Pentalift Blog - Dock seals and shelters

With winter coming on, how can we improve the energy efficiency at our loading dock area?

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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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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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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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Does Dock Equipment Require A Preventative Maintenance Program?

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