Choosing the right dock leveler can be difficult. The first question you must ask yourself is whether you’re looking for a mechanical or hydraulic dock leveler. Both options have their pros and cons. This article will help you understand whether a mechanical or hydraulic dock leveler is best suited for you and your needs.

Dock Levelers

The Difference Between Levelers

How to choose between mechanical and hydraulic dock levelers? First off, what’s the difference? A mechanical dock leveler is activated with a pull chain. A hydraulic leveler is activated by the push of a button and works automatically. As you might expect, the hydraulic option is the costlier of the two. A hydraulic dock leveler is likely to cost as much as thirty percent more upfront than its mechanical counterpart. What are you getting for the extra cost?

The Benefits of Hydraulic levelers

A hydraulic dock leveler will cost more upfront than a mechanical but if you include maintenance costs you might well find that hydraulic dock leveler actually delivers more bang for your buck. Normal operation of the hydraulic leveler does not require a pull chain. You raise the leveler and extend the lip with the push button controls.

As you release the buttons, the platform descends downward onto the trailer floor. When finished, push a button to restore the leveler to its stored position. Because it is all push-button controlled, the hydraulic leveller is more ergonomic than a mechanical one and is easier on workers.

Functionality of Mechanical Levelers

A mechanical leveler is spring-powered and requires manual activation. One must position it onto a trailer by pulling a chain and setting the hold-down system free, which lets the platform ascend and the lip extend. After this, you walk onto the platform and uses your body weight to lower the leveler to the trailer bed. The mechanical leveler comprises of a series of hold-downs, lip latches, springs, and more moving parts, all of which are regularly under pressure, which requires more frequent replacement.

So, which should you choose? If you’re looking to get a lot of use out of your leveler over an extended period of time, it is best to invest in a hydraulic leveller.