Dock Equipment 101: Understanding the Different Types of Dock Levelers
A warehouse worker sitting next to a dock leveler

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), over 100 fatalities and more than 95,000 injuries occur due to dock leveler accidents in the US per annum. Loading docks are one of the most hazardous areas in any facility. Proper dock equipment is essential to keep workers and materials safe during loading and unloading operations.

One of the critical components of dock equipment is the dock leveler. In this blog, we will discuss the different types of dock levelers commonly used in the industry.

Mechanical Dock Levelers

Mechanical dock levelers are the most common type of dock leveler used in residential and commercial loading docks. They are manually operated and use springs and chains to lift the dock plate. These levelers are reliable, low-cost, and require minimal maintenance. However, they are not suitable for high-traffic areas or heavy loads.

Hydraulic Dock Levelers

Hydraulic dock levelers are the most popular type of leveler in the industry. They are suitable for heavy loads and high-traffic areas. They are easy to operate and have a smooth, safe, and reliable lifting process. Hydraulic levelers are more expensive than mechanical levelers, but they offer greater benefits such as increased productivity, energy efficiency, and reduced maintenance costs.

Air-Powered Dock Levelers

Air-powered dock levelers use a series of airbags to lift and lower the dock plate. They are suitable for high-volume facilities where speed and efficiency are crucial. Air-powered levelers have a low maintenance cost, but they require more maintenance than hydraulic levelers. They are also less durable and have a shorter lifespan than hydraulic or mechanical levelers.

Vertical Dock Levelers

Vertical dock levelers are a unique type of leveler that lifts vertically instead of horizontally. They are suitable for facilities with limited space or where the dock is below ground level.

Multiple dock levelers at a warehouse

Vertical levelers are more expensive than other types of levelers and require more maintenance. However, they are more reliable and safer to use than traditional dock levelers.

Pit Levelers or Edge-of-Dock Levelers

These unique dock levelers are perfect for facilities with low traffic volume and where the dock height is no more than 5 inches above or below the trailer bed. They are easy to install and require minimal maintenance. They are also more cost-effective than other types of levelers. However, they are not suitable for high-traffic areas or heavy loads.

At Darkinson Doors, we offer a wide range of dock equipment and Commercial Doors Fremont, Toledo, and surrounding areas. Our products include but aren’t limited to steel doors, fire-rated doors, high-impact traffic doors, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.


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