Pentalift Blog - Air Bags

Why is it important that a dock leveler is installed correctly?

A vast amount of problems that occur in the field to dock equipment is because of improper installation. Different brands of dock levelers have different instructions and different methods of installation that vary from company to company. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a safe and successful installation to help minimize problems in the field.

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What to expect if equipment is hot dip galvanized?

The hot dip galvanizing process has a number of factors to consider. Extended delivery-the equipment is first built, tested dismantled and shipped in sub-assemblies to the galvanizer. After the hot dip galvanizing process is completed the equipment is returned and re-assembled, there is often some element of rework such as re-threading tapped holes etc. Distortion-the sub-assemblies consist of many different steel materials and thicknesses. The hot dip process and the cooling stages often distort the lighter gauge steel, although structurally sound there is an aesthetic difference. Additional costs-this process involves the initial assembly, dismantling into sub-assemblies, shipping costs, re assembly and rework. However in the right application the additional costs are considered to be a good investment in the extended lifetime of the equipment.

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Is hot dip galvanizing expensive?

Hot dip galvanizing is significantly more costly on the front end than a spray galvanized or a painted equipment finish. The increased costs can be associated with the extra handling during the manufacturing process, the shipping costs of the sub-assemblies to and from the galvanizer’s facility and any rework required before final assembly. In some applications hot dip galvanized equipment (although initially more costly) is not considered expensive in relation to the extended structural lifetime of the product. In corrosive or repeated wash down applications hot dip galvanizing is often a worthwhile investment.

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What is Auto Return on a dock leveler?

Auto Return is only available on hydraulic dock levelers. When the truck is backed into position and the trailer doors are open the dock attendant cycles the dock leveler. The dock leveler deck raises, the lip extends, the dock leveler is then lowered and the extended lip is positioned on the truck bed. When the truck is loaded / unloaded typically the dock attendant would cycle the dock leveler into the closed, stored position. If there is no dock attendant available the truck driver departs, the dock leveler deck and extended lip lowers to the bottom position. The hydraulic lip begins to retract and an under deck electric limit switch is then activated. The dock leveler deck automatically raises approximately 6” – 8” above the dock height, the lift motor timer shuts off and the dock leveler returns to the stored position. When the truck departed the dock leveler was automatically returned to the closed, stored position.

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Can a dock seal work in a declined dock area?

When properly specified a declined dock area can be sealed just as effective as if it was a level approach. First you determine the percentage of decline at the loading dock area, this is done by calculating the amount of rise over 50’ from the front of the dock area. For example let’s say the percentage of decline is 4 percent. For a proper seal start with 4”-6” of dock seal projection beyond the face of the dock bumper at the bottom of the side pads. Now deduct 1” of projection at the top of the side pad per percentage of decline. For example if the overall dock seal projection at the bottom is 12” (in a 4 percent declined approach) the top projection of the dock seal would be 8”. With a truck backed into position there is an even and consistent amount of dock seal compression.

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