All manufacturers of mechanical dock levelers incorporate a hold down assembly to keep the dock leveler locked tight to the truck bed during loading or unloading. The industries most common hold down assembly is a ratchet and pawl design. This style of hold down is now standard equipment on all Pentalift mechanical dock levelers.
Mechanical dock levelers are upward biased. With a truck in position the dock leveler release chain is pulled, the deck assembly rises and the lip assembly extends and locks. The dock leveler is “walked down” until the extended lip assembly makes contact with the truck bed. The Pentalift ratchet and pawl hold down assembly has an oversized pulley resulting in a lower pull force required to release the locking mechanism. https://www.pentalift.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Pentalift-MD-Leveler.pdf
During loading it is common for the truck bed to rise and lower as the lift truck drives across the dock leveler onto the truck bed and back out. A float spring inside the main ratchet and pawl tube assembly allows the dock leveler deck assembly to maintain contact with the truck bed and to float with the up and down with the truck bed movement.
Mechanical dock levelers require periodic inspection, adjustment and lubrication on an ongoing basis. Based on the high number of ratchet and pawl hold down assemblies in operation loading dock equipment service technicians are most familiar with the ratchet and pawl design of hold down.
For 35+ years Pentalift has been a leader in the design and manufacture of quality loading dock equipment. To ensure that Pentalift mechanical dock levelers are easy to maintain all Pentalift mechanical dock levelers are now available with the industry standard ratchet and pawl hold down design.