Dock Leveler Selection information
Pentalift has developed a comprehensive dock design slide presentation (multipage document providing general dock design and consideration items) that can be found on our website.
Careful consideration should be given to all aspects when designing an efficient and safe loading dock. Below are the basic aspects of Loading Dock Design to consider.
Operation of Dock Leveler:
Dock levelers are available in mechanical (semi automatic) or fully hydraulic operation. Mechanical dock levelers suit a wide range of applications however hydraulic dock levelers provide the highest level of safety, performance and versatility.
Dock Leveler Capacity:
Mechanical dock levelers are available in 25-30-35-40-45 and 50,000 lb capacities. Hydraulic dock levelers are available 25-30-35-40-45-50-60-80-100,000 lb capacities as standard. Hydraulic dock levelers can be built with higher capacities to suit unique application requirements. Refer to link Understanding capacities for detailed information.
Width of Dock Leveler Platform
There are three common platform widths 6’ wide, 6.5' wide and 7' wide, nominal. 7’ wide platform provides the best access for loading / unloading side-by-side pallets at the back of the trailer.
Length of Dock Leveler Platform with Lip Extended
There are three common platform lengths 6' long, 8’ long and 10’ long, (nominal). 8’ long is most popular platform length. Longer lengths are available to accommodate exceptionally high/low dock heights reducing the angle of incline/decline.
There are 3 standard dock leveler lip lengths 16”, 18” and 20” long. Ideally the lip should project 12” beyond the face of the dock bumpers. 16” lip length is standard with a 4” projection dock bumper.
Stump-out from Mechanical Fallsafe:
It is common for mechanical or air actuated dock levelers to be supplied with mechanical fall safe legs. When the dock leveler is above floor level the fall safe legs are intended to stop a loaded dock leveler from going below level in the event that the dock leveler becomes unsupported during the loading / unloading operations. While somewhat addressing the intended concern, the fall safe legs can create other concerns that occur much more frequently than the unsupported dock leveler condition that the mechanical fall safe legs are intended to address. Refer to link Stumpout - Mechanical Fallsafe Legs for detailed information
Weatherseal is available to minimize energy transfer between the closed dock leveler platform and the outside environment. Solar powered dock levelers provide all of the features and benefits associated with hydraulic operation and utilize solar energy as the power source.
Our Primary Goal is to engineer and build the best loading dock products to ensure the ultimate in user safety and product reliability. Please Contact a Pentalift sales representative to discuss your application requirements.