Pentalift Blog - Warehouse

What Is An FRL On An Air Operated Lift Table?

FRL stands for Filter Regulator and Lubricator. In some applications, depending on vertical travel, an air bag lift table will not be suitable. The alternative is a hydraulic lift table with an air motor operated power unit. It requires compressed air to operate this motor and there are some maintenance factors to maintain efficient operation of the motor. These components are often referred to as an FRL. F – Filter: compressed air that has a high moisture content which is best to remove before it is pumped to the air motor. That’s the function of the filter. R – Regulator: the regulator is in the system to regulate and maintain the PSI rating (pounds per square inch) to efficiently operate the air lift motor. L-Lubricator: the filter removes the moisture from the compressed air and the lubricator adjusts and meters a quantity of lubrication into the compressed air. This process happens before the compressed air reaches the air motor. This light lubrication maintains the efficiency of the air motor operation.

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When Do You Choose A Dock Lift Instead Of A Dock Leveler?

Dock lifts are generally used if you don’t have a conventional 4 foot high loading dock area. A dock lift would be used to get product from a truck to ground level or vice versa. In multiple dock positions, something that is becoming more common is the use of a dock lift. While dock levelers will handle the conventional trucks, in addition to conventional trucks a dock lift can accommodate any incoming truck bed height (FedEx, UPS, etc.). Dock lifts can also be used to store property maintenance equipment in the offseason. Common applications for a dock lift are institutions, retail outlets, universities, hospitals, etc. If the decision is to go with a dock lift, you can select from a pit installed model or a surface installed (no pit required). Often the application dictates the most appropriate product to select.

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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.

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When Working With Hydraulic Lifts, What’s the Difference Between a Hinged Bridge Plate, a Hinged Lip, and an Approach Ramp?

A hinged bridge plate and a hinged lip is actually the same thing. The most common industry term is a hinged bridge plate. Hinged bridge plates are a transition plate from the lift platform to either a truck bed or an upper elevation. An approach ramp has a significantly different purpose. The purpose of an approach ramp is to transition typically from the floor onto the platform. For example there is a series of dock lifts that have both an approach ramp and a hinged bridge plate. The approach ramp is for the pallet truck or cart to transition from the floor to the lift platform. With the pallet truck on the platform, the dock lift raises to the truck height. The hinged bridge is then positioned on the bed of the truck, which allows the pallet truck to move on and off of the delivery truck. The hinged bridge plate is then raised to the stored position, the platform lowers and the pallet truck exited via the approach ramp.

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