Loading docks are often overlooked when considering equipment maintenance. However, poorly maintained dock levelers will not last as long, and any issues that arise with your loading docks could wind up costing you by affecting your productivity.
Regular maintenance of your dock leveler will help it run smoothly for years. That being said, some maintenance tasks should be left to dock leveler professionals.
Keep reading to learn more about what you can do yourself and when it's time to call a technician.
Loading Dock Maintenance You Can Do Yourself
To get a good idea of how well your dock leveler is functioning, the best thing to do is to test it outside of its normal operation. In other words, it's best to observe during a time frame in which you won't have to shuffle around workers and trucks while they load or unload material.
How often should you inspect your dock leveler and its surrounding area? Optimally, three times a day - first thing in the morning, at a break time during the day, and after all operations have ceased.
However, if there has been any recent damage to the dock leveler as a result of a vehicle collision, we strongly recommend you do not continue to operate the loading dock. Extensive damage opens up the possibility of causing even more issues as you continue to operate the leveler. Stop and call a loading dock repair professional right away.
After you’ve assessed the risk, here’s the maintenance you can do yourself.
SAFETY NOTE: Before you do anything that requires working underneath the deck, you must set the maintenance strut in place and wear a hard hat. This strut will keep the deck from dropping on you in the event of a catastrophic failure or if a passerby decides to try and close it without checking if someone is underneath.
Otherwise, here are some tasks you can complete yourself:
- Testing the dock leveler's functionality, paying close attention to the speed of cycling, how level it remains, and how capable it is of attaching to a truck properly
- Cleaning out all debris, especially in the dock pit and around the moving parts
- Lubricating all components, to keep moving parts operating smoothly without catching or excess friction
As for anything else, we highly recommend you get in touch with experienced loading dock repair professionals.
When to Call a Dock Leveler Repair Professional Right Away
The following examples might pose an immediate safety hazard, which is why we'd recommend contacting a dock leveler service technician urgently:
- Recent collision damage from a truck
- The deck sits above or below floor level while in a resting position
- The lip is bent, cracked, or not fully extended
- Noticeable rust around the loading dock or damaged beam welds
- Strange sounds during dock leveler operation
Loading Dock Maintenance and Repair Services in the Mid-South
If you need to speak to a dock leveler technician today to keep your dock leveler running smoothly and safely (and profitably), we here at the Lilly Company proudly offer loading dock repair and maintenance. We service Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and eastern Arkansas.
Contact our loading dock experts at The Lilly Company online or by phone 844-LILLYCO (1-844-545-5926) with any questions you have. Or, come say hello at one of our 13 locations across the Mid-South:
Arkansas – Jonesboro
Alabama – Birmingham, Dothan, Irondale, Madison, Mobile, and Montgomery
Mississippi – Tupelo, and Richland
Tennessee – Jackson, Memphis, Knoxville, and Kingsport
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