Pentalift Blog - Dock Lifts

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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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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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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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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