Selecting the Correct Loading Dock Leveler for Your Facility

There have been many innovations aimed at streamlining the process of loading and unloading cargo trucks at warehouses. One such innovation is the loading dock leveler. A loading dock leveler is a device that bridges the gap between trucks and their respective loading docks, compensating for any height differences and making the loading and unloading processes easier and safer.

There are several different types of loading dock levelers, each with different mechanisms for raising and lowering the dock. The key to understanding how to select the correct loading dock leveler is knowing how you’re going to use it.

This article will cover how to select the correct loading dock leveler for your facility.

Types of loading dock levelers

There are five main types of loading dock levelers, ranging from the simple to the complex. Each of these have their own pros and cons. Knowing how to select the correct loading dock leveler begins with understanding the various types available.

Mechanical loading dock leveler

This is the simple and inexpensive type of loading dock leveler. It’s operated by the user pulling a release chain, which engages the lift’s spring. The user then simply walks out onto the loading dock leveler, lowering it into place. This type doesn’t use any electricity and is the cheapest version to install. There may be maintenance costs down the line, however, as the parts can wear out from excessive use.

Hydraulic loading dock leveler

If your facility sees a high volume of loading and unloading, you may want to consider a hydraulic loading dock leveler. The user pushes a button, and the loading dock leveler can be raised or lowered. This type of loading dock leveler is easier and more efficient to operate than a mechanical loading dock leveler, but it will cost more to install and repair due to its electrical components.

Air-powered loading dock leveler

This type of leveler uses a pressurized air-powered system that raises and lowers the dock via the push of a button. In addition to being eco-friendly, this type of leveler sports a fully-yieldable lip-latch mechanism that prevents damage from trailers while they’re backing in. It’s also low maintenance and easy to clean.

Edge-of-dock loading dock leveler

This type of leveler is usually mounted on the exterior wall of a warehousing facility. It consists of a small metal board that can be raised or lowered through air-powered, hydraulic or mechanical means. Edge-of-dock loading levelers are less expensive than other types of levelers and are best used for low-volume and short-range loading and unloading processes.

Vertical storage levelers

Typically operated with hydraulic systems, vertical storage levelers rest in a vertical upright position when not in use. They allow the facility’s bay door to be closed on concrete instead of on the leveler itself. This is important in facilities where exterior contamination needs to be avoided, specifically in food production and storage buildings.

Call about your loading dock leveler today

Learning about the different kinds of loading dock levelers is the first step in knowing how to select the correct loading dock leveler. To discuss your new loading dock leveler, call us at Affordable Dock and Door. Our experts can help you find the perfect loading dock leveler for your building’s needs, so call us today.