Views: 141 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2020-01-03 Origin: Site
Loading docks are the heartbeat that pumps life and money into your warehouse. When a dock leveler is operating efficiently, you are able to optimize your facility’s productivity and profitability. With so much relying on the successful operation of your dock levelers, it’s important to keep them in top working condition in order to reduce the risk of failure and keep your workers safe.
Knowing when and how often to service your dock levelers first depends on the type of dock leveler you use. There are three main types of dock levelers: Mechanical, Hydraulic, and Air. Normally, mechanical dock levelers require a more regular service schedule, whereas hydraulic dock levelers need less. Air powered dock levelers usually require service somewhere in the amount between mechanical and hydraulic dock levelers.
When it comes to servicing mechanical dock levelers, it is recommended to perform routine maintenance checks and tasks daily, with a more thorough maintenance inspection taking place every 90 days. On a daily basis, you should make sure that all dirt and debris is removed from in and around the leveler so its’ performance is not interfered with. Additionally, you should make sure the hinge section of the lip and the platform is clean and clear. The more thorough maintenance inspection performed every 90 days should include the following tasks:
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.
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)
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)
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.