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Old 08-26-2008, 08:50 PM   #1
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Will a Tommy Lift work?

I have been thinking of installing a Tommy Liftgate onto the back of Vanderbus to use to Transport my motorcycle (558 lbs). I found a used liftgate for $300.00. I was wondering about the feasibility and what might be some possible pitfalls that the readers could think of. Attached is a shot of the rigs hiney.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:23 PM   #2
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Re: Will a Tommy Lift work?

I've used a Tommy Lift to load a bike before. It was 100 times easier than lifting it by hand, but it was by no means easy. It was not big enough to hold up the whole thing and we're talking about a little sport bike. It still was not a one person affair. My concern might be with getting it to fit through the door. Depending on the balance of the bike you MIGHT be ok putting the front tire on the lift and letting the frame catch the back side of the lift, but otherwise you'd be in trouble.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:57 PM   #3
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Re: Will a Tommy Lift work?

I was thinking to load the bike onto the lift. Then raise it and carry the bike on it to the campground then lower it and ride away. I do not plan to put the bike inside the coach.
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:51 PM   #4
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Re: Will a Tommy Lift work?

could you remove the platform and fab up a channel and tiedowns to save weight and then install some kind of lock device in the up position to remove the load from the hydraulics while on the road?
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: Will a Tommy Lift work?

I think a tommy gate would be great for a bike. Just make sure you have good anchors for the tie downs and don't forget to tie down the rear wheel. They will move.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:37 AM   #6
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Re: Will a Tommy Lift work?

If the bike is just kept on the lift during transport, I don't see a problem.
you WILL want to secure the lift in the UP position, BTW. A chain(s) or pins would do the job. Look at those flat bed truck rigs that have a delivery fork lift secured to the ass end. Look at how they secure the unit with chains and pins.

A couple mods to the lift will do it.

If the bike is loaded parallel to the rear of the bus, then mount on the Lift a channel for the bike tires and four (4) STRONG tie-down eyebolts for the handlebars.
Do NOT use the bent-closed eyebolts. They can open up.
Get the forged galvanized ones they sell for boat use.

The channel should have a section bent up at the end to act as a wheel stop.
Load the bike onto the channel/lift. Roll it up to the stop. Using ratchet tie-downs (get good ones!), secure the handlebars to the tiedowns, compressing the front fork springs in the process. This ensures that the bike is pressed up to the wheel stop.

Then add a couple more ratchet tie-downs to the rear of the bike.
Make sure that you do NOT hook to the turn signals or anything else breakable/expen$ive. I prefer hooking directly to the frame of my bike.

The whole idea is to keep the bike from rolling or tipping over.
Make sure you secure the bike ONLY to the lift. Hooking to the bus itself can lead to tragedy; I saw a setup where a guy had the bike strapped to the bumper and the lift; when he lowered the lift without taking the upper (tied-to-bus) straps off he broke his VERY pricey plastics/fairing.

Should be no problem to load when you get the hang of it....I'd roll/ride the bike onto the ramp, set the side stand for a bit of safety, place the front tie-downs onto the forks, and while seated on the levelled bike snug the front straps down. TO do this I hold the front brake and 'bounce' the front end while tightening the straps, left/right. Pulls the bike down tight in no time.
Then get off the bike, and secure the rear straps.
Removal is opposite of installation.

BTW, we used a Tommy Lift to load bikes into an F-250 we had at the bike shop: we put the lift about halfway up and used a ramp to load the bikes.
The Lift provided a spiffy and secure place to step when pushing the bike up/down into/from the bed of the truck.
The Lift supported the ramp, especially useful when the largest touring bikes were loaded, reducing stress/bending on the ramp.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:57 PM   #7
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I know this is an old post, but I've been thinking of doing the same thing. Did you do it and did it work?
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:04 PM   #8
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I have a couple pics in my gallery of how I put a liftgate on back of my bus, bikes are inside out of weather...sportyrick
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