If your business is constantly processing shipments and loading and unloading materials, you cannot afford to waste time constantly adjusting the height of your truck. This is especially true when you’re moving shipments between facilities and need a reliable, uniform system that’s the standard for every delivery. That’s where a loading dock leveler can help.
A loading dock leveler bridges the gap from the edge of a loading area to a truck or ramp. This is different from a dockboard, because it’s fixed to the loading dock. This equipment is also sometimes called an edge of dock leveler.
Depending on where you purchase a loading dock leveler, it should be simple to use. The ideal dock levelers are those that are quick to set up, stay in place no matter what, and work for a variety of job types. After all, if you’re purchasing this equipment for efficiency, you want to make sure that’s the result you achieve.
A mechanical dock leveler requires manual operation. Usually, it has to be positioned using a chain that expends zero energy. Some companies prefer this type of loading dock leveler because it’s versatile and works for most applications, and it’s more financially feasible if you’re on a tight budget.
Hydraulic Dock Levelers
A hydraulic loading dock leveler is an automatic leveler that makes loading and unloading much faster. These dock levelers come with a hydraulic pump, a motor, and a cylinder that streamlines installation and adjustment. Some manufacturers can customize a hydraulic dock leveler by having options for voltage, widths, capacities, and projections. Though this type of loading dock leveler is more expensive, they are also lower maintenance and generally last longer than mechanical levelers.
Air Dock Levelers
An air dock leveler is an alternative to an oil-powered model. These dock levelers use an air-powered system to raise and lower the platform, but are still often operated using an activation button. These levelers are less expensive than hydraulic dock levelers, but do need regular maintenance to continue to perform well.
How Do I Know Which Loading Dock Leveler Is Right For Me?
So how do you make the best choice for your business? First and foremost, determine your budget. As mentioned, a hydraulic loading dock leveler is the more expensive option due to its automatic features and low maintenance requirements. If you need a more affordable edge of dock leveler, you may opt for a mechanical option or an air-dock option.
Next, determine the capacity and width of your operations. Most manufacturers are able to customize the loading dock leveler to your specific needs, so when you go to the seller, make sure you have these requirements written down. If you’re buying a used loading dock leveler, customization might not be an option. Obviously, safety is always the top priority. Ask about the safety features on a loading dock leveler, and ensure that it’ll be easy for your team to figure out. You want a piece of equipment that runs well, but you also want to have peace of mind knowing there are plenty of safety features in place if needed.
If you do your research and connect with the right seller, you’ll find the best-suited loading dock leveler in no time.
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