Is It Time for Your Dock Leveler (Dock Plate) to Be Serviced?

By Loading Dock Expert on 18 Feb 2022 In

It's important to operate a warehouse/manufacturing plant properly so it keeps running smoothly way. There are some things that you should ask yourself if you want to operate a warehouse efficiently and safely. Are the dock doors, dock levelers (also known as dock plates), and vehicle restraints working properly or is it time for them to be serviced or replaced?

Loading Dock Bay in Central JerseyLoading Dock Bay

If you are seeking peak performance of the day-to-day business, you should be aware that loading docks are one of the most hazardous and busiest areas of operations, and you will rely on them to run an efficient operation.

Loading dock levelers are particularly important when it comes to running an efficient operation because you rely on them to be the gateway to your organization. They are also critical if you want to stay in compliance with warehouse regulations. 

How Do You Know When a Loading Dock Leveler Needs to Be Serviced?

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.

Mechanical dock levelers tend to require more regular service, hydraulic dock levelers need the least service, and the air-powered levelers fall somewhere between the two.

Mechanical Dock Levelers Maintenance

Mechanical dock levelers should have a thorough maintenance inspection by a professional every 90 days, however, it is also recommended to perform routine maintenance checks and tasks on a daily basis.

Mechanical Dock Levelers by McGuireMechanical Dock Leveler

How to inspect/maintain your mechanical dock leveler on a daily basis? Make sure that all dirt and debris are removed from in and around the leveler. Additionally, you should make sure the hinge section of the lip and the platform is clean and clear. 

What should be inspected/serviced every 90 days? 
- Inspect and clean the pit area; inspect all lip-out mechanisms (pins, lip crank, links, and chains) and replace any that look worn.
- Lubricate the leveler with the proper lubricants in all areas applicable.
- Inspect all weather seals and replace the ones that are worn or damaged.
- Inspect all dock bumpers. Safe loading docks require 4″ of bumper protection. If you have less than that, or any bumpers are worn, damaged, loose, missing, etc., you should replace them.
- Check the condition of concrete, angles, and welds. Make sure to repair or replace if needed.

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✓ Air Powered and Hydraulic Levelers Maintenance

If there are air or hydraulic levelers in your facility, and you want to ensure safe and efficient loading and unloading, it is recommended to perform daily and 90-day maintenance tasks.

Add to your routine the following repair and maintenance tasks for both, hydraulic and air dock levelers in order to check if they are worn out or need to be replaced in:

→ Inspect all conduit boxes, control boxes, and electrical connections for damage. This includes inspecting the hydraulic system. If you notice that there's damage, proceed with a repair or replacement if needed.

→ For air-powered levelers, inspect the air tower for damage (with the leveler supported by the maintenance strut). 
For hydraulic levelers, check the hydraulic fluid level in the tank. Add fluid if needed.

→ Make sure to check and tighten the control box mounting hardware once a year.

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→ Suggested Article: Benefits of Installing a Hydraulic Edge-of-Dock Leveler

Overhead Door Co. of Central Jersey, we have a team of experts that can help you put together a planned maintenance program for your loading dock levelers and any other dock equipment.

Let's keep your dock levelers as efficient as possible while performing at the highest level.

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