Loading dock levelers are an important component of your dock operations. After all, they do not only make every shipment simpler, but also prevent costly damages to valuable inventory, and promote loading dock safety. If your business revolves around loading and unloading materials, having the right dock leveler can make your loading dock as functional and safe as possible. However, how do you know which type of dock leveler is best for your specific needs? Let us take a closer look at each:
The Main Types of Dock Levelers
Since these types of dock levelers mount to the edge of your loading dock versus pit installed, they have a limited service range to offer as they are best suited for standard height trailers. However, edge-of-dock levelers are easy to install, and provide a higher level of safety than dock plates, at a very affordable price!
Mechanical Dock Levelers
These dock levelers are easy-to-operate, incredibly durable and incur zero energy costs as they feature a simple chain operation. Mechanical dock levelers work efficiently for most applications, and are the ideal choice for those on a budget.
Hydraulic Dock Levelers
Designed for durability in high traffic, heavy load conditions, hydraulic dock levelers typically come with a push-button operation, making your loading and unloading process a lot simpler and more ergonomically friendly than mechanical dock levelers. They also require less maintenance than their mechanical counterparts.
Vertical Dock Levelers
Controlled through hydraulic means, vertical dock levelers offer a complete seal when stored in their vertical position. These dock levelers are designed for temperature-controlled environments, and applications where cleanliness is important. They help minimize energy loss and keep out pest, dust and debris.
Air Dock Levelers
A popular alternative to oil-powered models, air dock levelers incorporate the use of an air-powered system to raise and lower the platform. They perform safety and efficiently under even the harshest conditions, such as extreme temperatures, heavy usage and exposure to caustic substances.
Top Considerations When Choosing a Dock Leveler
When you are in the market for a loading dock leveler, you should consider the following points before making a decision:
- Your Specific Needs: You must take into account the type of vehicles that will be using your loading bay, as well as the loading capacities, frequency of use and trailer dimensions.
- Reliability: Your loading dock leveler should offer maximum reliability, so take a close look at the design, stability, quality and strength of construction when evaluating different types and models.
- Safety: Undoubtedly, safety is the number one priority! Therefore, make sure that whatever model you choose has the safety features necessary to operate it safely.
- Maintenance Costs: It is always a good idea to weigh the cost of the leveler with maintenance costs, when choosing the best type for your operations.
Because there are so many options out there for loading dock levelers, it is always best to consult an experienced material handling export to help you choose the best option for your company.