Dock levellers are a favourite in the warehousing industry because they load and unload trucks. Moreover, they are well-loved because they reduce the chances of accidents occurring in facilities. Having a safe working environment is important. It increases productivity and ensures the safety of operators. Once the operator knows they are safe from injury, they work better and are happier.
Before incorporating them into your facility, start by knowing what hydraulic dock levellers are. Doing so helps use them for their intended purpose, leading to a productive business.
Dock Levellers: Meaning and Types
It is very important to understand the meaning of dock levellers. A crucial part of your loading by area, they help load and unload goods at a fast pace in addition to ensuring safety and security.
A dock leveller is a bridge between a loading bay area and truck, bridging the height difference between the truck and the bay area and ensuring smooth material movement between the warehouse and truck.
The latest dock levellers are CE marked and ones confirming to EN 1398 standards. Salient features in such dock levellers include their platforms welded using robotic arms, use of both single-effect and double-effect lip cylinders, maximum pressure valve, adjacent foot guard, rubber cushions etc.
Here are the different types so you know the most appropriate for your business:
Types of Dock Levellers
Dock levellers are manual or automatic. They can be hinged or telescopic. They are available in many forms to perform different functions in facilities. The different types of dock levellers include:
Air-powered Dock Levellers
These levellers are more popular due to their:
· Economical value
In addition, warehouse managers prefer air-powered dock levellers since their moving parts are few. Moreover, they are less difficult to maintain, meaning it costs less to own them.
Hydraulic Dock Levellers
Some facilities have higher loading and unloading operations. These benefit more from hydraulic levellers because they are rugged and more powerful. In addition, hydraulic levellers handle high-volume workloads. So, they are perfectly suited for loading docks.
Mechanical Dock levellers
All other dock levellers depend on electricity availability except mechanical ones. They are more economical since you don’t use electricity to operate them. Instead, mechanical dock levellers operate on pull chains or springs to carry out operations.
Since you now know the different types available, here’s why you should invest in dock levellers.
The Importance of Dock levellers
After purchasing the appropriate dock leveller, you enjoy higher productivity and smoother operations. Moreover, most docks need to match truck heights. Therefore, dock levellers are unavoidable.
These levellers are worth investing in due to the following:
· Sturdiness and capability to handle heavy loads.
· Suitability for motorised forklift trucks.
· Improved safety in the workplace.
· Easy transition between docks and trailers or trucks.
· High shock absorption despite heavy loading and unloading in docks.
· Highly efficient loading and unloading operations.
· Low maintenance costs.
Dock levellers are worth buying. However, how do facility owners and managers decide if it’s best suited for the business?
What to Consider When Getting a Dock Leveller
There are three types of dock levellers, as shown above. So, think about the following to choose the best for your business:
The Purpose of the Leveller
Consider using a forklift or pallet jack to load and unload trucks during selection. In addition, think about the weight of the loads to prevent overloading the equipment. For instance, hydraulic levellers are perfect for heavy loads. Therefore, once you’re clear about the leveller’s use, you can choose one easily.
When choosing a dock leveller, the distance between the dock and the truck bed is important. If the gap is huge, go for longer dock levellers, ensuring a smooth operation. On top of that, consider the vehicles coming to the warehouse. These determine the length and width of your dock leveller since they must be compatible.
Material handling is smoother with the right equipment. Select a dock leveller that suits you best if you want a smooth transition from the dock to the trailer. Otherwise, operations will be difficult to execute.