In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on commercial loading docks and loading dock levelers used within them. Loading dock levelers are vital for allowing proper transition between vehicles and the dock itself, both from safety and convenience perspectives.
At Crawford Door Sales, dock levelers are just one of several high-quality commercial loading dock products we’re proud to offer along with our residential and commercial garage door services. In today’s part two, we’ll go over several factors involved in choosing the proper dock leveler for your facility to ensure all your loading and unloading needs are both convenient and safe at all times.
For starters, like with any other major purchase for your commercial facility, you’ll need to go over your budget and what price range you can afford for your dock leveler. We went over the broad options for leveler types in part one of our series, and they will differ somewhat significantly in terms of their overall cost.
Generally speaking, hydraulic levelers are the most expensive – but this is because they provide the most value, and are often well worth this initial cost. For a more affordable option in areas where levelers are rarely used, you might consider a manual or edge-of-dock leveler.
Another major factor here is the circumstances in your facility and the functionality – and frequency of function – expected in the leveler moving forward. For facilities that will be using the leveler regularly, hydraulic options are again often considered the best choices, in large part due to how easy they are to operate and the lack of strain placed on employees while doing so. Other options are available for other situations, however.
Size and Capacity
One of the most important elements to keep in mind in this process is the size and shape of the dock space in question, plus the load capacity the dock needs to be able to handle. Smaller spaces might require certain leveler types, while larger ones will leave your options a bit more open. For any situation where heavy loads will be regularly loaded or unloaded, it’s vital to ensure the leveler you’re installing can handle this weight.
Finally, you have to consider more than just the initial cost of purchase and installation for your leveling dock. You must also think about future maintenance needs, which are present in any major piece of equipment. One of the reasons hydraulic levelers are more expensive up front, for instance, is because they require less maintenance than other types and generally offer more value in this area.