AmeriDeck Motorcycle Lift System Review
by George Tranos
While we would all rather be riding, there are times that you need to transport your motorcycle instead. Motorcycle transport is a good option if you want to take your motorcycle to a track day, bring it in for service when it’s needed or simply travel to another location. Most people use a trailer that they tow behind their vehicle for this purpose. A trailer that could easily load and tow motorcycles was one of the first purchases made by the Big Apple Motorcycle School. Our requirements back then were to have something that was easy to use and able to tow two motorcycles safely. We wanted something that would last and provide years of service.
We purchased an aluminum trailer with a fold-up ramp. The bed of the trailer was only about 18 inches off the ground and the ramp was long and wide enough so that it was easy for one person to load a motorcycle on and off. That trailer has provided excellent service for fifteen years with minimal maintenance. It does have some distinct disadvantages – you cannot take it on the parkway and must stay out of the left lane on the highway. As with any trailer, it takes practice to back it up and you must make wider turns with it. You’ll also need to look for pull-through spots when parking.
We were looking for another alternative and came across AmeriDeck – a motorcycle lift that fits in the back of your pickup truck. The system can lift up to 2,500 pounds allowing one person to load and unload with the push of a button. It consists of a hydraulic lift arm that is installed in the pickup truck bed with either a PowerDeck or DumpDeck. The PowerDeck can haul heavy equipment, bulk materials and recreation vehicles. The DumpDeck can haul materials and debris for a variety of vocations from landscape to snow and ice management. The two ‘decks’ can be detached from the hydraulic lift and left on the ground. The decks use disconnect pins so you can easily switch from one to the other if desired.
Once installed in your truck, the system is easy to use. A detachable control cable is included or you can purchase their remote control which provides the same functions. You lower the deck by pressing and holding the ‘down’ button. The deck will raise up slightly and then move backwards. Once it is far enough back it will tilt down until the wheels touch the ground. It then rolls completely behind the truck so the entire deck is on the ground.
The deck is flat and is only about one inch above the ground so it’s easy to push your motorcycles onto the deck. We purchased two Condor wheel chocks and rolled our bikes onto the deck. You can strap down your bikes using standard tie downs used for any trailering operation. We had a couple of crossbars installed at the front of the bed for a more secure tie down location when loading two motorcycles. It’s also advised that you strap the rear of the motorcycle down as well so it doesn’t shift while driving. The AmeriDeck has handy tie down points on the edges of the decks.
Once secure, the process to load the deck back into the truck is reversed. Press and hold the ‘up’ button on the remote control and the deck tilts up at the front and rolls onto the truck. Once on the truck it then tilts down until it’s flat in the pickup bed. The whole up or down process takes less than one minute. While you can do this with the truck off, it’s advisable to leave the engine running as the hydraulic lift uses almost 100 amps so you don’t want to drain your battery!
There are some things you might want to consider with this unit. If you’re towing one motorcycle, you’ll want to mount the chock in the middle of the deck. If you’ll be lifting two bikes at once, you would need two chocks – one on each side. For true versatility, you might want to put in three chocks so you have the option of lifting either one or two bikes at a time.
To use this system, you will have to remove the tailgate of your pickup truck. This might be an issue as modern vehicles have sensors that will alert you to your tailgate being open. You might also have to lose the standard rearview camera of your vehicle if it reside in the tailgate. Optional features associated with the camera might also be disabled, things such as cross traffic alert and reverse auto-emergency braking. The lift system also will not allow you to have a bed cover.
You will gain space under the deck when the deck is on the pickup. There is approximately one vertical foot of room between the bottom of the deck and the bed of the pickup. You can use this space to store items either in bins or loose. The space is considerable. Only your imagination will limit the use of this space. Watertight containers of the correct size could hold any number of items you might want to carry with you.
AmeriDeck makes decks for both 6.5 and 8 foot truck beds. You can also purchase deck extensions that slide onto the rear of the deck to extended the deck. This will allow you to haul standard as well as long wheelbase motorcycles. The deck addition will extend well past the end of your pickup and the deck wheels used to roll the deck on the ground are even further back. This may make it difficult to see the rear lights of your pickup truck. Luckily, there are solutions for this as well including lightbars that have additional rear brake and turn signal lights. Unfortunately, the one we chose did not play well with our Ford pickup and gave trailer turn signal out error messages. We had to disconnect it and will find another solution.
You can also leave your trailer hitch on your pickup using this system. This allows you to load your motorcycles with the lift and then hook up another trailer to the pickup as well. The only caveat is that this system may not work with the deck extension as parts of your trailer such as a power winch may prevent the trailer from reaching the hitch. The simple solution is to use the lift without the deck extension in those circumstances.
All-in-all, the AmeriDeck lift system is a good solution to those who want a secure and easy motorcycle transport option without the need for a separate trailer. For more information and to receive a price quote, contact AmeriDeck at https://amerideckproducts.com/ or by phone at 866-890-2311. For Denver and west, please contact Aumsville Equipment Sales, Americas Largest AmeriDeck Dealer, at http://truckdecks.pro or via phone Toll Free at 866-994-3473.
See our YouTube video at AmeriDeck motorcycle lift in action on YouTube