Successful businesses build a strong reputation with their clients by delivering products on location, on time. For that to happen, you need an efficient shipping system with regularly maintained equipment. Here are five ways to keep one of your most important components – your dock levelers – functioning safely and efficiently.
1. Lubricate the Components
Like all engines, dock leveler components require lubrication to keep them running smoothly. Their parts are constantly in motion throughout the day and by lubricating the pivot joints and hinge tubes, it prevents them from rusting and breaking down.
It’s important to lubricate orange coloured areas (indicating rust) or slow moving components when needed, to extend the life of your dock leveler. You should oil the dock leveler every three months and have a standing appointment with a professional to inspect it for any signs of damage.
2. Keep Everything Clean
Dock levelers are located in a high-traffic area, especially if your business relies on shipping and receiving products. Such a busy location means that your dock leveler is likely to pick up dirt and debris. A dirty dock leveler pit obstructs working parts, slows its movement, and corrodes its joints.
A dock leveler and its surrounding area requires inspection at a minimum of three times per day:
• In the morning (before the start of the working day)
• In the afternoon (schedule a break in production)
• In the evening (at the end of the working day or a slower point in the day)
3. Test Functionality
Instead of observing how the dock leveler performs while workers are using it, it’s imperative to test the functionality without such a distraction. If any of these concerns are occurring with the leveler, contact a certified technician immediately to get it adjusted and avoid any future injuries:
• Decreased speeds during raising and lowering of the platform
• The platform is not level after it’s lowered
• It cannot reach its maximum height (when lowered or raised)
• It cannot properly attach to a truck’s trailer (trailer creep/dock walk)
4. Check Fluid Levels on Hydraulic Dock Levelers
Hydraulic dock levelers run on hydraulic fluid, which is the medium of power transferred in hydraulic machinery. Low fluid levels cause it to slow down and fail to sustain its maximum weight capacity. It’s difficult to observe unless explicitly verifying its level.
A trained professional should clean, flush, and change the hydraulic oil annually. A hydraulic dock leveler is a premium piece of equipment and is a costly investment. You should make it a priority to ensure it is properly maintained to prevent spending thousands of dollars on a replacement. Alternatively, you can explore avenues like our Preferred Service Program to ensure ongoing inspection and maintenance.
An ineffective loading area leads to a decrease in productivity and a hike in billable hours. Dollars are spent paying for labour costs of employees performing workarounds and it is only a matter of time before it breaks down or a severe injury occurs. Deadlines are tighter or missed with a haphazard workflow, and even more money is wasted by potentially paying overtime hours to meet them. Reading between the lines of your delivery trends and schedule, instead of the typical number-crunching, can boost your company’s productivity and maintain a steady labour cost.
Schedule an Assessment With Lenworth
Lenworth provides an experienced, solution-based approach to loading dock repairs. We offer 24/7 emergency service in the GTA. Our certified technicians visit your facility with fully-loaded trucks, meaning we can complete the job during the initial consultation.
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.