Conventional Rigid Dock Shelters are a 3 sided wood or 3 sided steel frame assembly (2 side frames, 1 head frame) installed on the building wall at the loading dock area and typically project 18” -36” beyond the face of the building wall.
The front of the side frames has a 24” wide, full height curtain; the head frame has a full width 30” drop curtain as standard. When a truck backs into position at the loading dock the truck backs through the projected assembly and the side curtains and head curtain fold/brush up against the sides and top of the trailer. The side curtains and head curtain forms a seal on the sides and top of the trailer minimizing energy loss when the truck is in positon with the overhead door open.
Link to PS400 Brochure
Properly specified and installed Pentalift PS400 rigid dock shelters meet the requirements to minimize energy loss with a truck in position at the loading dock.
The advantage of a Pentalift PSI450 inflatable dock shelter is this model provides the highest level of energy savings at loading dock with a truck in position and the overhead door open. An inflatable dock shelter has the same side frames and head frame as the rigid dock shelter however the front side curtains and head curtain are replaced with air bags and an inflating blower. When not in use the dock shelters air bags retract into the side frame and up into the head frame.
Link to PSI450 Brochure
When the truck is in position at the loading dock the dock attendant activates the inflating blower using an On/Off switch. Turning the inflating blower to “On” will inflate the dock shelter side air bags and head bag, they extend out and down to meet the sides and top of the trailer creating and maintaining an effective energy seal.
This video link shows the operation and effectiveness of a Pentalift PSI450 inflatable dock shelter.
Link to PSI450 Video
Inflatable dock shelters can be interlocked to the overhead door. With the overhead door closed the air bags are deflated, if interlocked, when the overhead door opens the air bags automatically inflate creating a seal at the top and sides of the truck.
An additional advantage of an inflatable dock shelter is the dock attendant determines when they are to be used or not. Based on the weather conditions there may be 5-6 months of the year that a dock shelter may not be required. A conventional rigid dock shelters side curtain and head curtain are contacted every time a truck backs into position causing additional wear.
Although a little more costly at time of purchase inflatable dock shelters provide the best seal on the sides and top of the trailer and minimal wear on the face of the air bags when the truck body moves up and down when loading occurs. The initial extra cost at time of purchase is quickly recovered through improved energy savings.
For additional information on inflatable dock shelters please contact the Pentalift Sales Department.