The height of the dock is a critical factor, because if the dock is high it is a hindrance when joining up floors beneath dock level, given that the sides of the pit create bulk that causes blockage at times.
But if the dock is lower and vehicles manage to reverse over the dock, damage occurs to the equipment and to vehicles. For more on this subject, see the “bumpers” page.
- For semi-trailers and large trailers, a dock height of 1,200mm is recommended. Floors that have a height of between around 900mm and 1500mm with maximum gradients below the 12.5% set by Standard EN 1398, can be connected with 2500mm long ramps.
Lower gradients, more suitable for electric pallet trucks, are obtained with ramps 3000mm in length.
- For medium size trailers and “city vehicles” a dock height of 1.100 mm is recommended.
DOCK LEVELLER WIDTH
It must be “as close as possible to the width of the floor of the connecting vehicle”, up to 25cm less than the width of the vehicle floor:
- For semi-trailers and large trailers, dock levellers 2200mm wide, with two side flaps automatically reducing the lip by 130-180mm on each side, in case of connecting narrower vehicles.
- For vehicles with an external width of 2300mm, 2000mm wide dock levellers with two side flaps automatically reducing the lip by 130-180mm on each side in case of connecting narrower vehicles.
DOCK LEVELLER CAPACITY
Capacities are standardized in consideration of the maximum ‒ even if occasional ‒ load. Standard EN 1398 sets out that the capacity of the dock leveller is calculated on only one axis of the lifting trolley, on two wheels 1 metre apart.
Other types of calculation, such as for example the uniform distributed load (two/three times greater than the concentrated capacity) are not relevant to the type of use that will occur. The most standardized capacity is of 6 concentrated tonnes; lower capacities bring insignificant savings. For larger capacities or faster transit (the requirement allows crossing at 5 km/h) dock levellers with a concentrated capacity of 9 tonnes are recommended.
NON-STANDARD LOADING DOCK LEVELLERS
- Particular loads require special dock levellers. For example dock levellers 4 metres and even 5 metres in length to connect the 1.2m high dock to the floors of short vehicles with a height of only 60cm from the ground. Dock levellers of this length enable electric pallet trucks to operate.
- For very humid areas and cold stores, hot-dip galvanized dock levellers are recommended.
- For cold stores the recessed dock system is recommended, in which the dock leveller remains closed inside the building when not in use, with the sectional door closing in front of the dock leveller. In this case the dock leveller is telescopic with the lip protruding 1 metre.
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