Pentalift Blog - Repair and Maintenance

We are Building a New Factory. How Do We Determine our Dock Leveler Load Capacity?

The common dynamic total load multiplier is 2.5 when calculating capacity for standard dock leveler applications. However, dynamic total load multiplier can range from 2.0 to 5.0, depending on the severity of the application and the manufacturer. Since there is no recognized industry standard, manufacturers rate their capacities differently. Some may use lower multipliers to be more competitively priced or leave the impression that their particular dock leveler is stronger than other manufacturers. Variables like fork trucks, fork truck weights, type and speed could create the need to increase the dynamic total load multiplier. Click here for an example on how to calculate.

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Why Would You Project or Cantilever a Dock Leveler Pit?

Declining driveway approaches are very common at the loading dock area. Incoming vehicles are backed into position at an angle determined by the percentage of the decline. The most effective method to address this situation is to project the dock leveler pit forward. The amount of projection is determined by the percentage of the driveway decline. Projecting the dock leveler pit at the onset eliminates damage caused by vehicle impact to the building and the resultant need for aftermarket bumper extensions, longer hinged lip assemblies etc. to address this condition. Please click here for more information.

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What Are The Different Operating Choices For Lift Tables?

There are 3 different operating types of lift tables. They are hydraulic, pneumatic and self leveling. All 3 styles are different but have their benefits, depending on what the application is. Hydraulic lift tables offer the widest range of features and customization regarding platform size, capacity, vertical travel, and safety features. Pneumatic lift tables are offered in an air bag design which is limited to 24” of travel. The air bag lift tables may be limited but if an airline is the only power source available to run the lift table, an air motor running a hydraulic system is available. Pneumatic lift tables are commonly used in wash down or areas where electrical sparking can cause a concern. Self leveling lift tables are mostly used for ergonomic applications. Self leveling lift tables require no power at all but do require a fork truck in order to load or unload the full pallet.

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Factors to Consider When Deciding Between a Hydraulic Dock Leveler or a Mechanical Dock Leveler

Choosing between a hydraulic dock leveler and mechanical dock leveler depends on what is most important to the user. Mechanical dock levelers cost less than hydraulic dock levelers, but mechanical dock levelers do require periodic (2 times a year) adjustable maintenance throughout use of the equipment. Hydraulic levelers can handle higher load capacities and also operate more easily than mechanical dock levelers, due to a manual push button that operates the power unit. While hydraulic dock levelers do require a power source, mechanical dock levelers do not require any sort of electric power due to its spring activation. Both hydraulic dock levelers and mechanical dock levelers should be lubricated and inspected regularly to prolong safe operation.

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What Are the Benefits of Interlocking Overhead Doors to Loading Dock Equipment?

If you have both a hydraulic dock leveler and an overhead door in the closed position and try to operate the dock leveler, the power of the dock leveler will damage the locked overhead door. If you have a vertical storing dock leveler in the rest (vertical) position and try and operate (lower) it when an overhead door is in the closed position, the dock will cause severe damage by impacting with the overhead door. In order to ensure that the dock leveler will not be able to operate when the overhead is in the closed position, you can equip the overhead door with an electronic interlock switch. Pit installed dock levelers or vertical storing dock levelers will only work if the overhead door is open.

Contact a Pentalift Sales Representative for more information.

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