Portable docks are steel platforms that are used with yard ramps in areas where there is no building or loading dock available. They are most commonly found in rural or remote construction areas, or where agricultural produce is being packaged in the field and shipped directly to market. While a portable dock can function as a standalone steel platform, it is more common to connect several units together to form the equivalent of a concrete dock that allows full fork truck functionality, loading, and offloading via yard ramps.
The first major use of portable docks was seen in New York State in the home building industry. Construction crews needed a way to quickly unload rail cars to get materials to the site. To trim transportation expenses and save time, companies began leasing real estate alongside of rail yards and sectioning it off with fences to create an offloading area for trucks. They installed portable docks in these areas and used yard ramps to connect the platforms to the rail cars, thus creating docks that were literally out in the middle of nowhere, but just as sturdy and reliable as any shipping dock in an urban industrial building.
After this initial success, portable docks quickly found their way into all sorts of onsite applications in the construction industry. They also found a second and very important application in agriculture. When apple crops were ready in the past, apples were placed in containers and then shipped via rail or truck to packaging plants, where they were either bagged or palletized. Grocers began to realize what an exorbitant expense the fuel and warehousing costs were adding to the price of apples and other produce. Eventually, portable docks were installed in the field that allowed for the immediate boxing or palletizing of produce, which was then loaded directly onto rail cars or refrigerated trucks. This has since proven invaluable in the fight to keep food costs down in the midst of climbing fuel costs.
Portable docks are also used extensively by companies who are leasing a warehouse or a factory and who are beginning to outgrow their existing space. As staff increases and production rises, these companies often must add dock space either by pouring concrete or by installing steel platforms to work as portable docks. While the cost of either option may in many cases be equivalent to the other (depending upon the amount of dock space needed and the number of platforms necessary to create it), companies that opt for portable docks rather than concrete docks can either resell their platforms later when they relocate, or they can simply relocate the equipment with them.
Easy Rack portable docks are custom built to the precise height needed by the client. They can be manufactured either with fixed legs or adjustable legs on one or both sides. These steel platforms are usually connected together to create a large, outdoor, solid platform. For example, if a client wants a 16X32 dock, 4 or 5 edge of docks mounted, and a yard ramp, we will ship 8 portable docks with a splice plate that will create a sturdy surface equivalent to a concrete loading dock.
The use of a single steel platform is less common because a yard ramp can act as a form of dock in and of itself, particularly in rail yards. However, in some cases where fork trucks have to run parallel to rail cars, they don’t have enough room to turn from the yard ramp into the car. In these cases, a single portable dock at the end of the yard ramp can allow a forklift to make a safe 90 degree turn.
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Easy Rack carries a wide variety of new & used pallet racks, material handling equipment, used pallet racks, and modular buildings installed nationwide. If you can not find what you are looking for call us toll free at 1-888-776-3720 and we will find it for you. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with regional distribution centers located in all 50 States including New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Miami, FL. Chicago, IL. Denver CO., Dallas TX, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, Boise ID, Atlanta GA, Albuquerque NM.