Buildings do not always have docks that match the exact height of trucks pulling into those docks. Over the years, trucks have gotten taller, averaging a height of 52-53 for standard beds and 54-55 for refrigerated beds. Older buildings can have docks as low as 45-49 and require some sort of dock leveler to facilitate fork truck traffic from the dock to the truck.
There are two categories of dock levelers that facilities use for this: pit mounted dock levelers and edge of dock levelers. Pit mounted levelers have considerable range and strength, but they must be embedded in the concrete and represent a very expensive retrofit for facilities on a budget. A much more economical alternative is an edge of dock leveler which attaches to the side of the dock. Edge of dock levelers extend the range of the dock by 5 vertically and 5 horizontally. This means that if a dock is 49 in height, an edge of dock unit can enable it to access trucks measuring 54 in height.
An edge of dock leveler stops the truck in exactly the right position with two rubber bumpers on the side of the unit. When the truck is in position, the ramp is raised into position with a tool known as a ratchet riser. This creates a bridge between the dock and the bed of the truck which forklifts, fork trucks, pallet jacks, and workers can cross. For refrigerator trucks, it is normally necessary to install a refrigerator lip on the edge of the ramp to extend it an additional three inches into the truck bed.
In some older buildings, the dock height is significantly less than that of todays modern trucks. Buildings built in the 40s and 50s can have docks as low as 45-48. An edge of dock leveler will only add 5 to this height, which is insufficient for a 52 to 55 truck bed. For facilities of this nature, Easy Rack can arrange to add a lo-dock leveler to an edge of dock unit. These dock levelers can add up to 11 total to any dock height, effectively overcoming the 5 limit of standard edge of dock levelers. This is only necessary in older buildings, because most specification buildings built today fall within a range that edge of dock levelers can easily accommodate without a the lo-dock add on.
Easy Rack edge of dock levelers can handle capacities ranging from 20,000 to 25,000 pounds. They are easy to position by lifting a self-storing handle and pulling the handle to the dock floor. The latch assembly activates the lip forward to the floor of the trailer as the handle is lifted, and the handle automatically returns to the stored position when it is released. Edge of dock levelers include bumper and bumper blocks and can be ordered in widths of 72 and 78 upon request.
For organizations faced with the dilemma of a dock that is simply too low for todays trucks, Easy Rack lo dock levelers offer the most affordable alternative to expensive dock alterations. Upon analysis of the facility and dock height, Easy Rack pre-fabricates dock levelers with the lo-dock piece already installed on the unit. No site welding is required because the leveler comes completely assembled as a single piece. This will effectively raise dock height an additional 11 above the 5 threshold standard to edge of dock units