Owner Operator

February 2013

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/103886

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Page 49 of 72

Maintenance matters By Tom Kelley By Tom Kelley Going Up? Liftgate Maintenance Tips B etween traditional LTL hauling, just-in-time shipping, and a growing market for third-party logistics, it's more and more common to see a liftgate on the back of a freight trailer. While a properly spec'ed and installed liftgate can expedite non-dock deliveries, poor maintenance can turn that benefit into a liability. Here are a few tips to avoid liftgate worries. Even with a properly spec'ed and installed liftgate, preventive maintenance is a key to mitigating potential headaches. The liftgate's electrical system is the most critical. Multistop routes and anti-idling regulations can present a tough schedule for recharging the liftgate batteries. Even with an oversized alternator putting out plenty of power, batteries can only charge so fast. This situation is further exacerbated by voltage drop due to the distance and connections between the alternator and the liftgate batteries. Arnold Kowal, Product Manager for Maxon Lift says "Battery voltage testing should be done at least once per year. Any bare terminal connection should be cleaned of any corrosion, re-tightened and treated with a protective coating that will prevent further corrosion. Electrical connectors should be disconnected, treated with dielectric grease and reconnected to prevent airborne moisture from causing corrosion from the inside." When performing maintenance and repairs on liftgates, service technicians need to be aware of several critical safety precautions. Bill Rector, Liftgate Sales Director for SAF-HOLLAND, passes along the following safety tips: "While working on a liftgate it is always best to have the lifting platform in its full / Owner operator/February 2013 / / 40 OO0213_text2.indd 40 1/4/13 11:33 AM

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