- 1 About DIY lift-gate installation
- 2 Engaging Pro Installers
- 3 Professional installers help in choosing the right equipment
- 4 Tests pro installers carry out on the lift-gate during commissioning
- 5 Periodically check the lift-gate: an advantage of engaging a pro installer
- 6 How are the Periodic General Checks (VGP) done?
- 7 Conclusion
What are the advantages of a trunk or lift-gate installation service?
The lift-gate is made up of the rear window and the boot of your vehicle. It usually opens vertically (top to bottom).
This association offers many advantages since with a lift-gate, the boot is not separated from the car: you need to lower the seats to obtain more space, which is impossible with a boot (which has a fixed rear window).
Take the example of the Renaud Capture 5-door car.
The seats do not fold to create a new space: the rear window is fixed.
The trunk is a storage space outside the passenger compartment.
People who like large trunks generally prefer to choose a trunk rather than a lift-gate (the liftgate is limited to the free space between the bench seat on one side and the trunk door on the other).
So if you are used to traveling in pairs or if you have to transport bulky objects (a television, furniture, a stroller, a wheelchair for disabled people, etc.), the malleability of the liftgate will make you prefer this system.
Indeed, you will benefit from a greater height which is very pleasant for objects of large sizes.
There are also lift-gate models that are useful for transporting disabled people or heavy loads.
While the lift gate is a common system for a utility vehicle, truck, or van, it is not limited to them as many other vehicles can accommodate it.
About DIY lift-gate installation
The DIY liftgate installation or replacement of a lift-gate or trunk will vary depending on your truck model.
It is an intervention that is tedious and which requires some mechanical knowledge in order not to damage your accessories and the skeleton of your automobile when carrying the installation.
Performing a DIY liftgate installation and trunk will require the same tools: a screwdriver, ratchet, pliers, and a long object such as a broom handle (to keep your trunk open for the duration of operations).
In addition to that, you need to make sure that your trunk cylinder or liftgate cylinder model is compatible with your truck model.
For the lift-gate and the trunk, you will have to concentrate on the cylinder (thanks to a system of pistons, this element makes it possible to open and close the trunk, it looks like a pump).
Indeed, it is generally this accessory that is responsible for the failures of liftgate (it does not open or not at the right height), as it is used a lot, it degrades and wears naturally as and when openings and closings.
Usually installed in pairs, the cylinder must be installed at each end of the lift-gate (or trunk) and the car’s body.
To perform the DIY installation, you have to put the thin part of the cylinder down (the tube is up).
From there, you have to clip the two ends of the cylinder and check that it is correctly positioned (by exerting pressure on it, for example).
You must follow this operation with your two jacks.
On some truck models, you will also need to unscrew and disassemble your tail lights.
Without being very complex, these installations can prove to be long and present risks for your truck if they are not carried out carefully.
People who do not feel very comfortable with manual work will therefore prefer to engage a pro installer.
Engaging Pro Installers
You will need to employ the service of a professional in the installation of all types of lift-gates on all types of vehicles.
Whether you opt for a hydraulic or electric lift-gate, or whether you want to install a bottle lifter or a lift-gate to facilitate the movement of people with reduced mobility, a professional installer is at your disposal to advise you and install your truck model.
When engaging pro installers, they can carry out your maintenance and repairs and provide you with original manufacturer parts.
Whatever the situation, installation, or troubleshooting of the lift-gate.
When engaging a pro installer, he or she always performs a check before returning your truck to you.
A pro installer also specializes in the repair of lift gates and all your lifting systems and allows you to prevent the risk of an accident by assiduously checking your lifting equipment and gear.
Professional installers help in choosing the right equipment
To work safely, the first thing to do is to make sure that the equipment available is well suited to the use that will be made of it.
In concrete terms, the lift-gate must first be compatible with the bodywork and the chassis of the heavy goods vehicle to which it will be fixed.
If these two elements are not able to withstand the forces that the lift-gate will exert on them, there will be a risk of breakage or accident.
It is also necessary to check the capacity of the battery, as well as the power of the alternator.
Only a pro installer should handle both tasks.
The functionality of those two components will determine whether or not the vehicle can supply the electro-hydraulic unit necessary for the correct operation of the lift-gate.
A pro installer does not only select material according to the mass but also the volume and shape of the loads to be handled.
For this point, it is necessary to check the nominal capacity of the lift-gate and to choose its dimensions according to those of the weights to be handled.
For safety reasons, equipping it with a system enabling loads to be immobilized during lifting and lowering operations seems just as relevant.
Also, when engaging a pro installer, he or she will check the conformity of the equipment and its installation.
The lift-gate is considered a machine by decree n ° 92-765 of July 29, 1992.
It must have CE self-certification and be NF EN 1756-1 + A1 approved since May 9, 2008. As for any other lifting device, the lift-gate must also have its maintenance log.
Tests pro installers carry out on the lift-gate during commissioning
Once the material has been intelligently chosen, the lift-gate must be put into service by a pro installer.
This step is mandatory and valid for re-commissioning after maintenance work or a prolonged period of disuse. Five phases are clearly defined in the decree of March 1, 2004.
Phase 1: The suitability test
As defined in article 5-1 of the decree, this examination must be carried out by an auditor and a pro installer.
It is he, and he alone, who will judge the suitability of the equipment for the tasks foreseen by the lift-gate user.
Phase 2: Examination of the state of conservation
In article 9 of the decree, this examination is described as making it possible to verify several points linked to the attachment of various parts of the lift-gate to the vehicle…
… the arms, the jacks, the hydraulic connections, the carrying beam, etc. ensure the presence of safety devices and axis stops, among other things by the pro installer.
Phase 3: The functional test
The verifier and pro installer will verify this time, per articles 6b and 6c, that the lift-gate behaves well in different conditions of use (those closest to the extreme parameters authorized by the manufacturer).
Thus it tests the classic movements during lifting/lowering/tilting operations but also ensures the tightness of parts such as jacks or even checks the maximum authorized load for the machine.
Phase 4: The static test
In this phase, the verifier and pro installer must make the lift-gate withstand the maximum operating load multiplied by a certain coefficient for a defined time (article 10 of the decree).
The maximum load and the coefficient are generally given by the manufacturer.
When this is not the case, the values used refer to those indicated in NF EN 1756-1. To validate this test, the lift-gate must not show any defect/deformation.
Phase 5: The dynamic test
Last test, this time defined by article 11 of the decree, the dynamic test uses the lift-gate with its maximum working load multiplied by a coefficient.
In the same way as above, the verifier and pro installer uses the manufacturer’s information or, failing that, that mentioned in NF EN 1756-1.
Do not hesitate to ask the pro installer for the results of the checks carried out during the commissioning of the lift-gate. This information is very important.
Periodically check the lift-gate: an advantage of engaging a pro installer
More than half of lift-gates installed on heavy goods vehicles are not checked regularly, a figure which may seem frightening when you consider that the average frequency of use is ten times a day.
Since the periodic inspection of lift-gates has been compulsory since March 1, 2004, any company that does not comply with the law incurs a fine of € 3,750 per vehicle.
This check must be carried out every six months at most (i.e., twice a year at least), but for safety reasons, it is advisable to bring these checks together if the lift-gate is used very often.
This is carried out by a pro installer.
It should also be noted that in the event of a bodily injury related to the use of an unmaintained lifting device, the company manager is held criminally responsible and faces five years in prison with a fine of € 75,000.
In practice, when checking the lift-gate, the user of the machine must provide the pro installer with various items:
- the up-to-date maintenance log
- the machine’s certificate of conformity
- user manual
- the verification report (s) already carried out on the lift-gate.
How are the Periodic General Checks (VGP) done?
The Periodic General Checks (VGP) closely resemble the checks carried out when the lift-gate is put into service or put back into service.
The verifier carries out the examination of the state of conservation and the functional test as defined in articles 9, 6b, and 6c of the decree of March 1, 2004, and described above in this article.
Because of the seriousness that accidents involving lifting equipment can have and the applicable penalties, it is therefore preferable for safety reasons (but also economic reasons) to carry out the upkeep and maintenance of lift-gates as provided by law.
Do not wait any longer to ensure the maintenance and control of your hydraulic lift-gates; engage the pro installers! They also intervene for repair work and quick troubleshooting.
The advantages of installing a lift-gate on your vehicle can not be over-emphasized but, if you choose to do it.
Why not go all the way and make it the best possible by enlisting an A-list pro installer.
That would ensure you get the best installation service, avoid injuries and potentially stupid decisions, while at the same time, learning a thing or two yourself.