Pentalift Blog - Elevating Dock Lift News

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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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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