A declining approach at a loading dock area is not unusual; consideration must be given to the dock bumper installation, the dock leveler installation, the dock seal installation and the vehicle restraint installation.
This link shows an example of a declining approach at a loading dock area. https://www.pentalift.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Projected-Pit-Dock-leveler-Benefits-1.pdf
At a declining approach the dock bumpers must be installed to stop the incoming truck in position prior to the top of the trailer making contact with the building wall.
First calculate the percentage of the decline at the loading dock, for this example it has been calculated to be a 4 percent decline.
The dock leveler pit and the face of the wall where the dock bumpers are to be installed should be projected a minimum of 4” beyond the face of the main foundation wall. With a 6 percent decline project the pit and face of the wall where the dock bumpers are to be installed a minimum of 6” beyond the face of the main foundation wall etc.
If compression style dock seals are to be installed the dock seal side pads are tapered to provide an even contact surface ensuring a good seal without over compressing the dock seal. For example if it’s a 4 percent declined approach the bottom of the dock seal side pads should project 4” more than the top of the dock seal side pads to provide an even seal over the full height of the side pads.
Over compressing the dock seal will result in premature wear and damage to the dock seal and there is also the potential to cause damage to the building wall from the excessive forces being applied.
In a declined approach the vehicle restraint may have to be projected as well. The face of the foundation wall or the projected pit is vertical; with a declined approach the incoming trucks Rear Impact Guard will be angled further away from the foundation wall than with a level approach. Depending upon the model of vehicle restraint and the percentage of decline the restraint may have to be moved forward as well to keep the “back to front” proper operating range of the vehicle restraint.
The recommended first step is to contact the Pentalift Sales Department and request a Loading Dock Area Site Survey Sheet. When the Site Survey Sheet is completed and returned Pentalift will make the recommendations to ensure that the loading dock area will be both safe and fully functional.
For additional information on any Pentalift product please contact the Pentalift Sales Department.