Loading dock equipment is used for the easy and safe loading, unloading, and movement of material at docks. There are different types of loading dock equipment. Here is the brief description of some of them.
Dock levelers are used to allow easy transfer of goods from the docks to the trailers. They create a bridge between the dock and the trailer thus ensuring easy and safe movement of material. Depending upon their drive mechanism, dock levelers are of three types – mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic. Mechanical levelers are the least expensive. In this type of leveler, the spring and chain action causes the deck to move up and down. The docks that handle large volume of material generally use hydraulic levelers. This type of leveler is automatic and gets activated with a push button. Pneumatic levelers use air bags to move the deck up. These are gaining popularity because of their simple and easy operation and low maintenance.
Another type of dock leveler which is extensively used in climate controlled ones is vertical dock levelers. These are hydraulic levelers that remain vertical when not in use. It helps them to maintain cleanliness and improve their energy efficiency.
While choosing one leveler, one should keep in mind the volume of material handles, the load that the leveler should be able to carry, and the height adjustment.
Another dock loading equipment is vehicle restraint. This equipment is used to enhance the safety at the dock. Since the accidental movement of truck during loading, unloading or parking at it can cause mishaps, vehicle restraints are used to keep them in place. One can use mechanical, Electro-mechanical or Electro-hydraulic vehicle restraint in their facility. While selecting this loading the equipment, one should ensure that it is user friendly.
This loading equipment is used to fill the gaps between the trailer and the dock door. This helps to prevent the leakage of air, which is the major cause of loss of energy at them. Also, it improves the safety of material and helps prevent contamination of the stored material, which could occur due to air infiltration. There are different types of dock seals. Among them, inflatable seals are the most widely used. They seal both the sides and top of the trailer. Pad seal is another popular dock seal. It is popular because of its low cost.