Learn about the different types of dock levelers, when to get them serviced, and the common dock leveler problems
To keep your business running smoothly, it’s important to ensure your commercial warehouse and loading dock facilities can handle the fast pace of daily operations while still providing a safe working environment. Your loading dock leveler is a key component in maintaining the efficiency of your day-to-day operations, and like any other industrial piece of equipment, a regular maintenance schedule is necessary to keep parts from wearing out and becoming badly damaged. National Equipment & Service can provide routine maintenance or all types of dock levelers and get your dock leveler operating again if it’s in need of repair.
Dock level loading is when a shipping container is at the same level or height as the warehouse loading dock door so that goods and equipment can be easily moved from the shipping container into the warehouse and vice versa. Dock levelers are permanent fixtures placed at the dock’s door and generally come in two types—telescopic or hinged. Similarly, they can also be operated automatically or manually.
Dock levelers create a smooth and level surface between the loading dock and a vehicle and create a bridge between the truck and dock to help make warehouse operations easier. Dock levelers also ensure safety, reliability, and standardization in your daily processes, making them one of the most essential pieces of equipment.
Although all dock levelers perform the same basic, there are different kinds with different functionalities. The most common types of dock levelers are:
Also known as an air-pit leveler, air-powered dock levelers use a pneumatic bag system to raise and lower the leveler deck. Generally, these levelers are more expensive than mechanical levelers. Still, air-powered dock levelers have fewer moving and complicated parts than the other types of dock levelers, which makes them easier to maintain and repair.
Popular in commercial warehouses that handle large volumes of loading and unloading of shipments, hydraulic dock levelers, also known as hydraulic pit levelers, are more powerful and rugged than most air-powered dock levelers and are capable of handling the workload of even the busiest loading docks. Hydraulic dock levelers work by a hydraulic cylinder raising and lowering the deck, while another hydraulic-powered device is used to operate the dock’s lip. The hydraulic dock levelers offer a greater degree of height customizations than either mechanical or air dock levelers making them popular options.
A mechanical dock leveler is ideal for smaller-scale warehouse operations and for loading docks that don’t have an electrical supply. Mechanical dock levelers are either operated via a spring or a pull chain. The chain is manually released with mechanical dock levelers, and the leveler is walked down into position.
There are other types of commercial dock levelers available, and each type can have their problems. Still, with proper maintenance, even the most complicated dock levelers should perform smoothy the majority of the time.
In general, all dock levelers, from mechanical to hydraulic, should have preventive maintenance service performed by a licensed technician, like the ones at National Equipment & Service, every 90 days. During scheduled maintenance, our technicians will:
Depending on the dock leveler you have, additional maintenance may be required. With so much of your commercial warehouse operations and safety depending on a functioning dock leveler, keeping them in the best working condition to reduce operational downtime and reduce workplace accidents is essential.
Forgoing proactive maintenance may seem like a way to save on operational costs, but typically this cost-cutting measure lead to more expensive repairs down the line. Although your dock leveler may seem fairly simple compared to some of the more mechanically complex pieces of equipment in your warehouse, forgoing preventative maintenance can cause your dock leveler to stop functioning. Or worse, it could cause safety issues for your warehouse personnel. Some common dock leveler problems include:
National Equipment and Service dock leveler repair technicians can help you with some of these common dock leveler problems and even more complex ones that may be beyond your employees’ expertise
When you have dock leveler problems preventing you from running your business or creating an unsafe working environment for your employees, it’s time to call National Service & Equipment. Not only can we repair your dock leveler and get it back up and operational in no time, but we can also provide routine scheduled maintenance to help prevent the same issues, or new ones, from shutting down your operation again.
We specialize in proactive dock leveler maintenance, repairs, and installation. And our success is based on one simple philosophy — save lives and keep the economy humming. Call us today to schedule your dock leveler repair or a preventative maintenance schedule.