The warehousing industry has significantly progressed over recent years. Nowadays, many automatic systems are available to perform the tasks initially performed manually. Likewise, some warehouse equipment is mobile, while others are fixed.
Dock levelers are location-fixed structures designed for safe unloading and loading between the docked vehicle and the work bay. Dock levelers are located at the docking bay door, consisting of a moveable metal piece called the lip.
When a vehicle docks at the bay, the dock leveler’s lip is lowered into the trailer’s body to assist faculty or cargo lifters in entering the vehicle. Dock levelers come in numerous types and offer a varying extent of versatility. Let’s understand more about the available kinds of dock levelers.
Types Of Dock Levelers
Dock levelers are primarily classified based on their working mechanism. As a logical relation, the prices of different dock levelers depend upon the mechanism’s modernity.
Hydraulic Dock Levelers consist of two hydraulic cylinders. One hydraulic cylinder operates the lip into the vehicle’s body while the other works for the deck. Hydraulic dock levelers use electricity to power the hydraulic and typically have a voltage requirement from 110V to 575V (three-phase power).
Unlike other dock levelers, hydraulic ones require lower maintenance costs and increased reliability. Therefore, they are mainly preferred by warehouse owners.
Mechanical dock levelers are the most inexpensive pit levelers and are, therefore, the most widespread. These levelers don’t require electricity to work. Instead, they use a mechanical system to raise the deck upwards.
A heavy-duty spring system pushes the deck upwards, and a restraining device holds it in position. Contrastingly to other dock levelers, these are the most expensive to repair but typically last for years.
Airdock levelers use pneumatic bags to move the deck up and down. There are electric systems incorporated to inflate the airbags. Standardly, air dock levelers require an electric input of 110 V.
Airdock levelers are superior to mechanical dock levelers but significantly more expensive. Also, they are less costly to repair and maintain than conventional mechanical dock levelers.
The name of the dock leveler explains its placement. A vertical dock leveler is placed vertically within the building and is ideal when you require environmental control in the warehouse.
These dock levelers are suitable for food services where there are frequent washdowns. Additionally, they are available in multiple orientations, so you can easily find the aptest design according to your preferences.
Edge Of Dock Levelers
All the types mentioned above (except the vertical ones) require pits for installation. However, if you have a work setting involving pitless dock levelers, you can choose the edge-of dock levelers. As the name explains, these levelers are placed at the end of the docks and work bays as portable dock plates.
Since there is no need for pits, these are cost-effective to install. Edge-of-dock levelers are suitable for docking bays with truck fleets. These dock levelers are also ideal for conveniently unloading cargo from lower-floored trucks.
The Bottom Line
Dock levelers are an essential component in docking bays and warehouses. These metallic structures bridge the docked vehicle and the bay’s door or entrance and are available in numerous types.
Pit dock levelers are the most common type of dock levelers. However, they are further classified into air-powered, hydraulic, and mechanical dock levelers. There are vertical and edge-of-dock levelers which come under the title of pitiless dock levelers.