Dock loading is the cornerstone of an efficient society. Everything that comes to us has been transported from somewhere else, whether near or far. For those working in the logistics business, speed and smooth transitions make a huge difference to productivity and scheduling.
After products at a manufacturing facility are packed, labelled and are ready for sale, these are then transferred and loaded onto a truck or in a container for transportation to supermarket and retail stores. This process of moving goods from the production facility to trucks and trailers, and vice versa, is critical for trucks and trailers which have to be loaded from the rear (no side curtains, commonly chiller trucks).
The standard dock loading scenario requires a raised building, or a sunk parking area, so that when trucks back up to this area the inside level is that of the building level, ensuring easy access for forklifts and personnel. This means both safety and efficiency is enhanced, meaning therefore that almost all production facilities, warehouses and distribution centers should have a modern, up to date dock loading area.
The loading dock is a point of contact where transportation and storage hook up.
Let’s run through the common parts of a modern loading dock:
Dock Bumpers: These take the wall impact and protect the dock from truck and trailer damage, and may also be used as a guide by the truck driver when backing up.
Dock Leveller: A height-adjustable steel platform used as a bridge between dock and truck, which can be operated via mechanical (spring) or automatic hydraulic or air powered systems.
Dock Lift: Serves same function as a leveller but operates similar to a scissor lift to allow for greater height adjustments for varied truck heights.
Dock Seals: Compressible PVC or foam sides around the dock doorway which the truck presses back against when parked. Used to prevent weather from entering the building and enhance energy saving on Coldstorage facilities.
Wheel Chocks: Small rubber or aluminium triangles which are put in front of the tyres of a truck to stop it from moving away from the dock while being loaded or unloaded.
Truck Restraints: Hooks and tyre holders which lock in place when the truck is parked, to prevent truck or trailer from moving whilst being loaded. These are an upgraded safer version of the wheel chocks.
Dock Light: A movable articulating light mounted inside the dockway used to provide lighting inside the truck during loading operations.
Traffic Lights: Used on both the outside and inside of the dockway, to indicate to the truck driver when is safe to move, and the forklift driver when is safe to load. Also helps guide trucks into the loading dock, and prevents large damage.
Dock Control Units: Integrate the dock doorway, leveller, truck restraints, traffic lighting and any other dock equipment to ensure the use of safest sequence for dock loading.
Efficient dock loading can be a very complex operation but can be simplified through the appropriate use of dock systems and tools.
Get in touch with Ulti Group today to get your free on-site assessment and helpful advice from one of our experts.