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How Much Weight Can A Tail Lift Take?

Tail Lift Load Limits Featured Image

The maximum weight limit of a quality tail lift will vary depending on the type of vehicle it is fitted to. A tail lift fitted to an LCV such as a Luton van is generally capable of lifting up to 500 kg whereas a tail lift fitted to an HGV lorry is capable of holding up to 4000 kg.

It should be noted that the added weight of a tail lift reduces the available payload capacity of the vehicle it is fitted to. The differences in lifting capacity are traded off by the actual weight of the lift itself.

Ford Transit Luton Van With Open Tail Lift

In lamens terms, this simply means that it would be pointless fitting a heavy-duty tail lift weighing well in excess of 300 kg to a vehicle with an already painfully low payload capacity such as a Luton van.

Tail Lifts And Weight Limitations

So, how much weight can a tail lift take if a tail lift could take weight? In this article, I’ll be referring mostly to the top 3 manufacturers or installation specialists on the market.

  • Palfinger (Manufacturer)
  • Ingimex (Installation/Supplier)
  • DEL (Manufacturer)

See below our handy table of the most common tail lifts and their lifting capabilities.

COMPANYMODELLIFT TYPELIFT CAPACITYDEADWEIGHT
PalfingerMBB C 500 VANCantilever500 kg154 kg
PalfingerMBB C 750 LCantilever750 kg199 kg
PalfingerMBB C 1000 LCantilever1000 kg282 kg
PalfingerMBB C 2000 LCantilever2000 kg517 kg
PalfingerMBB C 3000 SCantilever3000 kg720 kg
DELDEL DL500GCantilever500 kg140 kg
DELDEL FC500Cantilever500 kg195 kg
DELDEL DO1000Dump-Over1000 kg265 kg
DELDEL TL1000Cantilever1000 kg260 kg
DELDEL DA1500GTuck-Under1500 kg360 kg

Choosing The Best Lifting Platform For Your Vehicle

Choosing the correct tail lift for your van or truck is basically a trade-off between how much it can hold and how heavy it is as a unit.

Tail lifts, such as those commonly fitted to Luton vans, are made to be as light as they can possibly be without compromising on quality or safety. They are capable of lifting a 500 kg load and themselves, normally weigh in at between 120 kg and 155 kg.

Cartoon Man Struggling To Lift 1000 kg Weight

With the available payload for light commercial vehicles ranging between a miserable 1,000 kg (Volkswagen Crafter Luton) and 1,212 kg (Renault Master Luton), a larger tail lift with a deadweight of almost 200 kg, capable of taking loads up to 750 kg, just doesn’t make sense for that type of vehicle.

Tail Lift With Highest Lifting Capacity For A Luton Van

That said, Palfinger produces a top-quality lift capable of lifting up to 750 kg for a Luton box van. The trade-off, of course, is that it has a deadweight of 171 kg. This is a fair chunk of payload to sacrifice from this vehicle type, especially if you’re in the moving business and regularly load your van to capacity.

And then it begs the question too, do you really need a lift that can take up to 750 kg? Although we DO NOT recommend it, the lighter MBB C 500 VAN cantilever tail lift has a load capacity of 500 kg (optional 600 kg version available) and companies like Palfinger, and in particular, Ingimex, test their units to 2.1 times their recommended load limit for around 10,000 hours without any breakage.

You can do what you like with that information 😁

Payload Before And After Removing A Tail Lift From Your Van

Removing a tail lift from your vehicle absolutely will increase the payload of your van, or truck – whatever. But by how much?

Have a look below at the most popular Luton vans in the UK and see how much payload you’ll gain in real terms.

*Information is hard to find on the exact weight of each tail lift fitted to each make and model of van. With that in mind, we’ll assume on the side of caution that each respective unit is among the lightest available at 140 kg.

MAKE/MODELTAIL LIFT WEIGHTPAYLOAD BEFORE
REMOVAL
PAYLOAD AFTER
REMOVAL
Citroen Relay140 kg1,080 kg1,220 kg
Ford Transit140 kg1,016 kg1,156 kg
Iveco Daily140 kg1,120 kg1,260 kg
LDV V80140 kg1,125 kg1,265 kg
Mercedes Sprinter140 kg1.000 kg1,140 kg
Nissan NV400N/A (Low Loader)N/AN/A
Renault MasterN/A (Low Loader)N/AN/A
Vauxhall MovanoN/A (Low Loader)N/AN/A
Volkswagen Crafter140 kg1.000 kg1,140 kg

More payload = better. Always better. But the real question is, do you really need a tail lift at all? Only you know the answer to this, so depending on how you use your van and what you haul, the option is always there to gain a respectable amount of extra loading capacity.

The Trade-Off | Weight Vs Lifting Power

With a deadweight of 154 kg, however, an MBB C 500 VAN tail lift is heavier than other 500 kg units such as those installed by Ingimex. A 750 kg tail lift is, by far, more sensibly suited to a 7.5-tonne lorry such as a DAF LF45 which boasts a payload of around 2,700 kg and can be driven on a normal car licence.

With such a whopping payload to sing and dance about, the extra weight would go generally unnoticed so, if you had a DAF LF45, why wouldn’t you just opt for a 1000 kg unit and be done with it?

The Best Tail Lift For A Luton Van?

Well, the best tail lift for an LCV (light commercial vehicle) such as a Luton van or a 7.5-tonne lorry isn’t actually a tail lift at all. We, as a moving company, have opted to get rid of the 145 kg tail lifts altogether and replace them with 20 kg aluminium ramps. And, they’re amazing.

White Luton Van With Closed Tail Lift In Warehouse

However, if it’s a tail lift you need and you simply must have one, then you can’t go wrong with a DEL DL500G. It is among the lightest of the top quality 500 kg bunch and doesn’t skimp on safety or durability.

Try Googling for “tail lift companies near me” to find a reputable installation company. Let them know what you want and see what they can do for you.

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