Tilt Trays, How They’re Used and What For in Todays World

tilt tray transport perth

Tilt Trays, How They’re Used and What For in Todays World

Image of our tilt tray loading up a sea container

Reef Group’s truck loading up a sea container

If you have ever had to move oversized equipment or large shipping containers across Western Australia, you may already be familiar with tilt trays. On the other hand, if you are in the process of organising the transportation of a large load for the first time and you would like to know the advantages of using tilt trays, this article is sure to be of interest. In it, we look at what tilt trays are, the applications they can be used for and how they work. If, after reading this article, you have any questions about our tilt tray service in Perth and across WA, please do not hesitate to call or email us. We have a great deal of experience with this type of transportation and operate a fleet of superbly maintained tilt tray slides from our High Wycombe depot.

The Mechanics

We are going to start with a basic primer. As you may already have guessed from the name of this type of transportation, the main feature of a tilt tray truck is a tray that can be tilted at such an angle that the rear edge touches the ground, facilitating the loading of heavy equipment onto the bed of the truck without the use of any type of crane or boom. There is a hydraulic system underneath the bed of the truck, which tilts the tray and slides it backwards (in the case of tilt tray slides). At the front of the tray is a winch, which is used to pull the loads onto the tray before the hydraulic system underneath returns the tray back to its horizontal position on the truck. That, in a nutshell is how a tilt tray works.


Tilt tray truck operators must undergo comprehensive training before being assessed, owing to the damage a tilt tray could cause if used improperly. However, even though they should only be operated by a trained professional, it is possible to describe the process of loading a tilt tray truck in a few short sentences:

  • Park the Truck in Front of the Load – It is important to make sure that there is adequate space in front of any load that you wish to transport on a tilt tray slide because the tray tilts and slides backwards off the truck until the back edge is level with the ground, right in front of your shipping container or heavy equipment.


  • Tilt and Slide the Tray – The tray tilts and slides, using the hydraulic controls, as described above. Once it is in position, the operator will move onto the next step.


  • Unwind Winch and Attach to the Load – The winch at the front of the tray unwinds until the bar attached to it is directly in front of the load. This is then hooked up to allow the operator to winch the load onto the tilted tray.


  • Winch Load onto Tray – The truck with its tray tilted, reverses underneath the load as it is being winched onto the tray. The video below shows exactly how this is done.


  • Return Tray to Horizontal Position – Once the load is safely on the tray, the tray tilts and slides back into its former, horizontal, position, fully inside the frame of the truck.


  • Winch to Front of Tray – With the tray safely in the horizontal position, the load can be winched forward until it reaches the front of the tray, ready for transportation to its destination.


Types of Loads That Are Often Transported on Tilt Tray Trucks

Tilt Tray Trucks are designed to make the transportation of various different oversized and heavy loads a simple matter and they can also be used for any type of load that may be difficult to lift off the ground and lower onto an ordinary flatbed truck.

  • Large Shipping Containers – Unless your site is equipped with the type of large crane commonly seen at industrial docks around the world, getting a shipping container onto a flat bed truck will be an impossible task. However, if you hire a tilt tray truck, you can quickly load such a container and transport it safely to any destination in Western Australia. If you receive goods in shipping containers on a regular basis, a tilt tray service could be invaluable to your business.


  • Heavy Plant and Machinery – Construction and mining equipment that is too heavy or large to be safely lifted onto an ordinary truck can be loaded onto a tilt tray truck with ease. As long as you have enough space in front of the equipment in question, you will almost certainly find that tilt tray trucks represent the safest, most economical transportation option.


There are many other types of loads that can be moved with tilt tray trucks but we hope the above information has given you a better idea of how useful this type of transportation can be.


tilt tray transport perth

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