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It takes about 31 strokes of the 20-inch handle to raise the bed all the way. If that seems like a lot of work, you obviously never had to shovel a load out. The specs say the bed raises to 45 degrees but it actually goes to over 47, which can make a big difference with wet dirt and other sticky stuff. In this particular instance, we raised the bed first, then pulled the lever for the tailgate-it released perfectly even with a nearly full load of (dry) dirt pushing on it.