If your business involves the transportation and storage of pallets, using loading dock levelers can prove beneficial. They facilitate the quick, safe and efficient loading and unloading of materials. To transport the cargo, a forklift is used. It doesn’t matter what kind of material (whether heavy or light) your business deals with; having a dock leveler can make the overall process smoother!
Common Types of Loading Dock Levelers
Hydraulic Dock Levelers
Hydraulic dock levelers are mounted on a pre-formed pit at the dock and can easily equalize the gap between the dock floor and trailer bed at the push of a button. They are an ideal solution for light and medium duty applications.
Mechanical Dock Levelers
Mechanical dock levelers are operated by a pull chain, with the operator standing on the leveler to control it properly. They are safe to use and create a smooth platform between the lower dock and trailer bed.
Vertical Dock Levelers
Vertical dock levelers are stored or parked in a vertical position. They are then lowered at a controlled rate until they rest on the bed of the trailer. After the goods have been loaded/unloaded, the operator activates the raise button and the leveler returns to a vertical (stored) position. They are commonly used in food processing and storage facilities.
Edge of Dock Levelers
Edge of dock levelers are most commonly mounted to the face of the loading dock and secured to a curb channel embedded in the concrete. They are an economical alternative to dock plates or pit levelers, provided the height difference between the dock and trailer bed is not more than 2″ above or below the dock level. They are activated by pressing a control button that raises the lip, and once fully extended, the button is released and the leveler lowers to rest on the trailer bed. When finished, the leveler retracts to a stored position.
Choosing a Dock Leveler: Things to Keep in Mind
When it comes to choosing a loading dock leveler, some important factors should be kept in mind. The first thing you need to consider is the number of times you are going to use the leveler in a day. Second, you need to think about whether or not your business will experience increased dock traffic in the future. You also need to take the weight of your cargo into account, so make sure you determine your heaviest loads. And last, but not the least, you must distinguish the variations in bed heights.
Why are Truck Restraints Important?
Safety should be your number one priority with any type of loading dock leveler you use. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that you use truck restraints. A truck restraint, also commonly referred to as dock hook, not only prevents injuries to workers, but also restricts the truck from accidentally pulling away from the dock leveler when a loading operation is in progress.
As you can see, loading dock levelers are beneficial for businesses involved in loading and unloading materials. They can also increase efficiency and productivity. When choosing a dock leveler for your business, keep the abovementioned factors in mind, so you can pick the right one for your needs.