Pentalift Blog - Loading Dock Equipment News

When are dock leveler free standing frames used?

In some loading dock areas floor space is at a premium, in an application like this it is common to install the dock leveler just outside the overhead door in a free standing frame. If there is an existing facility that requires an additional loading dock it is common to research what services (gas, electricity, water, drain etc.) are below the existing poured concrete floor. If there are no services under the slab a pit is constructed, if there is services below the poured concrete floor it is common to use a dock leveler free standing frame as opposed to excavating and re-routing the services.

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What is dock leveler lip crown?

The majority of all loading dock positions service varying heights of incoming trucks, it is important to have a dock leveler service trucks higher than finished floor level. The hinged lip assembly when fully extended is not level (not the same trajectory) with the dock leveler deck assembly, by design it is slightly tapered downward. If the lip did not have this tapered downward (crown) feature when a truck is in position that is higher than the floor level the tip of the lip would project upwards creating a barrier. Dock levelers can be ordered with reduced lip crown, this would be appropriate when the finished floor height and the truck bed height are consistently the same.

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What are the most common loading dock product electrical interlocks?

Although there are many combinations available there are 2 very common interlocks specified. 1. Interlocking a vehicle restraint to a hydraulic or air powered dock leveler. This interlock is safety related, the dock leveler will not operate until the truck in position has been secured by the vehicle restraint. The truck secured signal from the vehicle restraint now renders the dock leveler controls operational. 2. Interlocking the overhead door to a hydraulic or air powered dock leveler. This interlock is used to reduce potential damage to the overhead door and improve building security. Before the dock leveler will operate the overhead door must be raised which activates a wall installed limit switch. The activated limit switch now renders the dock leveler controls operational. When the dock leveler is cycled it will not contact the overhead door causing damage to the door and the locking mechanism.

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Why are there more and more steel face loading dock bumper in use?

Loading dock bumpers are designed to stop an incoming truck and prevent damage to the building. When the truck is in position and the loading begins it is common for the truck bed to raise and lower due to the weight change. The back of the truck is tight to the face of the dock bumper; this up and down movement causes abrasion to the face of the dock bumper and puts stress on the dock bumper anchor bolts. A laminated dock bumper with a steel face absorbs the energy from the truck as it is backed into position. During the loading process the truck bed up and down movement now slides on the steel face of the bumper significantly removing the abrasion factor and also lowers the stress on the anchor bolts.

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Why is it important that a dock leveler is installed correctly?

A vast amount of problems that occur in the field to dock equipment is because of improper installation. Different brands of dock levelers have different instructions and different methods of installation that vary from company to company. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a safe and successful installation to help minimize problems in the field.

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