Dock safety, as well as overall warehouse loading and unloading safety protocols, grow in importance every year. Even more so when it comes to newer and more innovative technology launched to help expedite the entire process.
When it comes to loading dock levelers, there are 4 types commonly used which include:
Mechanical Dock Levelers
Hydraulic Dock Levelers
Air Dock Levelers
Vertical Dock Levelers
A Short Glance at their Functionalities
These loading dock levelers are very convenient in terms of functionality and usability. Operating them is easy and they have a very durable and versatile design. They are ideal for the majority of applications, but do require routine maintenance and lubrication to maintain peak performance. Their major benefit is energy cost savings, because they are manually operated versus powered like their hydraulic counterparts.
These dock levelers are powered operated and specifically designed for high capacity workloads, which mean they are the best option for a busy warehouse operation when it comes to loading and unloading. Hydraulic levelers are designed to expedite the process, improving your operational efficiency. They are more expensive than their mechanical counterparts, but require less routine maintenance and are ideal for heavy loads, high usage and extreme weather conditions.
Air dock levelers are activated by pushing a button which causes the air bag to inflate, which 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 caustic substances.
This dock leveler is primarily manufactured to be used in specific loading and unloading docking areas whose internal temperature need to be controlled. By preserving the building interior temperature, they help to lower cooling costs and prevent product from spoiling. When these dock levelers are not being used, they are parked in an upright position, which allows the overhead door to be closed completely, thus preventing any unauthorized access to the building, which increase building security. These air levelers are controlled via a hydraulic system.
Important Things to Keep in Mind When Opting for a Loading Dock Leveler
There are a lot of things to consider when trying to decide which type of dock levelers is best for your operations, but there are two very important things to keep in mind when selecting the best option, which are:
Your Operational Specifications and Requirements
Different types of warehouse docking operations will demand different leveler functionality. This is where it is important to determine what exactly your specifications are. Choose the leveler that fits your needs. Moreover, before picking the right leveler, take into account the type of loading and unloading vehicles you use on your dock. Depending on the number of times the dock leveler has to be used and the weight capacities loaded and unloaded, you should be able to narrow the leveler you will require.
Costs for Leveler Maintenance
Before buying a dock leveler, think about whether or not you will be able to frequently afford the operating and maintenance costs of running the leveler.