When transporting heavy freight, operators often rely on specialised equipment to ensure their goods can be moved safely and efficiently. The Palfinger range of tuckunder tail lifts, supplied by Gough Transport Solutions, incorporate innovative safety features that are making light work of heavy lifting.

Transport component and equipment supplier, Gough Transport Solutions, supplies a wide range of products to service the transport industry. The company places a strong emphasis on improving the safety of its customers. As a result, Gough seeks out products that are designed to reduce the risk of workplace injuries. “WH&S regulations in Australia are constantly on the rise, which is why our partners at Palfinger have adjusted the safety features on the tail lift control system, which has become standard across the Palfinger tail lift models,” says Michael Orlando, National Sales Manager – Tail Lifts for Gough.

Gough’s tail lift portfolio includes conventional, slider and tuckunder options to suit various operator requirements. The company is an authorised distributor for load handling expert Palfinger, which manufactures the range of German manufactured Tuckunder tail lifts. Designed with WH&S in mind, they allow operators to quickly load their goods with ease, without compromising on safety. The range includes the Palfinger 600kg, 1000kg and 1500kg capacity models.

Designed and manufactured in Europe to suit Australia’s operating conditions, Palfinger Tuckunder tail lifts are ideal for fleets wanting a lightweight, compact unit that can easily be stowed underneath the vehicle when not in use. “Palfinger was able to achieve the Tuckunder’s low weight using aluminium to construct the folding platform, which has a one-cylinder design,” adds Michael.

“The platform can then be stowed away under the vehicle’s chassis, regardless of body type. It’s also quick to install and there’s no welding necessary.” Palfinger’s range of tail lifts are powered by the manufacturer’s own hydraulic cylinders. The brand manufactures around 65,000 cylinders a year to meet the needs of its customers all around the world. The dual-acting hydraulic cylinders mean the tail lifts feature power opening and power closing for ease of use. “The movement doesn’t rely on spring force or gravity, so the platform opens and shuts easily even on the steepest of inclines, which can accommodate the varying loading dock heights operators encounter daily,” explains Michael.

The power pack is housed in the main beam, and can be easily pulled out for inspection or maintenance. The location of the power pack also helps to ensure that noise from the hydraulic pump is kept to a minimum.

The setup is safer too, as every cylinder is fitted with flow control valves to safely control the descent of a fully loaded platform – even in the unlikely event of a burst hose in the hydraulic circuit. Another important safety feature is the ‘Intelligent Foot Controls’, which are found on all cantilever platforms. The foot control operates in a sequential process, meaning that the operator must press a specific button first, before pressing the next one in order to operate the tail lift. If the tail lift encounters any technical problems during the process, the control panel utilises the diagnostic fault finding function, which gives out a reading on the inside of the panel. This feature is fully electronic, and includes sensor control and memory functions.

These foot controls can distinguish between contact with the operator’s foot and the load. If the goods are resting on the foot controls, the lift remains static. Along with the foot controls, a range of other tail lift controls are also available to suit various applications. These include two-handed external controls, internally mounted controls, pendant controls and wireless remote controls.

In the event of lift or component failure, the diagnostic software provides a specific number that the operator can relay to a service engineer, allowing them to identify the exact issue before they even arrive to fix it, helping to reduce downtime and repair costs.

Michael reveals that another key advantage of the Palfinger Tuckunder is the load centre of the platform, which measures 600mm, making it easier to load large items such as furniture, boxes, trolleys and even small pallets.

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“The Tuckunder’s platform also comes attached with safety flags and LED flashing lights, ensuring total visibility at all times. In addition, Palfinger has also developed a dual control system for operators to use with fixed controls fitted to the side of the vehicle. If the operator wants to use the platform from a distance, there is the option of plugging in a two-button pendant control. The Tuckunder is completely user-friendly and is one of the safest tail lifts in the market,” he says. All Palfinger tail lifts come with mandatory platform roll stops, safety flags and LED warning lights. Roll stops are another safety feature, which protects the load from going off the platform. This function can be retrofitted to older models.