How to Do Preventive Maintenance on Loading Docks

Posted by AJ Porter on

"Loading dock equipment; such as dock levelers require proper usage and installation based on the manufacturer’s guidelines. Not all dock levelers are same. Each dock leveler is created to handle a specific load capacity and performance. Problems generally occur when the operating guidelines are not followed and the person who operates the dock leveler has not been properly trained to operate the dock equipment.

To clear your worries and guide you in identifying the problem of your loading dock, we have come up with these “10 Supertips to prevent your Loading Dock Problem”.


Be Familiar with the equipment. Take in mind that it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to give the important details which pertain to the dock leveler’s safety guide and precautions, product features, maintenance schedule, troubleshooting reference, component breakdown, warranty and contact number where you can reach them, in case there’s a problem with your dock leveler. Make sure to read and understand the manual carefully, it is very important to become accustomed with the dock leveler and its controls before operating them.
Select the Right Person to operate the dock leveler. 

The person assigned to operate the dock leveler should have undergone enough training and developed strong familiarity in operating dock levelers.

•Should be physically fit to operate the device and has a positive work attitude (doesn’t operate the device under the influence of drugs or alcohol).

•After selecting the right person, make sure he reads and understands the owner’s manual.
Practice safe operating precautions.

• Remember to always disconnect or remove the safety device when operating a transport vehicle restraint. • Make it to a point, that the warning signs are intact and never removed. Never operate the equipment, if other unauthorized personnel have not transferred outside the operating area.

• Make sure that the operating area is free from any foreign object that can cause accident. • Keep away from the dock leveler when trailer is approaching or leaving the loading dock area.

• Avoid placing hands or any part of the body towards the moving parts.

• Refrain from using a damaged dock leveler, ask a reliable loading dock service company to check and repair the equipment before using them. • Always keep in mind, that the lips of the dock leveler should extend at least 4 inches onto the truck. • Maintain safe distance on all side edges.

• Do not use a dock leveling equipment, if the height of truck is obviously greater or lower.

• Avoid overloading the dock leveler

• Don’t let any device or object left unattended on dock leveler.
Make sure your dock leveler is ready before the maintenance.

• Arrange the leveler properly; in vertical manner with lip extended.

• Maintenance props should be securely placed in the lowered upkeep standpoint.

Impose safety measures during maintenance.
• Practice the “lockout/tag out” procedure. Turn off the electrical power, especially when welding the device. Lock the equipment with locking device approved by OSHA. Take note that he only person who must have the access to the key is the person servicing the equipment. Barricade and Warning signs must be placed in the work station.

• Keep away from the dock leveler and lip when working ahead of the dock leveler.

• Never grind or weld when flammable materials are present. Have a fire extinguisher close to you, when performing these tasks.

• Check the user’s guide to limit platform and bleeding hydraulic structure.
Follow the Manufacturer’s instructions for carriage and platform.

• Inspect the roller track for correct form and must be clear from any unknown objects.

• Take away any device that may be banded to the dock leveler. •

Ensure that the lifting brackets and mounting structure are intact. Brackets should swivel deliberately to the mounting jolt.

• Install the carriage slowly.

• Installation of carriage depends on its type; if it’s a manual side shift you can weld it on roller track stops. After that, you can now work on the electrical connections.

• Use chains and lifting equipment to carry the dock leveler. Choose a lifting device that can carry the capacity of your leveler.
Proper wiring and Control Panel Installation 10 supertips to prevent your loading dock problem; Control Panel.

• Practice the “lockout/tag out” procedure. Before welding the unit always remember that Ground wires and any source of electricity must be disconnected. A certified professional electrician is the only person authorized to do all the electrical work.

• Mount the push button at 48 inches height. (Distance from the dock floor to the basal portion of the control panel.

• Field electrical lines in the pit conjunction box and dock leveler electric cable should be interconnected.
Make sure Placards are easy to read and are placed in designated areas.

• It is highly suggestive that placards should be attached close to the control box by using a nylon tie. You can also post the placard to the wall, on the nearest left of the leveler at eye level.
When your dock levelers need troubleshooting do important preparations first.

• Raise the platform, turn off and disconnect all power sources.

• Every single fuse inside the control panel should be carefully checked. Immediately replace those that are broken.

• Place barricade and safety warnings on the work area.
All maintenance, service and replacement of parts should be documented. • Written documentation will support that you are still liable for the product warranty."
TheLoadingDock.


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