LOADING DOCK EQUIPMENT: DOCK LEVELERS
A loading dock is typically an elevated opening in a buildings sidewall where shipments are sorted and staged for loading and unloading of trailers, shipping containers, delivery trucks, etc.
Dock safety, along with overall warehouse loading and unloading safety, is one of the most important things for any company and its employees. Every year there is newer and more advanced technology launched to help speed up the process of loading and unloading materials.
TYPES OF DOCK LEVELERS:
Mechanical Dock Levelers
These loading dock levelers are ideal for most applications and are convenient in both functionality and usability. They are durable, versatile in design, and easy to operate. Mechanical dock levelers do however require routine maintenance and lubrication to maintain peak performance. One major benefit this type of dock leveler has to offer, is that it is energy cost saving because they are manually operated versus powered, like their hydraulic counterpart.
Hydraulic Dock Levelers
These are the best options for a busy warehouse operation because they are specifically designed for high-capacity workloads. These levelers are designed to expedite the process and improve operational efficiency. They are power operated and more expensive than the mechanical counterpart but require less routine maintenance. Hydraulic dock levelers are an ideal option for heavy loads, high usage, and extreme weather conditions.
Air dock levelers are operated by pushing down a button which causes their air bag to inflate which then raises the deck and deploys the lip in an upward motion. After you release the button the air bag will deflate and allow the platform to lower onto the bed of the truck. Air dock levelers are ideal for applications that involve extreme temperatures, heavy usage, and exposure to corrosive substances.
Vertical Dock Levelers
These levelers are controlled via a hydraulic system and are ideal for specific loading and unloading dock areas where internal temperature needs to be controlled. Vertical dock levelers allow for manufactures to preserve a building’s interior temperature and in turn help to lower cooling cost and prevent the product from spoiling. When these dock levers are not in use, they can be stored in the upright position allowing overhead doors to completely close.
Things to Consider
While there are several things to consider when deciding which dock leveler is right for you, Here are some key things to consider:
- The type of unloading vehicles that will be used and the range of truck bed height.
- What equipment will be used to unload and load the trucks.
- The number of times per day the dock leveler will be used.
- The capacity of the items loaded and unloaded.