How To Choose The Right Loading Dock Seals

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How To Choose The Right Loading Dock Seals

Most loading dock doors are 8’ wide by 10’ high and when they open they create a huge hole that allows expensive conditioned air out of the building.  So how can you minimize this expense and inefficiency?  Installing loading docks seas should be at or near the top of your list.

Think about it. Most everything that needs to enter or leave your facility does so through the loading docks. Any inefficiency in these areas will decrease the productivity of your operation and lose you money.

Inefficiency in the loading docks can be due to energy wastage, product damage, or workplace accidents. 18% of the total DAFW (days away from work) in manufacturing were due to injuries and illness to transportation and material moving workers.

So how can you make your loading docks safe and efficient? Installing loading dock seals should be at or near the top of your list.

Benefits of Loading Dock Seals

Loading dock seals and shelters provide a solid contact and alignment between the trailer and the dock door opening. These maintain the internal temperature of the facility saving you heat and cooling costs. You’ll also reduce your carbon footprint.

Sealing your dock doors protect your product from damage, whether from changes in temperature, entry of insects, or the weather. It is also a security measure against product theft.

Keeping the weather out defends your workers from rain, ice, or snow improving area safety.

Choosing the Right Loading Dock Seals

Dock seals are not one-size-fits-all. To help you choose the right seals or shelter for your loading docks, here are some tips.

Measure, Measure, Measure

Taking measurements is the most important step in the selection of dock seals. If you don’t measure, you’ll get gaps that will allow heat to escape or enter through. Improper measurement can also lead to over compression of the foam seals resulting in dock-seal damage or wall damage.

The first step is to take the dimensions of the trucks to be serviced. Measure the height and width of the trucks, the height of the truck beds, and the projection of the truck bumpers. If the height of the trailers varies, choose dock seal models with a head curtain.

The size of the overhead door and the dock height will also determine the right model of seals or shelters.

Another important factor to consider is the grade of the approach, whether it is leveled, declined, or inclined. For the declined approach, you have to take account of the dock bumper projection. You may also need to taper the seals to match the angle of the trailer. In these cases, dock shelters instead of dock seals may be more suitable.

The Dock Situation

How heavy is the traffic at your docks? Do your trucks have air ride suspensions or intermodal trailers that can damage your dock seals? If you expect heavy usage and friction on your seals, invest in models with abrasion-resistant fabric.

If your merchandise is very sensitive to temperature changes, inflatable loading dock seals provide a tighter climate control.

The strength, construction, and type of walls that your facility has also determine the most suitable models of seals or shelters. Inflatable models are the best option for walls that can’t tolerate high compression forces.

Contact us and we’ll help you choose the right seals for your loading docks and save you money

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