Dock leveller maintenance tips: prevent downtime and damage

Submitted by administrator on Mon, 05/02/2022 - 10:34

On every company premises, there is heavy traffic where fast loading and unloading play a crucial role. By using a dock leveller, you can increase the productivity and safety of the loading and unloading bay. Everyone knows: a dock leveller should function properly and not stand still. When a dock leveller is standing still or damaged, it disrupts the logistic process. Therefore, regular maintenance is important. It is best to let a specialised service company do the maintenance. However, there are some steps you can take yourself to prevent damage or standstill. In the checklist below, we have listed the most important maintenance tips for you.

1: Test all functions once a week

To ensure that the dock leveller functions as well as possible, it is important to test all functions of the dock leveller once a week. This is especially important for dock levellers that are not used on a regular basis, or for functions that are not used very often in daily operation. The test can be easily carried out by running the programme several times.

2: Check daily for damage

To avoid downtime, it is important to check daily for mechanical damage. Think about the bodywork or the state of the welds. The welds are very crucial, because if they tear, the dock leveller will block immediately.

3: Train your personnel

One of the most common causes of dock leveller damage is incorrect use of the dock leveller. Therefore it is crucial to ensure that your personnel are adequately trained to operate the dock leveller. For example, it is important to highlight the following points in a training course:

  • Never exceed the dock leveller capacity
  • Only operate the dock leveller with the lip fully inserted into the vehicle
  • Never leave a forklift unattended on the dock leveller
  • Only use the dock leveller within the working area for which it was built
  • Check that no persons are in the working area of the dock leveller before using the dock leveller

Loading Systems dock leveller operation

Would you like more tips on how to use a dock leveller correctly? Please call one of our specialists.

Prevent damage? Take extra measures

Prevent damage with wheel guides and dock bumpers

Damage to your dock leveller is of course never desirable, but unfortunately not entirely preventable. Damage can occur, for example, when a truck collides with the loading bay. But how can you minimise or even avoid damage? Below is a brief overview of initiatives you can take to minimise damage:

  • Use of (large) dock bumpers: dock bumpers of the right size reduce the impact energy of approaching vehicles. Dock bumpers largely absorb the impact of an approaching truck at such a moment. This limits the damage.
  • Installing wheel guides: The wheel guides ensure that the truck docks exactly in the middle of the loading ramp. This way, vehicles cannot damage each other, but also your premises.

Would you like to know more about our wide range of accessories and options that increase safety around your loading bay and thus prevent damage to your premises? Find out more here.

Maintenance: a solution to avoid downtime!

Besides the above mentioned tips for the correct use of your dock leveller(s), we recommend regular maintenance by a specialised maintenance company. The frequency of maintenance activities can vary, as this depends on how and to what extent the dock leveller is used. A Loading Systems service specialist can offer you excellent advice and discuss with you the possibilities of a - tailored - maintenance programme.

Preventive replacement of parts

A poorly maintained dock leveller can be dangerous during the loading and unloading process. Therefore, in addition to the above mentioned actions which you can perform yourself, we advise you to have some parts replaced preventively by a certified mechanic. This way, the safety, functionality and classification of the dock leveller is guaranteed. You can think of replacing the following parts:

  • Draught seals: every 3 years
  • Hydraulic oil: every 3 years
  • Hydraulic hoses: every 6 years
  • Control box: 250,000 cycles or 10 years
  • Dock bumpers: 50% worn

The above frequencies are indicative and no rights can be derived from them. Active use of the dock leveller may cause more wear or contamination and parts must be replaced more frequently.

Periodic maintenance

The maintenance of a dock leveller strongly depends on how often the dock leveller is used, but also on the external circumstances in which the dock leveller is used. This could mean that the dock leveller needs to be maintained more often than indicated in the guidelines.

Annual dock leveller maintenance should only be carried out by qualified technicians. During maintenance, all mechanical, electrical and hydraulic components are checked.

Choose convenience - choose a Loading Systems maintenance contract

Maintenance of a dock leveller is crucial to ensure safety and minimise downtime. Furthermore, correct maintenance will prolong the lifetime of the dock leveller. Would you like to be unburdened by your dock leveller maintenance? Then Loading Systems is the right address for you.

  • We are at your service 24/7
  • Prevent downtime and unexpected high costs
  • For all types and brands of dock levellers
  • Skilled technicians

Would you like to receive more information about how we carry out maintenance? Or would you rather speak to a service specialist? Then please contact us.

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