Can I Drive a Luton Van With Tail Lift

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘Can I drive a Luton van with a tail lift?’.

North London Van & Truck Hire Ltd is here to provide solutions for you. With over 30 years of experience under our belts, our services are valued and recognised in North London and beyond. Our expertise is to help you find the right van, for the right job.

Our fleet includes small, medium and large vans, in addition to mini buses, automatic vans, electric vans and more! We also provide the ability to purchase vans.

What is a tail lift?

A tail lift is a platform that can be attached on the back of a vehicle. It uses hydraulics to raise and lower the platform, which can bridge the gap between the vehicle bed and the ground, or loading dock.

In essence, it acts as a portable loading dock, making it easier and safer to load and unload cargo.

How does a tail lift work?

Although the tail lift seems simple, it is a relatively complex mechanism, let’s break down how it works.

  • The components of most tail lifts include a platform, folding arms, a hydraulic pump and power unit, and a control panel.
  • As we mentioned before, a tail lift uses a hydraulic system, this is activated via the control panel. The hydraulic pump pushes fluid into cylinders within the folding arms. This pressurised fluid eventually extends the pistons in the cylinders, which results in the arms straightening, allowing the platform to be lifted.
  • Regarding the platform movement, it can be hinged at the back of the vehicle, and attached to the folding arms by chains or cables. The platform raises alongside the folding arms, which results in a horizontal bridge between the loading area and the ground.
  • The control panel allows the operator to control the speed and height of the platform during its raising and lowering.

Types of tail lifts

There is more than one type of tail lift, the type you use may vary depending on the reason for using it, and the vehicle it will be used with.

  • Tuck-under lifts: This tail lift folds compactly beneath the vehicle bed when it isn’t being used.
  • Cantilever lifts: This tail lift is characterised by extending outward from the vehicle, it can have a larger lifting capacity.
  • Column lifts: They are normally used on vans, they are mounted on a vertical column beside the vehicle bed.

Can I drive a Luton van with a tail lift?

Can I drive a Luton van with a tail lift?

Yes, driving a Luton van with a tail lift is perfectly possible. You do not require anything other than a standard driving licence to drive a Luton van with a tail lift. However, if your Luton van is between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you would require a C1 licence.

To clarify, the presence of the tail lift doesn’t affect the licencing requirements, the licencing requirements will change depending on the size of Luton van you use.

A tail lift does not impact the ease in which you drive, although you may need to be considerate of parking if you are going to be loading/unloading the Luton van. You should ensure that the tail lift does not exceed its maximum capacity whilst loading/unloading, and you should ensure it is fully on the floor, or at its peak before moving cargo from/onto it.

Because tail lifts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, you should make sure the one you use is appropriate for the van you are driving (unless you hire one that has a tail lift already attached).

Additionally, you should make sure that the tail lift is in standby, and not in an operating position. By doing so you run the risk of damaging the van, the tail lift, and other vehicles and even pedestrians.

What should I not put on a tail lift?

Although tail lifts can be a life-saver when loading and unloading, there are certain things you must avoid in order to ensure the safety of yourself, those around you, the cargo itself and the functionality of the tail lift. We will list the things you should avoid placing on your tail lift below.

  • Beginning with the most important guidance, do not place items exceeding the weight limit of the tail lift. You can find out the maximum weight limit as it is usually on the tail lift itself. Overloading the lift can cause permanent damage to the tail lift.
  • A load that is unbalanced. If the weight of your load is unevenly distributed, it can be extremely dangerous. This may result in the tail lift to tilt, or even tip over.
  • Items that are loose or unsecured have the potential to fall, or break, which has the risk of hurting those around it. Loose and unsecured items must be secured via straps, ropes, or netting. If you have boxes or bags, ensure they are securely closed and has no chance of being open without physically handling them.
  • Certain items may be bigger than the tail lift platform itself. If there are any items that go beyond the edge of the platform, they have the chance to hit their surroundings whilst being raised or lowered. You must ensure that loads fit onto the platform comfortably before operation.
  • Fragile or unstable items are not designed to be used on a tail lift. Using a tail lift can result in there being bumps or vibrations during operations. This has the potential to damage fragile goods. One way to work around them is to secure the items with extensive padding around them.
  • Flammable liquids, explosives, or other hazardous materials should never be used on a tail lift, as one wrong move can result in a serious, life-threatening accident.
  • Under no circumstances should a tail lift be used to transport an individual.
  • In some cases, live animals may be transported via a tail lift. However, this is only if the animal is secured in a crate specifically designed for tail lift use. Aside from this, it is not recommended at all.

How to hire a Luton Van in Enfield

With North London Van & Truck Hire Ltd, our hiring process is incredibly efficient and simple. Here is what you need to do.

  1. Head to our website
  2. Select your pick-up location, followed by return location, pick-up date, pick-up time, drop-off date, and drop-off time. Then press enter.
  3. Select the van you require. (Please note that availability will change as other people are making/have made bookings).
  4. After choosing the van, follow on to the next page, where you can select any add-ons you may require.
  5. After selecting add-ons, follow on to the next page, where you need to enter personal details.
  6. If your details comply with our requirements, we will present a quote, which you can decide to pay, or try another service.
  7. If you are happy with this quote, we arrange a time for you to come to the showroom, view the van, and complete the rental process by verifying the required

Hire a Luton Van today

Hire a Luton Van today

North London Van & Truck Hire Ltd has over 30 years of experience, which has allowed us to provide a varied fleet of vans suitable for a variety of needs. We encourage you to get in contact with us today to see how we can help you. Below, you can find our opening hours, address, and contact details.

We hope to have provided helpful information when answering the question ‘Can I drive a Luton van with a tail lift?’ Whilst providing supplementary information to help you make an informed choice when it comes to van hire.

Opening Hours:

Mon–Fri: 07:30 am to 05:00 pm

Saturday: 7:30 am to 12:00 pm

Sunday: Closed


North London Van & Truck Hire Ltd,

1320 Mollison Avenue,





020 3031 1097