Mechanical and Hydraulic Dock Levelers Efficiency with Safety

Published: 18th March 2011
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For companies that perform shipping and receiving, it is important that their loading dock areas operate with maximum efficiency along with highest-level of safety. It is not good business to have the company profit margins reduced because of inefficiently run loading dock areas, while impeding the all-important process of getting these products to customers as quickly as possible. Additionally, the larger and busier a dock area, the more essential the need becomes to operate it with peak efficiency. Proper loading dock equipment is vital and most equipment designed for dock-area use has two key aspects: high efficiency and maximized safety. Two different type dock levelers are popular and most commonly used in the industry. One of the many such types of vital equipment is the manual dock leveler and the other is the hydraulic dock leveler. Please take a brief moment to read the following article on manual dock levelers and hydraulic dock levelers, which provide excellent efficiency along with essential dock-area safety.

Simply stated, manual dock levelers and hydraulic dock levelers are designed as edge of dock levelers or pit dock levelers. Both designs are utilized in material handling loading and unloading to correct height disparities between a truck bed and a loading dock platform If you did not have a dock leveler, for one thing, it would make your forklift useless for trailer loading/unloading because the forklift would be unable to make the bed-to-platform crossing. The manual dock leveler and hydraulic dock leveler solves this problem quickly by performing that exact task that its name suggests: leveling the height difference between a truck bed and a dock platform. The loading dock leveler sometimes can be substuted with a loose dock board. This method of material handling equipment is very simplistic and not always the best choice. The loose dock board is a simple use of an independent platform working to compensate for the unevenness between truck beds and loading dock platforms. With this accomplished, your forklifts can come into play, unloading the truck considerably faster than several workers could manually and, of course, with no physical strain on workers caused by repeated lifting.

Compensating for the uneven height differences between the truck and the loading dock is one important loading dock function for the loading dock leveler. The hinged-lip feature, a common dock leveler design, helps enable this equipment to serve as an excellent crossing conduit from the dock platform to the trailer bed and vice-versa. The slide deck dock leveler is a continuous platform without a hinge therefore creating a stronger deck platform. Both loading ramp designs of these dock levelers are often essential because there are a number of instances in which a truckís bed cannot be made flush with the dock platform, creating the need for a ramp for loading/unloading. The hinged lip or slide deck dock levelers fulfill this need excellently.

In addition to a significantly increasing cargo loading/unloading speed and efficiency, mechanical and hydraulic loading dock levelers also serve as very important dock-area safety equipment. The truck-bed-to-dock-platform crossover point is one of the most potentially dangerous areas at any loading dock area. Multiple forklift crossings over this point can turn an insignificant, small separation into a considerably larger gap that could easily become hazardous to workers. The manual or hydraulic dock levelerís loading ramp function, coupled with the use of dock truck restraints or wheel chocks, works excellently to prevent potentially dangerous gaps from being created by repeated forklift crossings from truck bed to dock platform and vice-versa. Busy distribution centers receive tens of thousands of products each day, and, within days or even hours, ship these same products to stores. The movement of products consequently is very time-sensitive, and the overall efficiency of the loading dock area is vitally important to profits. Safety is number one. It is the customerís responsibility to verify correctness of fit for applications.

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