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Pentalift Blog - Dock Levelers

Why are projected or cantilevered dock leveler pits required?

The majority of loading dock areas has a level approach as the truck backs into the loading dock bay and contacts the dock bumpers. In some applications the truck backs down a declined approach to get to the loading dock bay. Without making special pit considerations the top of the truck’s trailer could impact the building wall or the closed overhead door causing severe damage before the bottom of the trailer contacts the dock bumpers. In this application it is recommended to extend or project the pit and the dock bumpers forward to ensure the truck contacts the dock bumpers first. As a guideline project the pit 1” forward per every percent of declined approach.

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How to decide between a dock lift and a dock leveler?

To decide between a dock lift and a dock leveler you must first look at the application. Applications that do not have a conventional 48” high dock area would require ground level loading. Dock lifts are the best way to handle ground level loading applications. Dock levelers are best suited for applications that do have a fixed 48” dock height and are best for applications that require frequent use. Both pieces of equipment are safe and offer efficient ways of loading or unloading items from a truck.

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When are dock leveler free standing frames used?

In some loading dock areas floor space is at a premium, in an application like this it is common to install the dock leveler just outside the overhead door in a free standing frame. If there is an existing facility that requires an additional loading dock it is common to research what services (gas, electricity, water, drain etc.) are below the existing poured concrete floor. If there are no services under the slab a pit is constructed, if there is services below the poured concrete floor it is common to use a dock leveler free standing frame as opposed to excavating and re-routing the services.

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What is dock leveler lip crown?

The majority of all loading dock positions service varying heights of incoming trucks, it is important to have a dock leveler service trucks higher than finished floor level. The hinged lip assembly when fully extended is not level (not the same trajectory) with the dock leveler deck assembly, by design it is slightly tapered downward. If the lip did not have this tapered downward (crown) feature when a truck is in position that is higher than the floor level the tip of the lip would project upwards creating a barrier. Dock levelers can be ordered with reduced lip crown, this would be appropriate when the finished floor height and the truck bed height are consistently the same.

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What are the most common loading dock product electrical interlocks?

Although there are many combinations available there are 2 very common interlocks specified. 1. Interlocking a vehicle restraint to a hydraulic or air powered dock leveler. This interlock is safety related, the dock leveler will not operate until the truck in position has been secured by the vehicle restraint. The truck secured signal from the vehicle restraint now renders the dock leveler controls operational. 2. Interlocking the overhead door to a hydraulic or air powered dock leveler. This interlock is used to reduce potential damage to the overhead door and improve building security. Before the dock leveler will operate the overhead door must be raised which activates a wall installed limit switch. The activated limit switch now renders the dock leveler controls operational. When the dock leveler is cycled it will not contact the overhead door causing damage to the door and the locking mechanism.

Contact a Pentalift Sales Representative for more information.

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