Usually in the cold chain, commercial vehicles are used, that is light load vehicles, generally with hinged rear doors.
These types of vehicles cause major problems when they need to be connected to the loading bay, because they do not allow a correct approach. The standard loading ramp is too heavy and too broad for their capacity (commercial vehicles normally have a very low floor, between 60 and 80cm from the ground, whereas the standard height of loading bays is 1.1–1.2m, and therefore too high for a connection with such low floors).
There is usually significant HEAT LOSS between the bay opening and the commercial vehicles, and the correct design of the entire loading bay is therefore necessary to limit heat loss generated by an incorrect vehicle docking system at the loading bay as much as possible.
In the first photo are several commercial vehicles docked at a standard loading bay. Note the rear door open to 180 degrees, which may be opened further until it touches the wall of the truck.
It is clearly impossible to rationally load the vehicle from standard loading bays with docks at the standard height of around 1100-1200mm. For the functional loading of these vehicles the loading bay must be specialized.
CAMPISA advises dedicating a series of loading bays to commercial vehicles, creating a dock with a height of around 60-70cm (the easiest system is to raise up an area of the hard standing).
How should a loading bay be built for commercial vehicles?
The loading bay must be designed to stop the commercial vehicles far enough away from the dock to be able to:
- Stop the vehicle and switch off the engine quickly, without many manoeuvres. To do this, indicators can be used on the ground (see photo) if the rear overhang is always the same, or a green/red traffic light run by a photoelectric cell.
- Open the doors of the truck by 90°, with at least 200mm between the open door and the dock.
- Lower a loading ramp of the type which is flush with the dock with a vertical resting position, with connection to the vehicle floor.
In this way the vehicle can also be docked and loaded by the driver alone in complete safety. Among the many CAMPISA cold chain solutions, we recommend:
- A retractable dock shelter, a system composed of three frontal sheets within which the rear of the vehicle is sealed. The retractable structure protects the seal from damage due to any off-centre dockings, pulling back and returning to its natural, extended position.
- The roof of the seal is equipped with a channel to collect rainwater with an internal side drain. Without the drainage channel, puddles of water could form on the roof and fall onto the operators while they are docking vehicles.