High or low? That is the question.

And it’s one you’ll have to answer before deciding whether your business will need a high capacity or a low profile dock lift/leveler.

Differences Between Dock Lifts


Dock lifts with a high capacity are used when you need to lift anything ranging in weight from 20,000 to 40,000 pounds. It has a standard vertical travel capacity of 59 inches. Many times high capacity dock lifts are used to raise or lower a fork lifts and their loads.


A low profile dock lift has a low height of six inches so a pit isn’t necessary for access to ground level. It has a 54-inch vertical travel capacity so it can be used with various truck or trailer heights so it’s a great choice for doors at ground level, and for confined spaces. They are available in 4,000-8,000 pound capacities.

Making the right choice

Shipment is simpler and loading dock safety higher when using the right dock lift/leveler. It can also prevent damage to very expensive equipment. There are some steps to take when deciding on which type of dock lift/leveler will best suit your needs:

  • The length and width of the leveler;
  • How much weight it will need to handle;
  • Keeping safe during maintenance;
  • Free fall safety aspects;
  • Protection when dropping off on vacant docks;
  • Easy operation – position of the activation button, extension/retraction capabilities of the lip;
  • Level float with a full range capability;
  • Durable, reliable, quality construction;
  • Support from the manufacturer – local support and service, written warranties.

To choose the proper dock lift it’s essential to know what it will be handling. You can get more from a dock lift that’s wide enough to accommodate loading pallets that are side-by-side.

Choosing the right lift

To figure out what the dock will need to lift, use this formula: lifting capacity is equal to load weight plus the weight of material handling equipment plus the weight of the operator.

What’s the capacity of the axle?

That is the total weight on the lift as the transport and load enters the lift and when the largest stress is on the lift since all the weight is on one side. Check axle ratings.

These are the types of questions the team at Pentalift can answer for you. They are experts in dock and material handling. They will be happy to help you!