For commercial facilities and warehouses that include loading docks, there are several different moving parts involved in these docks. One of the most essential such parts, particularly when it comes to safe operations within the loading dock area, is the loading dock leveler.
At Crawford Door Sales, we’re proud to offer a variety of loading dock equipment for commercial businesses and facilities in addition to our commercial garage doors and repair services. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over all the basics you need to know about loading dock levelers and the purposes they serve, plus some tips on how to select the ideal dock leveler for your facility.
Loading Dock Leveler Basics
First and foremost, as the name might suggest, a loading dock leveler is an item that’s in place to bridge the gap between delivery vehicles and the facility’s floor. Its primary purpose is to allow trucks and cargo to easily move into and out of the space, plus to make loading and unloading simple and safe.
In nearly all cases, loading dock levelers will be height-adjustable platforms that can be raised or lowered depending on the height of a given truck. Dock levelers are composed of several distinct parts, which we’ll dig into below.
Purposes of Dock Levelers
As we noted, the primary purpose of dock levelers is to provide a safe, convenient way of connecting vehicles and trucks to the interior of a facility. They are mostly used for industrial vehicles, with the adjustable height section serving as the part that allows for service of several different vehicle sizes.
While dock levelers will vary in terms of their specific parts, many will be similar regardless of the leveler type. These include a frame, a shim and a core activation system. For safety needs, they also come with elements like toe guards, bumpers and a lip for easy attachment. They are attached in an area that also has a dock pit, or a floor opening that accommodates the leveler in the proper location.
There are a few popular options when it comes to the type of dock leveler you might consider:
- Hydraulic: Stored in the dock pit, hydraulic levelers tend to come with the most convenient connection formats between dock and vehicle. They are extremely smooth, leading to strong safety qualities. They also do not require much maintenance.
- Manual: For this option, someone has to manually pull a chain lever to move the dock into the right position.
- Vertical storing: A leveler that allows the vehicle to dock fully before opening its doors, maximizing door protection and security.
- EOD: Short for edge-of-dock, this leveler is extremely simple, positioned on the edge of the dock for minimal height difference situations.
For more on dock levelers, or to learn about choosing the best dock leveler or garage door option, speak to the staff at Crawford Door Sales today.