There are currently no methods that provide mine operators with reliable tailgate support design. The reliance on experience or at worst, trial and error for tailgate support design is a major contributing factor responsible for longwall downtime and has potentially catastrophic consequences. An ongoing approach to tailgate support design seeks to better understand tailgate strata mechanics and the interaction between the strata, installed support and longwall powered support. The approach combining empirical and analytical methods for roadway layout and detailed gateroad support design is an alternative to statistically based assessments. It is also expected to provide greater rigour for pillar design where roadway serviceability is a key determinant.