Pentalift Blog - Manufacturing Industry

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 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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When would you order a lift table with a remote power unit?

When would you order a lift table with a remote power unit? Many designs of lift tables have the electric power units designed to be self-contained or internal. In some cases such as a wash down application, a paint shop environment etc. it is common to order the lift table with a remote power unit to avoid potential sparking. The speed of a lift table is often an important factor in a lift table application, to increase the lift/lower speed a larger pump/motor assembly is required and physically will not fit under the lift table. Lift tables are generally trouble free however some company’s maintenance departments prefer all power units be remote and readily accessible in the event of a maintenance requirement.

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What to Look for When Purchasing a Dock Lift.

When selecting a dock lift, you want to make sure you find the most appropriate one for your application. The 5 main things to look for when choosing a dock lift would be whether the equipment is going to be floor mounted or pit installed, platform dimensions, what the lifting and roll over capacities will be, bridge lengths and what voltage will be offered to the dock lift at the place of installation. The manufacturer needs to know whether the equipment is going to be pit installed or placed on the floor so that the correct safety features can be incorporated. The manufacturer must also know what platform size and the required capacity of the equipment to ensure safe and stable use in the work area. A dock lift manufacturer must also know the distance a truck will be from the dock lift when loading and unloading, to ensure the correct bridges are equipped for safe and sturdy use. A manufacturer must also know the available supply voltage to ensure the right power unit is equipped for the dock lift. While there may be additional detail questions, most dock equipment manufactures will be able to supply at least a concept and budget price once they have the above information.

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What is Considered to be a High Cycle Lift Table Application?

The majority of lift tables are designed to be cycled 8 times per hour during an 8 hour shift, 5 days a week. In an application that needs more cycles than the standard amount, lift tables are recommended to be equipped with a high cycle package. A high cycle package consists of cam followers in place of leg rollers, spherical bearings in place of bushings, and often equipped with a central lubrication system. In addition to these components, high cycle lift tables are often specified with a continuous running power unit. A continuous running power unit is a power unit that keeps the motor running even when the lift table is not in use which eliminates any jog starting of the power unit resulting in pre mature wear.

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