From food processing to cold storage facilities to distribution & logistics warehouses, pharmaceutical facilities and more, industrial facilities of all shapes and sizes can benefit from operational and safety improvements. Given the high-traffic, fast-paced nature of loading dock areas, these are certain areas that facility managers should prioritize. Ultimately, they should seek out products that can:
Help to minimize workplace hazards
Improve working conditions for employees
Reduce energy costs
Improve operational efficiency
To help facility managers explore tangible ways they can make facility improvements, we’ve rounded up a selection of products that will help to improve employee safety and comfort, productivity and energy savings around the loading dock.
1. Best Products To Improve Loading Dock Safety
Loading docks are dynamic areas with vehicles and equipment constantly moving about both inside and outside of the facility. To avoid vehicle and personnel accidents while maintaining optimal working conditions, consider the following products.
A truck restraint is an essential component of loading dock safety that works by holding a truck in place during the loading and unloading process. Truck restraints are such an integral component of facility and employee safety that there are stringent regulations in place to fine facilities that have not implemented truck restraints. These restraints work by grabbing an approaching truck’s rear-impact guard (RIG) or ICC bar. As a method for improving safety and efficiency, the majority of truck restraints are also equipped with a light communication system that allows the truck driver to be in constant contact with the dock attendant. Lenworth carries models such as theElectric Hook Truck Restraint, which uses an automatic rotating hook to secure the rear-impact guard, generating a restraining force of 32,000 lbs. This force completely stabilizes & immobilizes the truck and has four main functions:
Preventing early trailer departure
Limiting trailer creep away from the dock
Restricting trailer movement to keep the extended lip of the dock leveler in place on the floor of the trailer
A dock leveler bridges the loading dock floor with truck trailers and helps to ensure smooth, safe loading and unloading processes at your facility. Dock levelers must be able to support extremely heavy loads, service a wide range of truck heights, and compensate for tilted trucks. Lenworth offers both mechanical and hydraulic dock levelers that provide level, balanced support and stability that employees and facility managers can count on year after year.
Mechanical dock levelers: Suitable for a majority of applications. A major benefit of mechanical levelers is the elimination of costly electrical provisions and hookups. Once installed, they will continue to operate even in the event of power failure.
Hydraulic dock levelers: Ideal for heavy load and high-use applications and areas in which extreme conditions are common. They are also simple to operate and require no bending or pulling on the part of the operator. Activation is simply achieved through the use of constant pressure on push-button controls.
For facilities operating at full capacity in Canadian winters, extreme weather can create adverse working conditions: cold air infiltration, heat loss, snow, sleet, slippery floors leading to slips, falls and more. Investing in anAdjustable Curtain Dock Sealcan help better protect the loading dock area by blocking wind, snow and ice from entering the facility through exposed gaps. Employees can adjust these dock seals to accommodate different trailer sizes. They also help improve energy efficiency by containing the warm air generated internally and keeping cold air outside.
Another product that can make all the difference in improving the working environment at the loading dock are High-Velocity Truck Cooler (HVTC) fans. These units are durable, high-performing, long-lasting, versatile and ensure that employees stay cool and comfortable during the summer months. In addition to cooling down truck trailers in the high heat of summer, HVTC fans can also help to warm up trailers during the winter months by re-distributing warm air from the facility into the trailer during
loading and unloading procedures. These compact and efficient units work coherently with our other loading dock products to maintain optimal working conditions for employees in all seasons.
2. Best Products To Improve Energy Efficiency & Productivity Around the Loading Dock
From the costs associated with operations to increasing societal and organizational pressures to curb wasteful, inefficient energy usage, finding more efficient and responsible ways to use essential energy can be a major pain point for businesses and facilities of all sizes. As a trusted partner for facilities nationwide, Lenworth offers a selection of products to help facilities use energy more efficiently.
Inadequate or outdated overhead doors are some of the most common areas where facilities can improve energy management. High-Speed Overhead Doors can reduce a door’s cycle time from 56 seconds to 5.6 seconds and present an excellent solution for both interior and exterior applications.
For exterior applications, High-Speed Doors are all specifically designed to reduce unwanted air transfer between your facility and the outdoors, leading to more comfortable, controllable and energy-efficient interior conditions around the loading dock area. Plus, they are built to last and maintain a high level of performance even under harsh weather elements such as wind, snow and rain. For interior use such as cold storage, freezer or pharmaceutical applications, High-Speed Doors can help reduce the presence of condensation on the door curtain, maintain sanitary conditions and prevent the loss of cold air where needed.
Air Curtains create a stream of air that covers the entire width and length of a door opening and are ideal for a wide range of industrial applications. In loading dock areas, Air Curtains create an effective barrier that reduces the infiltration of outside air, dust, dirt and insects. By repelling external air, Air Curtains also maintain more comfortable conditions around loading docks in warmer and colder months. Lenworth’s lineup of Air Curtains are made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel and feature heavy-duty direct-drive motors for long-term performance.
For cold storage, Air Curtains can be used in conjunction with High-Speed Freezer and Cooler Doors to effectively prevent the flow of unconditioned air into a conditioned area and of warmer air into cold storage areas. They are essential in helping to reduce condensation and frost buildup on the door panel and can be set to blow ambient or heated air.
Dock Wedge Combo Shelters
As loading dock doors must remain open during loading and unloading procedures, they can be a significant source of energy waste. As a result, the need for an airtight seal between the trailer and the dock is imperative. This can be effectively addressed by installing Dock Wedge Combo Shelters. With extended projection designed to ensure an adequate seal around both highway and tailgate trailers, the DW series can help deliver meaningful energy savings. In addition, the “Supersnug” hooks on inward panels help to seal trailer door hinge openings, preventing the often-overlooked air transfer through these gaps.
Distributing heated air effectively presents an operational challenge for many facilities, especially ones with high ceilings and large square footage. High-Volume Low-Speed (HVLS) Fans are engineered to distribute airflow in a facility more effectively. These specially designed fans conserve heating or cooling, supplement the HVAC system, and improve environmental conditions for employees. Ultimately these benefits help facility managers avoid costly heating and cooling expenses and encourage employee comfort and increased productivity. No matter the specifications of your facility, Lenworth carries models of HVLS fansthat will suit your needs.
Take meaningful steps towards operational success with Lenworth products
If you’re looking to take meaningful steps towards improving 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 ourPreferred 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 including Dock Levelers (Hydraulic and Mechanical), Seals and Shelters, High-Speed Doors, HVLS Fans, Truck Restraints, Aftermarket Accessories and more 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.