Warehouse Edge of Dock Versus Loading Dock Leveler
Considerations when choosing a Edge of Dock Leveler
Define your Dock Height Needs
You need to know what you want the leveler to do. What is the maximum load you expect the leveler to handle? Make sure you include both the weight of lift truck and cargo when determining the load. What range of trailer deck heights do you need to accommodate? How frequently will you use the ramp?
Consider your operating environment: certain industries have specific wash-down requirements or unique pest/dust control needs. In refrigerated warehouse applications or facilities located in cold climates, insulation requirements will dictate the style of leveler.
When you considering your needs, look beyond the current operation and anticipate future needs. Selecting a dock ramp to meet your future needs may cost a little more today, but it avoids the costs of having to replace an obsolete ramp in the future.
Narrow the Choices for Edge of Dock Levelers
The anticipated range of trailer heights and the cargo loads you need to accommodate will help narrow your selection. If you expect light ramp loads ( < 20,000 lbs.) and little variation in trailer heights (within a 3” range above or below dock height), edge of dock levelers (EOD) can be a good, entry-level choice. They only accommodate a small range of trailer heights; however, they do not require a dock pit, which greatly simplifies installation. The simple installation and compact design make edge of dock levelers an economical option for light-duty dock applications. The downside is an EOD (Edge of Dock) leveler can put undue ergonomic strain on your workers.
If you load/unload from a variety of trucks and trailers, or handle heavy cargo, you will appreciate the extra functionality of a pit leveler. Pit levelers require concrete modification to the loading dock to accommodate the leveler, but the recessed pit and ramp leveling mechanism provide easy alignment with a range of trailer heights. Leveler ramps are available in extended lengths (up to 10’) to reduce the angle between the ramp and the trailer. The flatter ramp angle reduces leveler wear and improves flow in and out of the trailer. Another huge upside is pit dock levelers are designed with standard capacity ratings of 50,000 lbs. and higher.
Identify the required options
Both pit and edge of dock levelers are available with a variety of options. Once you settle on the basic leveler style, evaluate the cost/benefits of the individual options.
Manual or Powered Leveler?
For many low-traffic docks, manual levelers are well suited to the task. They require no electrical connection and the simple operating principles will provide years of trouble-free operation. However, these mechanical units will have much higher maintenance costs in the long run. For higher volume docks, the extra cost of a powered leveler are easily justified when you consider the benefits to dock productivity,worker safety and long run maintenance costs.
Signaling and Controls?
Most leveler systems, especially when accompanied by truck restraints, are available with LED signaling lights and alarms to communicate the status of the leveler to the truck driver and warehouse employees. This can help prevent accidents caused by premature trailer departure. Advanced options include interlocking the leveler with other dock systems to minimize the risk of human error during the loading/unloading
Edge of Dock Safety?
When a bay door is open, falls from the loading dock are a real hazard. Some levelers incorporate guarding, also known as a safety lip, that blocks the opening until the leveler is deployed. These systems are especially effective at preventing vehicles from accidently rolling off the dock platform.
Certain industries have specific needs. In most cases, a leveler exists to satisfy those needs.
For facilities subject to strict hygiene protocols, edge of dock levelers or vertical mounted levelers promote easy cleaning within the warehouse.
In industries where insulation is a key consideration (refrigerated facilities or warehouses in cold climates) vertical levelers, or supplemental perimeter sealing options, will minimize air infiltration when loading/unloading a trailer.
When to Start Looking for an EOD Leveler
Do you need to find an alternative to a dock board for your loading dock? Loading dock levelers and warehouse edge of docks both provide the same functionality, but they are suited for different work sites.
To make the connection between a loading dock surface and a vehicle, there’s few options. What is a loading dock leveler? What is a warehouse edge of dock? A loading dock leveler mounts inside a dock pit. Levelers raise and extend outward to link the loading dock to the vehicle bed. On the other hand, a warehouse edge of dock mounts to a loading dock face.
In most spaces, a loading dock leveler best replaces a dock board when it has wider docks and vehicles. Loading dock levelers are also more compatible with safety add-ons and other accessories. However, edge of docks are most effective when they don’t deal with height differences between docks and vehicles. If you need to work with limited weights and loading space, then edge of docks could be right for your space.
What Makes Effective Edge of Dock Maintenance?
The loading dock is a hub for activity, which means sometimes equipment maintenance and loading dock safety practices get sidelined. Over time, an edge of dock leveler undergoes some wear and tear, which is normal. The risk comes when employees try to use broken equipment. When you fall behind on maintenance, you jeopardize workplace safety and accumulate repair costs.
However, when you keep a consistent maintenance plan, employees don’t have to walk on ramps with forklifts, substitute wooden planks for levelers, use defective levelers, or hold up leveler lips for other employees to then walk over.
Upgrade Your Loading Dock With Copperloy
Need a top-quality warehouse edge of dock for your loading area? Copperloy has manufactured premier material handling and loading dock solutions for more than five decades. To maximize safety, efficiency, and profitability on your loading dock, Copperloy should be your first choice.
Copperloy warehouse edge of docks allow for easy maintenance and easier board positioning than alternative installations with a spring assembly and lift mechanism. These pieces work with trucks 5” above and below loading dock levels. Look to Copperloy for both 20,000 lb. capacity and 30,000 lb. capacity models and mechanical and hydraulic edge of docks. Customers can also implement transition plates, approach ramps, or both.
Where competing ramps and levelers have limited you with slow raise times and tedious maintenance, Copperloy installations help you streamline your business operations. Need a custom solution? Count on Copperloy’s leading custom steel fabrication and design professionals for an installation that fits your facility’s distinct layout and your unique project goals.
Along with a full warehouse edge of dock selection, customers count on Copperloy for a diverse range of durable yard ramps, dock to ground ramps, dock boards, dock plates, van ramps, stage ramps, and more. Whether you need a new or used piece of equipment or you plan to rent or buy, you can depend on the team from Copperloy.
To deliver top-quality products every time, the Copperloy team maintains the most current in manufacturing technology. The team keeps the latest in both computer numerical control (CNC) and robotic machinery.
Are you ready to transform your space for optimal productivity and safety? To view a full selection of loading dock solutions and find out what Copperloy could add to your space, visit https://copperloy.com/ today.