Types of Loading Dock Gear
Equipment for dock loading is used to facilitate safe and easy loading and offloading and relocation of material at docks. In this article we will look at the different types of equipment used in dock loading and some of their features.
First there is the Dock Levelers. Dock levelers are used for facilitating easy transfer of material from the harbor to the trailers. These levelers create a bridge between the dock and the trucks thereby ensuring safe transfer of goods. The type of dock leveler depends on the drive mechanism it uses and in this regard, there are three types. They come in mechanic, inflatable, and hydraulic types
The least expensive is the mechanical type. It has a spring and chain mechanism that lifts or lowers the deck. Docks that handle big volume of goods commonly use hydraulic levers. This type is automatic and is activated by pushing a button. The inflatable levelers use airbags to lift or lower the deck. These inflatable levelers are becoming increasingly popular due their simplicity of operation and cheap cost of maintenance.
Another dock leveler type that is widely used is the vertical dock leveler. This is a hydraulic type of leveler that remains vertical when it is not in use. Due to this unique feature, it is easy to keep clean and keep its energy efficiency improved.
You should consider the volume of goods to be moved, the height adjustment and the weight a leveler can handle when choosing one.
There is yet another loading equipment at the dock called the vehicle restraint. This equipment ensures that safety is maintained at the harbor. Vehicle restraints hold trucks used in moving material at the docks in place. Disasters can result from accidental movement of trailers during the loading operations. You can use Electro-hydraulic, Electro-mechanical or mechanical vehicle restraints in your facility. When choosing this loading equipment, you ought to ensure that it is friendly to use.
Dock seals are another important equipment. This equipment is used to seal the gaps between the dock door and the trailer. This prevents the leakage of air. It also improves the safety of goods and aids in preventing their contamination . If air infiltrates through these gaps, the contamination consequently happens. One of them is the inflatable seals, which are the most common type. These seal the sides of the trailer and the top. There is the pad seal that is quite popular due to its cheap cost.
There are many other dock equipment not discussed here like lights, bumpers, lifts and so on. Various factors must be put into account when one plans to purchase dock loading equipment. Some of those include, the manufacturer, cost, safety features and equipment specifications like the capacity to bear certain weight size and material of the equipment.