Dock Equipment

Loading Dock Seals & Shelters

Loading dock seals act like a gasket around the top and sides of a trailer when it backs in and rests against the dock bumpers. They help conserve energy by preserving internal temperatures and they protect products and workers from dust, insects, exhaust fumes, and other airborne contaminants. Oftentimes, the seals are made of nylon-reinforced vinyl facing that is mounted and bonded on treated wood. We install all kinds of loading dock seals, such as:

  • Foam compression. This is the most common type. They are best suited for smaller door openings and trailers that are relatively consistent in size and style.
  • Inflatable. This is the most versatile type of docking seal because it serves the widest variety of trucks and trailers.
  • Under-leveler. This seal adds an extra layer of protection because it closes the gaps below and around the dock leveler in addition to the top and sides of the trailer, which improves industrial hygiene and helps a warehouse pass dock inspections.

Dock shelters are enclosures that seal the perimeter of a trailer by applying pressure to industrial fabric curtains that are fitted with fiberglass stays. Although they cannot seal as tightly as dock seals and are more expensive, dock shelters are subject to less wear and tear. They are available in rigid frames, fully impactable materials, and flexible spring tension (inflatable.) Canopies can be added as overhangs that shield the doorway opening from rain and snow.

Loading Dock Levelers

Loading dock levelers connect the truck to the dock floor and are usually mounted to the dock face or recessed into a pit at the door. Choosing the correct loading dock leveler will reduce damage to products and equipment, decrease maintenance costs, and help prevent injuries. We install the four common types of dock levelers: pit, vertical, rail dock, and edge-of-dock (EOD.)

Pit levelers are installed into a recessed opening in the concrete at the dock door. There are three major sub-categories of pit levelers:

  1. Mechanical pit levelers are the most common type of pit leveler. They use a mechanical, non-powered spring system to lift and a restraining device to lower. Although the initial cost is low, mechanical pit levelers are the most expensive type to service and maintain.
  2. Air pit levelers use a powered pneumatic system to raise and lower the deck. The lip latch mechanism is fully yieldable, which protects against damage if a trailer backs into it. They are more expensive than mechanical pit levelers, but their simple design allows for easier cleaning and less maintenance.
  3. Hydraulic pit levelers are the most versatile and come in many configurations. They use a hydraulic cylinder activation system and can run on anything from 110V single-phase to 575V three-phase. Though initially more expensive, hydraulic dock levelers are ultimately more cost-effective than mechanical or air dock levelers because of the minimal maintenance required.

Vertical levelers are hydraulically activated, pit- or shelf-mounted, and can be stored vertically inside the building when not in use. You can close your dock door on concrete instead of across a leveler, which allows for stricter environmental control inside the building. For that reason, vertical levelers are often used in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical facilities.

Rail dock levelers service rail cars. They are usually mounted on a horizontal sliding rail and can be manually or hydraulically moved along the track.

Edge-of-dock (EOD) levelers are simple machines that have a limited vertical range and are best used where a truck is at or close to the dock level. They can be wall- or pit-mounted and are operated by mechanical, air, or hydraulic systems. When compared to pit or vertical dock levelers, EOD levelers are relatively inexpensive. They are considered to be an upgrade from portable dock boards because they are attached to the dock face and have a form of lift assistance.

Ground-To-Dock (Stationary) Ramps

Ground-to-dock ramps - also called stationary ramps - rise at a straight angle from ground level to loading dock height. Therefore, no hydraulic pumps or wheels are required. They are quick to install, easy to clean, able to withstand frequent use at high capacities, require little maintenance, and can be applied to various loading applications.

Stationary ramps are typically made of concrete or steel and are permanently bolted to the ground at installation. Serrated steel grating provides good traction and prevents buildup of debris, such as water, snow, oil, and grease. Safety chains and brackets secure the ramp to the trailer and/or the dock and heavy-duty steel side girders add durability and strength. If the ramp interferes with the closing of the dock door, we can recess the curb as needed.

Portable (Mobile) Loading Docks

Also called mobile dock platforms, portable loading docks are safe and easy to use like the pit style dock leveler but feature a free-standing frame. They are designed for areas that are not large enough to accommodate a standard stationary ramp. Since they do not require permanent concrete work, mobile dock platforms are less expensive than stationary ramps and can be relocated indoors or outdoors as needed. We can install portable loading docks to include a variety of additional features, such as:

  • Stairs
  • Vehicle restraints
  • Dock shelters
  • Handrails
  • Side curbs
  • Wheel chocks