Loading and unloading materials from trailer beds is a big part of any large commercial and other industrial facilities. Whether it’s a shopping mall, a production plant, or a manufacturing plant, being able to safely transport materials from the vehicle to the structure floor is important. Loading dock levelers make that happen.
Although there are standard sizes for both loading dock height and trailer height, the two don’t always see eye to eye. Not to mention box vans, trailer trucks, and other shipping vehicles that you may receive at your facility. Not to mention the difference in height of the truck bed and dock plates as materials are unloaded.
Loading dock equipment like levelers help you bridge that gap and accept receivables for the vast majority of deliveries. Loading dock levelers provide a safe way to load and unload materials from trailer beds, raising or lowering to meet the opening of the vehicle.
After performing an audit of your loading dock and a review of the types of deliveries you have, Storee Construction will design-build the perfect loading dock leveler system for your needs. We install all of the leading manufacturers of loading dock levelers and other equipment.
Types of Loading Dock Levelers
There are a few different types of dock levelers, including mechanical, air-powered, and hydraulic dock levelers. Mechanical dock levelers are relatively easy to operate and manually operated levelers use less power for cost savings. However, they will need routine maintenance, such as lubrication, to ensure smooth movements.
Air-powered dock levelers use airbags to raise the edge of the dock levelers and then lower to the trailer bed. These are popular in areas with extreme temperatures or when hazardous materials are present. Hydraulic levelers are perfect for high-traffic, heavy-duty, and extreme conditions. They have lower maintenance costs but are more expensive than the other options.
Loading Dock Leveler Styles
Just as there are different ways of powering the equipment, there are different styles of loading dock leveler installation. Depending on the capacity of your loading dock, how often you use it, and the materials you’re working with, continuing product improvements mean there is a dock leveler perfect for your situation.
Vertical Storing Dock Levelers Installation
Providing a measure of smooth operation as well as built-in safety features, vertical loading dock levelers operate almost independently of the loading dock opening. The ramp is placed a few feet away from the opening and lowered to meet the bed of the trailer. Many are also equipped with continual press operation, meaning the ramp only moves when an operator is present.
Other levelers are built into the dock opening, so gaps and small openings are present when the door is closed. Vertical dock loaders allow the door to the loading dock to be secure all along the bottom of the door. When not in use, the vertical loading dock leveler stands straight up and down, preventing any accidental trips or falls off the dock.
The ability to keep a somewhat air-tight loading dock from exterior conditions is ideal for situations when interior conditions must be kept consistent. Because there are no gaps at the bottom, dust and debris from outdoors can be kept to a minimum. If you load/unload from refrigerated storage, airbags can create a seal between the trailer and the opening.
Pit Style or Recessed Loading Dock Levelers
These levelers are built directly into the dock edge, have a greater operating range than other levelers, and are used for heavy loads and constant use. Depending on their construction and ramp size, these levelers can range from 12 inches to 18 inches both above and below the loading dock level.
Edge of Dock Levelers
These are installed after the loading dock has already been built or as a retrofit. Installed at the front of the loading dock, they don’t have the range of the other equipment but are a good choice for smaller operations that don’t have the requirements of vertical or recessed levelers.
Work With Loading Dock Leveler Installation Experts
Storee Construction has been installing loading dock levelers and other heavy-duty dock equipment for over 60 years in high-traffic shipping facilities and distribution hubs around the midwest. We work with new construction, upgrades, and retrofits to give your commercial or manufacturing facility the loading dock it needs.
And we offer so much more. Loading docks are just one piece of the production or distribution puzzle. Are you getting the most out of your floor space or do you feel your production processes are impeding growth? Our facility contractors and engineers will redesign your entire operation to increase efficiency and boost productivity.
Maybe it makes sense to move where your docks are located to facilitate easier transport in and out of the facility or to take greater advantage of new transportation/shipping lines. Will rearranging the plant floor expedite material handling for easier packing and loading? And do all of your processes meet safety codes and regulations?
When you work with Storee Construction, you work with a full-service industrial construction company. From design-build capabilities to engineering to safety considerations, we have the experience and the resources to deliver a facility that meets your needs. And we work around your schedule to keep downtime to a minimum.
Have needed electrical or automation upgrades to make? Looking to expand your existing operations or move to a new location? Get in touch with Storee Construction to see how we can help.