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How To Choose Warehouse Dock Equipment

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By Author: Southern Dock Products
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Coming up with great warehouse dock equipment for your business needs careful planning. Considering the complexities of several options nowadays, selecting the more ideal practical application would take some risks, both in your current needs and the future.

Careful planning involves knowing the fundamentals to understand things better. Taking action without all details and other essential information may lead to workplace hazards, less optimized loading dock operations, lack of visibility, and increasing operating costs.

In this article, Southern Dock Products of San Antonio, Texas, a Division of DuraServ Corp., will discuss the basics of how to choose warehouse dock equipment.

Warehouse Dock Equipment
Loading docks are recessed bays at the back of the warehouse that are used as platforms for shipment vehicles such as freight trucks, trailers, shipping containers, or rail cars to get loaded and unloaded efficiently. Loading and unloading shipments from these shipment vehicles involve dangerous and high-risk operations by warehouse workers on a daily basis. This is where loading dock equipment come in--to keep the warehouse workers safe from hazards and to keep the dock operations efficient.

Southern Dock Product’s loading dock equipment service area in San Antonio, Texas simplify dock equipment based on their functionality, purpose, and benefits, namely: lighting equipment, security equipment, and anti-weather equipment.

Lighting Equipment
Loading dock equipment lights provide light to loading dock vehicles during the loading and unloading activity, which creates a safety signal and a productive working environment.

Light Communication System
This is used to improve communication between the dock workers and shipment vehicle drivers. This system is identical to traffic signals, using red light for “stop” and green light for “go”, which provide distinctive and safe signals to dock workers inside and shipment drivers outside.

Illumination Lighting
This is commonly used for lighting dock work areas, such as shipment vehicles, shipping containers, and dock workers during night time.

Benefits:
The first benefit is clear and safe communication. Lighting provides clear safety signals to the shipment drivers and dock workers, whether it is to enter or exit the transport vehicle or to park safely.
Second is the illumination. The light is used to illuminate the whole dock work areas to increase safety during the loading and unloading process.

Security Equipment
Security equipment provides an improvement in the safety of your employees, and at the same time provides protection to your equipment. Primarily, to secure the shipment vehicle, shipping container to the dock face, and making sure it does not roll or shift away, security equipment is used.

1. Dock bumpers are pieces of rubber or resilient device that are attached to a dock in order to cushion the building from truck trailer impact.

2. Chocks (or wheel chocks) are triangular blocks of sturdy rubber, wood or metal placed closely against shipment vehicles wheels to prevent trailer movement.

3. Trailer restraints are hydraulic or mechanical vehicle devices attached to the dock face that connects to the trailer to prevent a shipment vehicle from moving during loading and unloading.

4. A trailer jack is a device that lifts the trailer to a certain height, allowing the trailer to be hitched or unhitched to and from the towing vehicle. The common types of trailer jacks are drop-leg jacks, A-frame jacks, and swivel jacks.

5. A dock leveler is a piece of loading dock equipment, usually a manually, hydraulically, air or electrically operated plate, that puts right differences in height of loading docks and truck beds to facilitate smooth loading and unloading activity.

6. A dock lift is a fixed lift with nearly 5'0 or less of vertical travel that is used for unloading and loading material from the truck to ground elevation or dock. Dock lift is typically capable of servicing all types of shipment vehicles, from vans and pick-up trucks to box trucks, container trucks, and tractor-trailers.

7. A conveyor system, in certain warehouses, is a common piece of mechanical handling equipment that can move materials or even trailers from one location to another in a fluid loading process. Conveyors are highly useful for applications in transporting heavy or bulky materials.

Benefits:
The first and foremost benefit is securing the shipment vehicle to the facility to prevent movement until the unloading and loading activity is complete. The use of security equipment can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries to workers. Secondly, security equipment provides safe accessibility during the loading and unloading process. Thirdly, it safely prevents dock workers or loads from hazardous accidents waiting to happen between the shipping container or rail car, trailer, and dock face.

Anti-weather Protection Equipment
Anti-weather protection equipment protects dock workers, goods/items and surfaces from exposure to weather elements such as rain, snow, ice, heat, and humidity. Such equipment prevents contamination of perishable items/goods, lowering employee productivity due to poor temperature and air quality, and costly dock energy bills from happening.

1. Loading dock doors are retractable opening doors, made either of panels or curtains, in the loading dock area to the outside of a building to control the ambient temperature and humidity of the building. Loading dock doors can be opened manually or automatically when a trailer is secured to the dock face area.

2. Dock seals or weather seals are rubber foam pads or drapes that seal the gap between the dock and the trailer’s entrance.

3. A dock shelter is an enclosure that can be extended to protect the opening between the door of a shipment vehicle and a warehouse to create a seal from weather elements.

Benefits:
Protection of dock workers, goods/items, and surfaces from weather elements.

Where can warehouse dock equipment be used?
Warehouse dock equipment is used at the warehouse or facility areas where a shipment vehicle, trailer, or a shipping container is unloaded or loaded, such as receiving areas, shipping areas, and yard areas.

Receiving Areas: Warehouse areas where incoming shipments arrive at a facility
Shipping Areas: Warehouse areas where outgoing shipments leave the facility
Yard Areas: For buildings that have no elevated dock openings, or if all dock openings are closed/ occupied, the unloading and loading process can be done in the yard.

In what industries can warehouse dock equipment be used?
The following are the industries where loading dock equipment can be of use, namely: aerospace, appliance, automotive, beverage, chemicals, construction, consumer goods, e-commerce, food, hardware, hospital, manufacturing, materials processing, paper, pharmaceutical, plastics, retail and warehousing and distribution.

Where can you purchase warehouse dock equipment?
While you may be surfing the web to track down each of these items from various sellers, you can get most of them at budget prices that fit your needs at Southern Dock Products. Whenever you want a new warehouse design concept or are simply upgrading or retrofitting your warehouse dock equipment, Southern Dock Products has the solution to your warehouse dock equipment needs.

Southern Dock Products, a division of DuraServ Corp., has twelve branches and service locations serving Southern United States, from Texas to North Carolina to Florida and everything in between. Our San Antonio Texas service area has the right loading dock products and staff to keep your dock safe and efficient.

We have the experience and know-how of loading docks. We work at making them as safe as possible. Our loading dock design service area in San Antonio ,Texas carries a full line of safety dock equipment and other related dock products.

Now is the right time to make a service request at https://www.southerndockproducts.com/service-request, or make that call happen at Southern Dock Products, San Antonio, TX: (210) 359-9552 and toll-free: 1-800-994-2361.

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