Dock levelers are suitable for leveling the height between the delivery truck (or any other vehicle) and the warehouse floor. This allows for smoother docking and enables safe loading. It’s important because warehouse workers cannot lift goods and large containers onto delivery vehicles themselves. It’s why facilities require fully functional dock levelers to make the process of loading and unloading seamless.
It’s important to select the right type of dock levelers as well. There are different types of dock levelers, so unaware workers might get confused as to which type of dock leveler they should choose for their warehouse or facility. If you want a more productive and safer facility during operations, try opting for one of the safest dock leveler types below.
Different Types of Dock Levelers
To help you understand, there are a lot of safety concerns about docking and loading goods into trucks. The use of proper dock levelers is of paramount importance because that’s how workers will feel safe, and there are low chances of damage. However, if you’re feeling unsure about what type of dock levelers you should choose for your facility, read this post.
Roll-Off Stop Lip
Roll-off stop lip dock levelers are one of a kind extremely indifferent to standard levelers. These have an added safety measure that prevents machinery, such as forklifts, from falling off the dock and taking damage. This is a valuable feature of roll-off stop lip dock levelers that comes in handy when the trailer isn’t attached to the facility door. To prevent the dock from falling on the door opening, roll-off dock levelers use the safety feature “stop lip,” which holds the deck in a fixed position when it’s parked.
The “stop lip” holds the dock around the edge. This method is both reliable and quite convenient in terms of price. Another safety feature stops the forklifts from falling off the edge of the dock, whether the door is open or closed. This helps avoid any sectional damage and financial loss if the forklift is holding any goods or containers.
As the name suggests, air-powered dock levelers use an inflatable airbag to increase the height of the leveler in a similar way as a hydraulic leveler. Normally, workers can operate it through a push-button mechanism that releases air into the bag and inflates it. Compared to the hydraulic leveler, the air-powered dock levelers require heavy maintenance to ensure proper cleaning of the airbag. Long-term care and routine checks might cost more time. One of the biggest downsides of using this type of dock leveler is that they remain at risk of blasting out once they come in contact with sharp debris.
While the airbag can puncture at any time, the air-powered dock levelers use a safety leg system as well, which is quite similar to mechanical systems. This type of dock leveler is more reliable because it doesn’t have a lot of moving parts. But in comparison to hydraulic levelers, they still have a few extra components, which increase the risk of breaking out on extreme pressure.
Edge of Dock Levelers
If you don’t know, the edge of dock levelers comes in both mechanical and hydraulic types. They are more suitable for facilities and warehouses that make do with low-volume handling. They have a maximum weight capacity of nearly 30,000 lbs. While they aren’t sufficient for large facilities, they are safer alternatives to dock plates. If you’re looking for an ergonomic dock leveler, you can go with the edge of dock levelers. Even if you want to keep this type of dock leveler, you must first consider your facility’s size and loading capacity.
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There’s a risk of facing fatal or highly injurious accidents before you know it. As a professional manager, supervisor, or any other higher officer, it’s compulsory to care for the workers inside your facility or warehouse. Hydraulic dock levelers are the most commonly chosen type among all the other options out there. The main advantage of this type is that they are suitable for heavy-duty usage and can support extreme weights without any fatigue on the mechanics. Heavy traffic conditions and high volume rarely affect the health of these dock levelers.
Moreover, if you didn’t know this before, there are options to make your hydraulic dock leveler system fully automatic. With the push of a single button, you can make a hydraulic leveler move up or down. Virtually, this type of dock leveler is nearly maintenance-free, and with that said, the chances of breakdowns are very low. It’s the best option for heavy-duty usage, low maintenance, and efficiency.
Among different types of dock levelers, you mustn’t forget vertical loading dock levelers. They offer a robust seal when you place them in an upright position below the dock. Although they are hydraulic-based, they remain vertical when inactive. Since this type of dock leveler offers a complete seal on the door opening when vertical, it retains conditioned air inside the facility.
Vertical loading dock levelers are the ideal option for facilities that want to improve energy efficiency and keep security tight (the “seal” feature).
Mechanical loading dock levelers are among the most economical option out there in the market. Firstly, they don’t require a power source to operate because they are spring-based. The right manufacturers incorporate high-quality mechanical safety legs in the mechanical loading dock leveler design. While they use springs to raise the leveler, stump-out problems can occur. This is when the dock leveler doesn’t function properly to enable seamless movement of the trailer bed.
That is a concern for potential damages to the dock leveler itself, goods, and equipment in use. It’s worth mentioning that maintenance costs, in the long run, can run higher than the potential cost savings that you may receive from this option.
Whether you require a dock leveler system for your commercial-grade facility or a garage door repair/replacement, you can rely on the best company around you. Overhead Door Company of Tampa Bay™ is among the top competitors providing garage door repairs, replacements, and installations in Florida. You can call professionals to get an estimate for your garage door repairs, replacement, or dock leveler installation. The experienced and trained professionals at our company will make sure to provide peace of mind and streamlined operations.