Pentalift Blog - Elevating Dock Lift News

What are the applications and steps for hot dip galvanizing?

Hot dip galvanizing is often specified in highly corrosive or repeated wash down applications. Common applications would be food processing facilities and chemical processing facilities. Preparing for the hot dip galvanizing process the equipment is built, tested then dismantled and sent to the galvanizer in sub-assemblies. The sub-assemblies are first dipped into an acid solution for cleaning, once cleaned dipped into a hot (approximately 850 degree) molten zinc galvanizing solution. The extreme heat of the galvanizing solution and the immersion process ensures that the complete sub assembly receives a protective coating. The sub-assemblies are then returned and the equipment re-assembled, tested and shipped.

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Are Low Profile Dock Lifts always ordered with wear plates and retaining cradles?

Not all Low Profile Dock Lifts are ordered with wear plates and retaining cradles but the majority definitely are. Conventional Dock Lifts have a lower steel frame assembly. This steel frame assembly serves a number of functions, 2 of which are the scissor lift leg rollers run back and forth on this steel frame when cycled and the steel frame has provision for lag bolting the dock lift into position during the installation process. To achieve the low profile dock lift feature one of the components deleted is the lower steel frame assembly. In this case the scissor lifts leg rollers would run back and forth on concrete when the dock lift is cycled eventually causing excessive wear to the concrete and leg rollers and a potentially creating a non-level platform. Wear plates are commonly ordered and lag bolted into position at time of installation and the leg rollers run on this steel surface for prolonged operation. Retaining cradles offer 2 benefits, retaining cradles not only lock the dock lift in position when installed but locking in position also increases the end load capacity by 50%. The only practical application for ordering a low profile dock lift without these optional extras is in a portable application.

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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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Are lift table accordion bellows a safety device?

Although there is a common perception that accordion bellows are a safety device they are not promoted as such. The primary purpose of lift table accordion bellows is to prevent debris from getting under the lift table and interfering with the leg rollers, power unit etc. Many companies mandate that all lift tables within their facility be equipped with accordion bellows to prevent debris from getting under the platform and the yellow accordion bellows also serve as a highly visible signal that equipment is in motion.

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