bulky on a ramp – like a refrigerator is am accident waiting to happen – with potential damage to you, the fridge, the truck, the house (I speak from experience not opinion – LOL), Plus the gate-up/down time is not much different than walking the ramp and it is a welcome 30 second break. Just be sure the truck has adequate battery power & you can reach the controls while riding the ramp up & down with your load. Hope that helps!

  6. Durante says:

    Do you know anyone that can install a use lift gate on a Isuzu box truck?

    • Paige E says:

      Hi Durante. Thanks for your comment; unfortunately, I don’t know of anyone that can install a lift gate on your box truck.

  7. naydee says:

    Thanks very usefull info. Now i can pick my truck

  8. Dee K. Dubbya says:

    Gee… my professional U-Haul representative just informed me that U-Haul DOESN’T HAVE ANY LIFT-GATE TRUCKS because ALL of their trucks have LOW beds and lift-gates require trucks with HIGH beds. If that’s the case, why all the discussion about Lift-gates? Apparently, you can choose between a truck with a RAMP and ANOTHER truck… with a RAMP… or go rent a Lift-gated truck elsewhere.

    • Paige E says:

      Hi Dee, I apologize for the way our representative handled the situation. Although, it is correct, U-Haul does not have any lift gates on the moving trucks. The low decks on U-Haul trucks were designed for families to load right from their house. Our competitors’ trucks were designed to be loaded from a loading dock. The  EZ-Load Ramps ® are wider, shorter and more rigid than any other ramps in the industry. The  EZ-Load Ramps ® are available for your convenience on truck sizes 14′ and up. You can click here for more information!

  9. Lewis says:

    How much weight can a lift gate lift?

  10. james l todd says:

    where to rent a lift gate truck

  11. Bob says:

    It hard for this site or you to be objective Paige E when it appears that this site is pro U-Haul and your a U-Haul rep? Sometimes a ramp just does not cut it… Sue has a very good objective post. Not pumping up U-Haul which is not always the cheapest, has add-on fees when you go to pick up you rig… And U-Haul has a poor customer service record. Especially when your sitting broken down on the side of the road.. As a truck driver with over 2 million miles, I’ve seen many an occupied U-Haul vehicle or trailer sitting on the shoulder…
    What people are looking for is info like Sue provided, not an article on ramp vs lift gate from u-hauls pro ramp point of view…

    • Paige E says:

      Hi Bob, I appreciate your feedback. Agreed, based on Sue’s experience, the type of move will depend on which items are being moved, especially if you are the only person doing all the loading/unloading. As far as the equipment that U-Haul does offer, they do not have any lift gates. In Sue’s case, another option can be contacting Moving Help®, in which this would be perfect for the big bulky items

  12. Pam says:

    just rented a Budget truck that came with a hydraulic lift gate. It was a life saver. The truck did not have to be running to use the lift. By far, the best thing we could have gotten.

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  14. Sheila says:

    How high does the lift go up on a budget 14-16 lift truck. I would like to transfer pallets from semi to one of these trucks and want to make sure they can line up.

  15. William Marshal says:

    You guys are insane! A liftgate runs off of a reserve battery–not the engine (no need to run engine) and the “up/down” time is far better than a sprained back pushing or pulling 300 lbs. up a ramp; especially if it’s the least bit wet! Not to mention that you can palletize boxes and load with a hydraulic pallet jack ($299). I have moved 11 times in 20 years (military) and will take a liftgate ANY DAY. Even my wife moved twice solo by loading pallets and running them on with a pallet jack!

    • Paige says:

      Hi William, I apologize if U-Haul trucks with standard ramps didn’t meet your moving needs. Adding lift gates would require changing the overall design of U-Haul trucks to accommodate the additional hardware. Instead, U-Haul has chosen to use slip resistant ramps in combination with our lower deck height for our trucks. This allows U-Haul to provide quality products at a lower cost.

  16. Jenni Langley says:

    I need to move a piano. I’d prefer a lift gate, if possible. Do you know which companies offer this? I’m looking online and the info isn’t as available as I’d like. Thanks!

    • Paige says:

      Hi Jenni! While U-Haul trucks do not have truck ramps, Moving Help can be a great resource to you for moving your piano. You can book an appointment at

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