Pentalift Blog - Custom Lifts

Pentalift introduces a dock lift hydraulic actuated bridge assist.

In some applications a longer bridge plate is required to span the gap between the truck bed and the dock lift platform. The longer the bridge plate the more the weight increases and in some cases they become too heavy to be operated manually. The dock lift hydraulic actuated bridge assist is installed on the platform and at only 10” wide minimally impedes the usable platform width. The bridge plate is stored in the vertical position, manually the bridge plate is lowered and a flow control valve assures a smooth lowering rate of speed. When the loading is completed the dock attendant simply activates a push button. The bridge plate is hydraulically actuated from the level loading position back into the vertical stored position. This feature improves safety, ergonomics and efficiency at the dock area and is available at time of dock lift sale or as an aftermarket retrofit.

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Why are some Dock Lift applications classified as Custom Lift Tables?

The majority of dock lift manufacturers have a pre-engineered product line selection to cover the majority of all typical dock lift applications hence they are referred to as Dock Lifts. There are a number of applications that a dock lift has to raise higher than a standard dock lift, wider than a standard dock lift, longer than a standard dock lift, stainless steel construction etc. Even though the application requirements are often similar these lifts are outside of many dock lift manufacturers standard product line offering. There are a small number of dock lift manufacturers that also welcome customization to suit a specific application. As this type of equipment is often a “one off” they are processed as custom lift tables, similar to ordering off the menu.

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What’s new in Hydraulic Lift Tables?

The most significant change is not actually in the lift table design but the new and innovative ways that lift tables are being used. In this competitive environment many companies are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiencies and save money. Lift table manufacturers that provide custom designed lift and positioning equipment are seeing more and more innovative inquiries from customers as they look for ways to streamline their processes. Even long term tried and proven processes are now being looked at with an eye towards how we can make this process even more efficient. The customer knows their end goal and they are calling on custom lift table manufacturers for assistance in applying lift, tilt and rotation practises to many new applications.

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What are the applications and steps for hot dip galvanizing?

Hot dip galvanizing is often specified in highly corrosive or repeated wash down applications. Common applications would be food processing facilities and chemical processing facilities. Preparing for the hot dip galvanizing process the equipment is built, tested then dismantled and sent to the galvanizer in sub-assemblies. The sub-assemblies are first dipped into an acid solution for cleaning, once cleaned dipped into a hot (approximately 850 degree) molten zinc galvanizing solution. The extreme heat of the galvanizing solution and the immersion process ensures that the complete sub assembly receives a protective coating. The sub-assemblies are then returned and the equipment re-assembled, tested and shipped.

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Are Low Profile Dock Lifts always ordered with wear plates and retaining cradles?

Not all Low Profile Dock Lifts are ordered with wear plates and retaining cradles but the majority definitely are. Conventional Dock Lifts have a lower steel frame assembly. This steel frame assembly serves a number of functions, 2 of which are the scissor lift leg rollers run back and forth on this steel frame when cycled and the steel frame has provision for lag bolting the dock lift into position during the installation process. To achieve the low profile dock lift feature one of the components deleted is the lower steel frame assembly. In this case the scissor lifts leg rollers would run back and forth on concrete when the dock lift is cycled eventually causing excessive wear to the concrete and leg rollers and a potentially creating a non-level platform. Wear plates are commonly ordered and lag bolted into position at time of installation and the leg rollers run on this steel surface for prolonged operation. Retaining cradles offer 2 benefits, retaining cradles not only lock the dock lift in position when installed but locking in position also increases the end load capacity by 50%. The only practical application for ordering a low profile dock lift without these optional extras is in a portable application.

Contact a Pentalift Sales Representative for more information.

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