A Safe, Efficient Facility Has Never Been More Important
Warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution centres are high-traffic, dynamic workplaces. Nowhere is this more evident than around the loading dock. From the constant loading and unloading of deliveries to the presence of heavy machinery and personnel, the need for safety and efficiency around the loading dock is paramount. This is especially true now, as the growth of e-commerce across Canada and the United States has placed even more demands on these facilities to deliver on a consistent basis. When it comes to saving time, improving workplace conditions, and increasing productivity, loading dock upgrades can be a major benefit.
With that, let’s have a look at four products that can help managers of these facilities improve productivity, safety, and employee wellbeing around the loading dock.
Loading Dock Upgrade #1: High-Speed Overhead Doors
In high-traffic facilities, more speed means more productivity. This does not refer to the employees themselves needing to work faster. Instead, it refers to installing products and systems that reduce downtime and make things easier. High-speed doors are a perfect example of this type of equipment.
Standard commercial overhead doors are slow, with an average open/close time of around 40 seconds.
Upgrading to standard 10’x10’ high-speed doors can lower the average cycle time to 13.3 seconds. And when you upgrade to a high-performance model, you can achieve cycle times of 2.5 seconds.
Compared to a standard overhead door, high-speed doors are up to 10 times faster, moving at speeds of up to 140 inches per second in some cases. This difference of seconds may seem small, but when you consider the amount of open/close cycles loading dock doors complete on a given day, the difference becomes significant.
The speed of these overhead doors is vital in high-traffic facilities as they provide seamless entry through door openings, allowing workflow to progress without interruption. High-speed doors work so efficiently that employees won’t have to wait around for the cycle completion.
Loading Dock Upgrade #2: Electric Hook Truck Restraints
Truck restraints are essential pieces of safety equipment in high-traffic loading docks. Aside from making loading and unloading procedures far more seamless, they help protect employees from common, yet serious loading dock accidents such as:
Trailer Creep: Caused by the repetitive impact that occurs when forklifts enter and exit the trailer, causing it to slowly move away from the dock.
Pop-Ups: When the weight of the forklift sends the rear of the trailer forward and down, causing the nose to rise.
Upendings: When too much weight is concentrated at the front of the trailer, causing the rear end to move up and away from the dock.
Landing Gear Collapse: Occurs when weak or damaged landing gear gives way and the trailer pitches forward or falls to the side.
Early Departure: Occurs when a truck driver unexpectedly drives away from the loading dock area before loading or unloading operations are complete.
Premium truck restraint models such as the Electric Hook Truck Restraint use an automatic rotating hook to secure the trailer’s rear-impact guard, generating a restraining force of 32,000 lbs. This force completely stabilizes & immobilizes the truck during the loading and unloading process. This model also comes with a light communication system that allows the truck driver to be in constant contact with the dock attendant. From a safety standpoint, truck restraints are one of the most important loading dock upgrades you can make.
Loading Dock Upgrade #3: Hydraulic Loading Dock Levelers
A dock leveler acts as a bridge between the loading dock floor and the truck trailer to help ensure smooth, safe loading and unloading procedures. Dock levelers should be built for strength and stability, with the capability to support extremely heavy loads of up to 80,000lbs. They should also be able to accommodate a wide range of truck heights and compensate for tilted trucks.
If you’re looking for an upgrade over the standard mechanical models, consider a hydraulic dock leveler. These models are easy to use, seamless and controllable with a push-button device for convenient operation. This makes them ideal in high-traffic facilities that handle frequent, high-volume deliveries.
Loading Dock Upgrade #4: Dock Wedge Combo Shelters
Without proper dock door seals, loading dock areas are exposed to extreme temperatures, rain, snow, sleet, and other environmental factors. This can drive up energy costs and create uncomfortable, sometimes hazardous conditions for employees.
Dock Wedge Combo Shelters cover the gap between the dock wall and the delivery trucks or trailers, fully sealing the passage from truck to the facility. With openings of up to 10’-0” W x 11’-2” H, they allow for complete and unobstructed access to the full width and height of the trailer interior while providing outstanding weather protection.
A cost-effective, low-maintenance loading dock upgrade, Dock Wedge Combo Shelters deliver excellent environmental protection and guard against unwanted air transfer. From the “Supersnug” hooks that help seal trailer door hinge openings to the Phantom draft pads that provide an additional seal on top of the dock bumper, these products can lead to more efficient energy use when it comes to heating and cooling a facility and more accommodating conditions for employees around the loading dock.
Interested in Improving Your Facility? Contact Us Today!
If you’re looking to add loading dock upgrades to your facility, contact us today! At Lenworth, we’re committed to doing things right and providing our customers and clients with the best services possible no matter the situation. This means providing the best-performing products and ensuring quick, reliable facility services and preventative maintenance through our Preferred Service Program (PSP).
In order for us to better accommodate you during this time, call ahead to book a showroom visit with one of our representatives and see our lineup of high-quality products for yourself!
As the VP of Sales & Marketing, Spencer is an energetic and company-oriented manager that places an emphasis on continuous organizational improvement. Spencer's acute focus on building a customer-centric business drives his team to consistently go above and beyond customers' expectations. At Lenworth, Spencer places the customer as the focal point of all decisions.
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At Lenworth our goal is to help you improve facility efficiency, reduce downtime and minimize risk. Contact us today for a free facility inspection.