In any modern warehouse, the dock leveler is one of the most important pieces of equipment for smooth and safe operations. This equipment bridges the gap between the trailers and the floor of the facility. The dock leveler is attached permanently to the dock and, when activated, lowers a metal lip onto a trailer which facilitates easy loading and unloading. There are generally two different types of dock levelers available on the market that you’ll have to choose from when outfitting a new facility or refurbishing your existing one. What are they?
1. Mechanical Dock Levelers
The first option, and less costly of the two options available, is the mechanical dock leveler. This type of dock leveler is powered by a spring which has to be manually activated. It is positioned onto the truck by pulling a chain, which subsequently extends the metal lip and allows it to be lowered safely onto the trailer.
While it is less expensive up-front to outfit a facility with mechanical dock levelers, this comes with a few trade-offs. First, the moving parts inherent in its design may require more maintenance and repairs over the lifetime of the equipment. In addition, the leveler will need to be adjusted in accordance with the seasons, as hot and cold weather can affect its efficiency.
2. Hydraulic Dock Levelers
Where mechanical dock levelers require manual power to operate, hydraulic dock levers simply need a press of a button. The metal lip automatically extends and is lowered onto the trailer through the power of hydraulics. Some of these dock levelers can even be programmed to automatically return to their starting positions.
The main disadvantage of hydraulic models over mechanical ones is the price gap – they do end up costing more upfront. However, they make up for this because they don’t need as much maintenance or tinkering over the lifetime of the equipment. They are also safer to use and reduce the risk of employee injury.
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The S.W. Betz Company, Inc. has been providing businesses in Maryland and beyond with all of their essential Weighing, Material Handling, Dock, and Warehouse equipment since 1933. We also offer warehouse layout and design logistics solutions from experienced, knowledgeable experts.
We carry a variety of top warehouse equipment brands to help with your design logistics, such as Wesco, Magliner, Cogan, Quantum Storage Systems, and more.
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