Commercial Dock Levelers: How They Work & Common Problems

When it comes to transporting goods, the supply chain can be much more intricate than you ever imagined. From production, goods can be transported over thousands of miles and in many ways. Shipping containers over water, via air, and of course, miles and miles over land on trucks. At every stage, the swift and easy movement of goods saves both time and money – ensuring that supply keeps up with demand. For this reason, a high-quality dock leveler is invaluable.


What is a Dock Leveler?Lev 6 New Mcguire Mechanical Dock Leveler Mp Series

A commercial dock leveler is a simple yet ingenious device that is made up of a metal plate that can be raised and lowered. Its job is to create a bridge between the back of trucks and the floor of a warehouse, storage facility or dock. Not only does this prevent damage to goods that may have already travelled for hours to reach their destination, it is also much safer to use a dock leveler as it helps prevent forklift accidents.

Importance of a High-quality Dock Leveler

When choosing what type of dock leveler is right for you, it’s important to understand their specifications, and which one if going to be the best for the work that you have. Like many things, it’s not always worthwhile going for the cheapest option out there, as you may find that it breaks down faster. Dock levelers are designed to withstand hard work, but when you want yours to be in continuous use, you need one that can cope under the strain.

Types of Dock Levelers

There are a number of different types of dock levelers, all designed to make loading and unloading an easy and safe experience. When it comes to dock leveler installation, this must be carried out by a professional team, as there can be many components involved including hydraulics, removal of an old leveler, and the fact that they are installing something build to withstand a massive amount of weight – so it needs to be installed correctly.

Manual Dock Leveler

The most basic type of dock leveler, this is a great choice for companies who only need a basic solution – perhaps those don’t need to load and unload goods constantly. With this leveler the chain is manually released, and the leveler is walked down into position.

Hydraulic Dock Leveler

Low maintenance, a hydraulic dock leveler is one of the safest options, and it is activated with the push of a button. Reliability is a key factor here, and you can be assured of the correct positioning of lip and platform every time.

Edge of Dock Leveler

This is a good option when working with minimal height difference. Positioned, as the name implies, at the edge of the dock, it saves time and space which can be at a premium in some warehouses.

There are other types of commercial dock leveler available, to suit the type of operation that your company is conducting. Dock levelers can have their problems, but when looked after correctly, and with proper maintenance, the best ones should work smoothly the majority of the time.


Common Dock Leveler ProblemsEod 6 Mcguire Hydraulic Edge Of Dock Eod Hed

Dock levelers may seem to be a simple machine, but there are a lot of moving parts involved keeping them working. Regular maintenance is always advised, such as checking things like the hydraulic fluid, fuses and seals.

Some common dock leveler problems include:

  • The spring tension weakening causing it to pop up slightly
  • Motor issues or hydraulic pump problems
  • Levelers becoming out of adjustment over time
  • Jarring and jolting when driving forklift on leveler


Commercial Dock Levelers in Minnesota

The weather can also affect your dock leveler – particularly the cold. This can happen unexpectedly in Minnesota, so if any business needs help with a dock leveler in the Twin Cities area, be it repair, replacement or installation, the All Seasons Garage Door Company is on call to help.