If your business has any industrial operation or a warehouse, you must have some sort of loading dock in your facility. An adequate and strategically built dock level can make your life easier. It can increase the efficiency and safety of your operations and employees.
All commercial or industrial warehouses and facilities are unique in their operations. Thus, each loading dock equipment may vary.
Whatever your need to move, the loading docks are the unsung heroes of your business. From programmable control systems and safety products to hydraulic equipment, dock shelters to vehicle restraints, there is a wide variety of loading dock equipment you should know.
6 Must-Have Loading Dock Equipment
Whatever your loading dock needs are, here are six of the essential loading dock equipment you will require.
1. Dock Levelers
There is always a gap between the parked trailer and your warehouse’s loading dock. This is where dock levelers come in as a bridging solution to load and unload the goods while ensuring the handler’s and inventory’s safety.
Having the dock leveler that is the right fit will help increase your productivity and efficiency. It will offer smooth and quick transfers to and from the trailers into your facilities.
You can get both power-assisted and hydraulic dock levelers. If you have fast-paced operations, the former will be an ideal solution, whereas the latter is best to meet your high-volume loading demands.
2. Trailer Restraints
If you are looking for equipment to keep your loading dock workers safe from any trips, falls, and other injuries, you need to ensure that the trailers parked stay in place. You will require trailer restraints to secure the trailers at your loading dock when parking during the loading/unloading process.
The trailer restraints are powerful and efficient devices with clear, instantaneous, and automated systems for trailer drivers and dock operators. There are two types of trailer restraints that can provide your loading/unloading operations enhanced safety and productivity.
- Vehicle Restraints – Vehicle restraints engage the parking trailer’s rear impact guard. You can mount vehicle restraints to the ground, dock wall, or recess them under the leveler in a pit. Vehicle restraints are the safest solution as they make a parked trailer an extension of your facility. They anchor it in place via a powered or manual retraining system.
- Wheel Restraints – So, what if a trailer coming into the facility has a damaged or missing rear impact guard, or if it has lift gates installed?
The truth is, securing that type of vehicle using conventional vehicle restraints can be quite a challenge. This is where wheel restraints are an effective solution as they can virtually restraint any vehicle, truck, or trailer.
You can get wheel restraint in both hydraulic and manual variants. However, they are simple, efficient, and safe enough to ensure an accident-free working environment.
3. Dock Shelters and Seals
To keep your docks dry, safe, and energy-efficient, you need dock shelters and seals. You can get a wide variety of dock seals and shelters for various trailer types and sizes.
Whether you want to prevent anything coming in through the loading dock or simply looking for an energy-efficient solution, dock shelters are the loading dock equipment you need. Let us have a quick look at what they are.
- Dock Shelters – Dock Shelters are an ideal solution for keeping out any external element without obstructing the trailer access. This will also allow your loading dock labor to continue working productively but safely, even during extreme weather conditions. Moreover, you will also be able to maintain adequate temperatures within a climate-controlled facility.
- Dock Seals – Dock seals keep any external elements out of your facilities while maintaining the integrity of the environment needed for your loading dock. Moreover, they are efficient enough to keep the facility’s internal climate regulated.
Apart from productivity and safety, dock seals are super energy-efficient loading dock equipment for climate-controlled environments such as cold storage.
You can also get inflatable dock shelters and seals for portable use.
4. HVLS Warehouse Fans
If you are looking for a cost and energy-efficient solution to improve the airflow within your loading facility, HVLS (High Volume Low Speed) fans are ideal loading dock equipment for this purpose.
These fans rotate at 2 to 3 mph speed but offer consistent breeze while offering around 7 to 11-degrees reduction in the facility’s perceived temperature. This helps your loading dock workers to stay cool and focused.
Moreover, HVLS fans limit stagnant air, condensation, and prevent the creation of hot and cold spots. This is especially useful if your facility handles dry and fresh produce and food by reducing the spoilage.
5. Scissor Lifts
A scissor lift provides a dependable and strong solution to help move your products safely from one level to another. Not only does it offer safety, but it also increases your profitability, productivity due to the convenience involved.
There are two types of scissor lifts that you can use at your facilities.
- Dock Lifts – These lifts make your loading operations easier and efficient as they make your loading dock 100 percent accessible. You can choose from a variety of hydraulic dock lifts to offer level-lift best suit for your needs, especially in small spaces.
- In-plant Lift Tables – Now your loading dock workers can say bye to the fear of straining their backs. The in-plant lift tables, tilters, and turntables come in the air, hydraulic, and manual variants. These loading dock equipment automate the task at hand, reducing back injuries while improving your workers’ productivity.
6. Master Control Panels
Now you can streamline and configure all your loading dock equipment onto a single Master Control Panel. This will allow you to operate all your loading dock equipment with a push of a button.
As your business grows, your loading dock operations will become more complex. Therefore, automating them is the best solution to meet your current and future demands.
A master control panel will allow you to combine all your loading dock operations into a compact command panel. This will increase the response time (efficiency) and productivity of your loading dock operations, saving you time, energy, and money.
Whatever your loading dock operations are, having the right loading dock equipment installed can enhance your facility in several ways. All you need is contact us to survey of your needs and we will install the best-suited loading dock solution at your facilities.