Pentalift Blog - Dock Efficiency

In a Dock Lift Installation what are protective bollards?

Protective bollards serve the same function as loading dock bumpers. When the truck is backed into position bollards or loading dock bumpers stop the incoming truck movement and protect the loading dock equipment from damage. As many dock lifts are installed ahead of the building foundation steel bollards are typically poured into position to keep the truck from impacting the dock lift. Steel bollards are often 6” – 8” in diameter, typically installed approximately 4’ above grade and 4’-6’ below grade cast in concrete, secure enough to take vehicle low speed impact. The bollards are filled with concrete and often rebar is then inserted. The top of the bollards concrete has a slight crown to assist with water run-off.

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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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What are the advantages of a vertical storing dock leveler?

Although vertical storing dock levelers are initially more expensive they can actually be more cost effective in the long run depending on the application. Vertical storing dock levelers are more energy efficient because when they are in the stored position with the overhead door closed the chance of energy loss is minimized. Vertical storing dock levelers also reduce the risk of vermin entry which is very important in any food industry. Dock seals definitely help eliminate energy loss but cannot eliminate the gaps that surround the platform of conventional pit installed dock equipment, this concern is eliminated by choosing vertical storing dock levelers. As standard vertical storing dock levelers are available in capacities ranging from 25,000 lbs to 50,000 lbs.

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Pentalift Introduces a New Model of Vehicle Restraint

The majority of vehicle restraints are fastened directly to the face of the foundation wall. In some cases the foundation wall will not withstand the forces to hold the vehicle restraint in position such as a concrete block wall or a brick wall. In new construction with the concrete pre cast (tilt up) wall the contractor often specifies that nothing is to be bolted to the face of the wall. To address a vehicle restraint installation that cannot be attached to the foundation wall Pentalift has designed a new model of vehicle restraint that is bolted down into pre cast concrete. A concrete pad is poured of sufficient depth and strength to accommodate the forces and loads to hold the truck in position. The newly released Pentalift model HFR32SM is positioned tight to the face of the foundation wall , centered under the overhead door and is bolted down into a precast concrete pad.

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What is the most common error made when choosing a dock seal?

Compression, with foam pad dock seals the amount of compression is very important. Too little compression results in not enough of a sealing factor, too much compression puts excess pressure on the building wall and causes premature failure of the dock seal. It’s very easy to calculate the correct amount of dock seal compression; measure from the wall the dock seal will be installed on to the face of the dock bumper and add 4”– 6”. 4”-6” of dock seal projection beyond the face of the dock bumper provides the ideal seal.

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