A dock leveler is a perfect solution to prevent equipment damage and accidents at your loading dock.
The gap between a truck’s back and a loading dock is the most dangerous place in a business involved in loading and unloading activities.
But you can alleviate the danger by installing a dock leveler that provides a secure bridge across the gap.
A dock leveler provides a secure bridge for forklifts and personnel to move the truck and loading dock safely.
Here are a few concepts to help you understand your prospective dock leveler better.
#1. Difference Between Edge-a-Dock-Leveler and Dock Leveler
Edge-of-dock-levelers are attached to the dock face. Note that the equipment is not mounted to the floor or pit of the dock surface.
An edge-of-dock-leveler is the apt solution if your loading dock does not have a dock leveler.
In addition, it is also an economical alternative. There is no need to spend money on things like demolition or framing the pit.
#2. The Essential Considerations Before Investing in a Dock Leveler
Despite plenty of dock levelers in the market, you should not purchase one in haste. Instead, you should consider several factors beforehand.
Here are the factors for consideration:
- The total weight—the weight of the forklift and freight
- The number of trucks to be loaded and unloaded every week
- The dock height
- The height of the truck/trailer
- How will the truck approach
- The manufacturer’s reputation
#3. How Long Does a Dock Leveler Last
Broadly speaking, the longevity of your dock leveler depends on how you maintain it. Usually, the most vital element dictating the longevity of a dock leveler is preventive maintenance.
In addition, you should not fail to repair the equipment immediately after the following damage.
Again, you should not disregard smaller defects. The defect can develop into a significant flaw over time if you do so. In such a case, you will have to spend significantly to fix the defect.
If you notice that your dock leveler is making a strange noise, you should not undermine it.
Instead, you should fix the defect immediately.
#4. Things to be Careful About
You should refrain from buying a dock leveler if the manufacturer is not clear about the capacity or the equipment does not conform to the best practices. Again, ensure that the manufacturer provides a warranty.
You should abstain from purchasing a dock leveler from a manufacturer that does not provide a warranty.
#5. Conversion of Mechanical Dock Leveler into Hydraulic Variant
Although the conversion is technically possible, it is not a cost-effective option. Remember, despite both variants working in the same manner, they are built differently.
Therefore, conversion is not a good idea. Instead, buying a hydraulic dock leveler is a good idea.
Hydraulic dock levelers work with hydraulic pumps and hydraulic cylinders to place the leveler. There is also the facility of stopping the leveler at any time during operation.
Besides, a hydraulic dock leveler can be programmed to return to the original position after the operations.
Moreover, purchasing a hydraulic dock leveler is a tremendous cost advantage vis-a-vis a mechanical dock leveler.
You can save money as you need to carry out lesser maintenance for the hydraulic variant.
In other words, you can get a good return on investment.
Again, a hydraulic dock leveler can adjust itself when the trailer floats above and below the dock.
Due to the safeguard elements, a hydraulic dock leveler can prevent the free falling of the platform due to failure issues.
Before deciding to invest in a dock leveler, you should decide whether you will purchase a mechanical dock leveler or a hydraulic one.
Remember, there are considerable advantages to investing in a hydraulic dock leveler. However, regardless of the variant, you should consider essential aspects, such as dock traffic, long-term upgrades, and the degree of safety, before investing in a dock leveler.
Ackermans is a South African value retailer that has been in operation since 1916. With ov…