Pentalift Blog - Hydraulic levellers

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.

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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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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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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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