Troubleshooting Loading Dock Safety Problems

Learn how to troubleshoot your most common loading dock issues. Contact National Equipment & Service for help!

By: Ben Cartwright
July 18, 2022

How to Troubleshoot the 3 Most Common Loading Dock Problems

Running a loading dock can seem like a repetitive process. Even though everything seems to be running smoothly, it’s minor issues here and there that can add up and slowly diminish your facility team’s productivity. Plus, if regular loading dock maintenance or fixing common loading dock problems is put on the back burner, you may find yourself with an extensive downtime which can affect your profitability. Below are three of the most common loading dock problems and what can be done to fix them.

1. Poor Connection with Loading Dock Levelers and Restraints

Your loading dock levelers and vehicle restraints ensure a proper and safe connection with the delivery truck’s trailer. While it may seem like a simple piece of equipment, there are a lot of components to hydraulic loading dock levelers and restraints that your facility team’s dock managers need to keep an eye on and monitor throughout its use. Ignoring warning signs and dock connections or restraints can have a domino effect on your delivery schedule and cause safety issues for your facility team. National Equipment & Service’s proactive maintenance helps ensure all parts of your load of equipment are functioning as they should. Implementing a preventative maintenance program will allow for:

  • Hydraulic dock leveler troubleshooting
  • In-depth inspection of all equipment at the loading dock
  • Regular cleaning of loading dock equipment
  • Lubrication of hydraulic components and restraints as needed
  • Readjusting parts that have shifted from regular use to ensure a proper and safe connection
  • Fixing and resealing gaps caused by regular deliveries at the loading dock
  • Testing equipment to ensure full functionality and safety compliance
  • Recommendations for future repairs and notes on significant wear and tear

Staying on top of routine maintenance can contribute to a more efficient and safer workplace over time. It will also help prevent any downtime that can quickly eat into your profits.

2. Stuck or Sticky Loading Dock Doors

Your loading facility is more than just the hydraulic dock and levelers. Your loading dock doors also play a significant role in keeping your business running smoothly and efficiently as possible. If your loading dock doors are becoming too difficult to open with ease, or worse, they consistently get stuck, and this causes delivery delays, as well as major safety concerns. Ensuring your loading dock doors are functioning correctly is vital to your business’ success. Not implementing a proactive maintenance plan can cause the door components to underperform or fail. This impacts your facility team’s ability to do their jobs safely and efficiently. Common loading dock door issues that can halt productivity and be prevented include:

  • Misaligned loading dock door tracks
  • Stretched, worn out, or loose cables
  • Malfunctioning or worn-out loading dock door springs
  • Door wiring is damaged or has become disconnected
  • Unresponsive or broken sensors
  • Dirt, dust, and debris caught in the inside tracks
  • Hydraulic components not properly lubricated

While your facility team may be able to assess and repair some of these common loading dock door issues, chances are they don’t have the proper tools and training to do it safely and effectively. National Equipment & Service can provide the expert attention needed for every piece of commercial loading dock equipment, ensuring that your loading dock doors operate smoothly each time a delivery truck arrives at your facility. Plus, if needed, we also perform commercial door repair to help your business get up and running as soon as possible.

3. Weathering the Weather—Shelter from the Storms

Your loading dock is an incredibly durable piece of equipment. It’s able to withstand thousands of pounds of pressure and weight daily. However, no matter how well-made a piece of equipment is, mother nature is stronger. What happens outside the loading dock is just as important to monitor as what occurs inside your facility. The outside of your loading dock is consistently exposed to the natural elements, and inclement weather can easily disrupt operations and damage equipment. Without proper weatherization to your loading dock seals and shelters, wear and tear on crucial loading dock equipment can happen quicker than anticipated causing you downtime and expensive repairs.

Loading dock seals and shelters are designed to help the dock from being damaged by the natural elements, but they still need to be adequately maintained. Common environmental occurrences that can negatively impact the loading dock include:

  • Excessive rainwater
  • High or gale-force winds
  • Heavy snowfall
  • Sleet and ice
  • Excessive condensation
  • Sand, dirt, and natural debris such as leaves, pine needles, etc.
  • Pests such as rats, mice, and insects

Like the rest of your loading dock equipment, it’s essential to routinely inspect the condition of seals and shelters to ensure they’re performing as they should and are up to code. When inclement weather does arrive, and your loading dock seals and shelters fail, then you may end up having an unsafe working environment and a loss of productivity.

The first step is to recognize that your loading dock facility could use some TLC. The second is contacting a reliable and trustworthy company, like National Equipment & Service, to set up a proactive maintenance plan. We’ll troubleshoot hydraulic dock leveler issues, vehicle restraints, or any other issues that are causing your business to be running as smoothly as possible. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Call us today to learn how we can help troubleshoot the most common loading dock problems and what it will take to maintain or repair any issues you might be experiencing.

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