Pentalift Blog - Material Handling Equipment

What limitations are there on Self Leveling Lift Tables in a Palletizing Application?

Self leveling lift tables are very common in palletizing or de-palletizing applications. When empty self leveling lift tables store in the raised position, in a palletizing application first an empty pallet is placed on the platform. As product is moved onto the pallet the increased weight automatically lowers the lift table keeping the operators work height at an ergonomically correct position. When the lift table is fully lowered the pallet is full. A lift truck is then required to engage the pallet and lift it above and clear of the self leveling platform, the self leveler will raise with the pallet to the empty, raised stored position. The process begins again. In this application either a lift truck or a “straddle” lift truck is required, without this equipment being available is the limitation to this product selection.

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What is Pentalift LTNI?

LTNI stands for “Lift and Tilt Non-Intrusive”. Components are often shipped in bins and during the loading and unloading process a combination of a lift table and a tilter positions the bin in the most ergonomically correct position for the operator. Conventional tilters force the operator to step back when the bin is tilted towards them. In many applications where there are no space restrictions this model of lift and tilt works well. The Pentalift LTNI is a combination of a lift and tilt that does not force the operator to step backwards through its unique design. This model of lift and tilt is ideally suited for working in tight congested areas where space is premium.

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Can a dock seal work in a declined dock area?

When properly specified a declined dock area can be sealed just as effective as if it was a level approach. First you determine the percentage of decline at the loading dock area, this is done by calculating the amount of rise over 50’ from the front of the dock area. For example let’s say the percentage of decline is 4 percent. For a proper seal start with 4”-6” of dock seal projection beyond the face of the dock bumper at the bottom of the side pads. Now deduct 1” of projection at the top of the side pad per percentage of decline. For example if the overall dock seal projection at the bottom is 12” (in a 4 percent declined approach) the top projection of the dock seal would be 8”. With a truck backed into position there is an even and consistent amount of dock seal compression.

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Why do higher capacity lift tables require a higher HP power unit?

Technically they don’t require a higher HP power unit to operate but almost every time they are specified. A lift table power unit consists of 5 primary components, electric motor, hydraulic pump, hydraulic valve, oil reservoir and a control station. As lift tables increase in lifting capacity more cylinders are used in the structural design to lift the load. Additional lift cylinders increase the volume of hydraulic oil required to operate the lift table. To provide a suitable lift speed a larger volume hydraulic pump is required to increase the oil flow rate to the lift cylinders. To drive the larger volume pump a higher HP electric motor is required. For example a 20,000 lb capacity lift table with a 3 HP power unit takes approximately 121 seconds to lift 59”. The same lift table equipped with a 10 HP power unit takes approximately 25 seconds to lift 59”. Higher HP power units drive higher volume pumps which increases lift speed.

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What are the flaps on the front of dock seals for?

Flaps or as they are commonly referred to as “wear pleats” extend the life of a compression style dock seal. With the truck backed into position there should be 4” -6” of dock seal foam compression, this amount of compression provides the best seal. As the truck is loaded or unloaded it is natural for the truck bed to move up and down. The trucks up and down movement has an abrasive effect on the front of the dock seal side pads, the wear pleats provide an outer layer of protection that allows movement with the truck bed and extends the life of the dock seal.

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