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Applications Of Loading Dock Levelers
Dock levelers have a great contribution to every company or business. As modern technologies are fast-growing, the significance of levelers could improve facility efficiency in a time-and-cost manner. They are commonly found in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and other large industrial buildings like rice, sugar, and flour mills and other products' import and export.
In North America, the most commonly found height is 48-52 inches or 55 inches from the ground to the floor of a warehouse. Dock door height is typically 10 feet which provides the best access to the maximum trailer height. Loading dock levelers are designed to support extremely heavy loads of goods or service trucks used in manufacturing facilities for transport, loading and unloading into one place to another. As dock and warehouse hazards issues grow in importance along with productivity, efficiency and environmental regulations, there is an increasing need for innovative equipment. Determining the problems can help prevent accidents and serious injuries to employees in using levelers.
Definition of Dock Leveler
A dock leveler is a piece of equipment that is either mounted to the dock face or recessed into a pit of a loading dock door, allowing the movement of goods/service industrial vehicles between a warehouse (dock pit) and a truck.
It is a height-adjustable platform used to ensure smooth transition between dock and truck which helps prevent forklift accidents that can cause serious injuries to workers when circumstances occur. It is usually made of metal plate that is being raised from a state position and is moved into the back of the truck to transfer vis-à-vis.
A loading dock leveler is stored in its neutral position with the loading platform floor. When in use, the operator raises the ramp and the lip swings out; with the lip extended, the operator should lower the ramp until the lip rests on the truck. Dock levelers are essential in the production and delivery of a final product (e.g, basic or raw materials and components, instruments, hardware or tools), food service, hospitality, cleaning equipment and supplies, chemicals and other materials used in other services that improve our quality of life.
Three Basic Types of Dock Levelers
1. Mechanical Type
2. Air Type
3. Hydraulic Type
The type you will want to use will depend on the nature of your dock and application.
The Main Types of Dock Levelers
1. Edge-of-Dock Levelers
Since edge-of-dock levelers mount to the edge of your loading dock versus pit installed, they have a limited service range to offer, making them best suited for standard height trailers. However, edge-of-dock levelers are easy to install and provide a higher level of safety than dock plates, at an affordable price. This kind of dock leveler is used in low- capacity, low-frequency settings, where a dock plate cannot offer the performance or ergonomics.
2. Mechanical Dock Levelers
These dock levelers are easy-to-operate, incredibly durable, and incur zero energy costs as they feature a simple chain operation. Mechanical dock levelers work efficiently for most applications, and are the ideal choice for those on a budget.
3. Hydraulic Dock Levelers
Hydraulic dock levelers typically come with a push-button operation, making your loading and unloading process a lot simpler and more ergonomically friendly than mechanical dock levelers. They are designed for durability in high-traffic, heavy-load conditions. They also require less maintenance than their mechanical counterparts.
4. Vertical Dock Levelers
Vertical dock levelers can be controlled through hydraulic means and offer a complete seal when stored in their vertical position. These dock levelers are designed for temperature-controlled environments and applications where cleanliness is important. They help minimize energy loss and keep out pest, dust and debris.
5. Air Dock Levelers
A popular alternative to oil-powered models, air dock levelers incorporate the use of an air-powered system to raise and lower the platform. They perform safely and efficiently under even the harshest conditions, such as extreme temperatures, heavy usage, and exposure to caustic substances.
If you are considering an air-powered dock leveler, you may want to opt for a hydraulic leveler instead, which is considered safer, has a less expensive installation process, is easier to clean and is available with more customization options.
6. Roll Off Stop Lip Dock Levelers
Roll off stop lip dock levelers are designed to stop the forklift drifting too close to the edge and falling off of the leveler.
Different options are made depending on the nature of your warehouse. You may assess your various requirements and essentials, the most appropriate choice will become more convenient for your everyday operations.
Criteria to Consider in Choosing an Appropriate Dock Leveler for a Specific Application
Criteria No. 1: Identify your specific needs
Each operation will place different demands on a dock leveler. It is essential to make sure you pick the right leveler for an individual requirement. You’ll need to take note of the type of vehicles that will use your dock or the type of loading bay. Things to consider are frequency of use, load capacities, and trailer dimensions.
Criteria No. 2: Safety first
Health and safety are most companies' top priorities, and you’ll need to be aware of safety when selecting dock levelers. The leveler covers the gap between the dock and trailer that is crossed by forklifts many times each year. Ensure that the leveler you choose covers safety in four key areas: vacant dock drop-off protection, free-fall protection, protecting cross traffic against gaps in the floor, and protection of personnel during routine leveler maintenance.
Criteria No. 3: Maintenance Costs
There is more to consider than just the initial cost of the leveler you choose. Maintenance costs should also be distinguished. Try to ascertain the availability of spares and look for an uncomplicated design. Above all, check the quality of construction. Not all levelers are equal and quality varies widely.
Criteria No. 4: Reliability and Durability
It is important to get maximum reliability from your dock leveler. Therefore, you should consider your individual application to ensure that the equipment you choose meets the standards. At first glance, structural differences between models may not be obvious. Therefore, when evaluating equipment, you should look closely for stability, strength, design and quality of construction.
Criteria No. 5: After-Sales Support
Manufacturer support and after-sales service is an important consideration when choosing a dock leveler. This is a long term investment and a dock leveler is an important part of your operation. You will need a manufacturer who stands behind the equipment they sell. They should offer after-sales service.
A loading dock leveler plays an important role in your everyday tasks. Simply, they do not only make every shipment simpler but also prevent costly damages in inventory and promote loading dock safety to both parties (employees and the company). If your business turns around loading and unloading materials, having the right dock leveler can make your loading dock safe, secure, and operational.
At Southern Dock Products, a division of DuraServ Corp, our loading dock levelers in Corpus Christi Texas have the right loading dock levelers 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 Mechanical Loading Dock Levelers in Corpus Christi, Texas and Corpus Christi Texas Loading Dock Products carry a full line of safety dock equipment and other related dock products.
You can make a service request at https://www.southerndockproducts.com/service-request or call Southern Dock Products, Corpus Christi, Texas at (210) 359-9552 or our toll-free number at 1-800-994-2361.
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