In many parts of the country winter is just around the corner and now is the time to prepare your loading dock area. The 2 primary factors to consider are improving energy efficiencies at the dock doors and inspect the dock equipment for reliable performance and operator safety. The dock levelers may have been originally supplied with a weather seal that is designed to close the gap between the sides of the dock leveler deck and the pit wall. Check to see if the weather seal is in place and still effective, replace and upgrade to brush weather seal if required. For the highest sealing rating install the EnergyMax weather seal system. Conventional weather seal is only effective when the dock leveler is in the level or below level position however the EnergyMax provides a seal throughout the full working range of the dock leveler. The system consists of a front vertical and a lower and upper horizontal seal creating a triangular shaped seal per side of the dock leveler deck. The seals are constructed from abrasion and tear resistant vinyl to assure longevity of performance. If the loading dock has compression style dock seals and light is evident on the sides or top of the trailer with the truck in position there is room for significant energy savings. Addressing these energy savings also increase the safety at the loading dock. By minimizing any snow, sleet or rain that enters the building reduces the potential for slippery condensation on the dock levelers deck surface. In addition to addressing energy savings now is also a good time for a complete inspection, lubrication and adjustments program to all of the loading dock equipment in use. A combination of improved energy efficiency and optimum equipment performance creates a safer loading dock area going into the winter season.