Dock Seals and Shelters

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Dock Seals and shelters improve energy conservation, help preserve internal temperatures and protect products from outside contaminants.


Which dock seal or shelter is best suited to your loading dock? Dock applications, site criteria and facility operations vary and may require one feature more than the others. Many configurations are available from basic types of compression dock seals, standard dock shelters, inflatable seals to hybrid dock seal / shelter /inflatable designs. To narrow down your options and determine the model that matches your application needs, consult one of our many staff experts.

Best Dock Seals and Shelters

Loading docks see heavy use at many locations, from warehouses to high-volume retail outlets. They facilitate the transportation of products so you can ultimately sell those goods to customers and clients.

However, to ensure the safety of incoming and outgoing truck trailers, you’ll want to consider investing in dock seals or dock shelters for your establishment. If you’re looking at dock seals and shelters and wondering which one you should go with, then Hobbs Dock & Door can help you make the right decision. Here’s what you need to know about dock seals and shelters and the benefits of each.

What Are Dock Seals?

Loading dock seals use compressed air or foam pads to create a soft barrier for the opening of a loading dock door and the incoming or outgoing truck trailer. Dock door seals compress around the trailer’s surface when making contact with the dock bumpers, sealing it in place for the loading and unloading process.

Types of Dock Seals

We work with top-rated partners to provide you with the best possible selection of dock shelters. Consider one of the following for your loading dock area: 

  • Fixed Head Pad Dock Seals, built from memory foam to reduce gaps, suitable for 8-foot by 8-foot openings while keeping the trailer secure through a strong seal
  • Adjustable Head Paddock Seals, offering peak sealing capabilities for 8-foot by10-foot openings with a torsion spring, waterproof vapor barrier, and vents for reducing condensation
  • Head Curtain Dock Seals, with foam side pads to insulate your facility while providing safety to your employees through wind and rain protection; premium fabric options are also available
  • Full Access Dock Seals, coming standard with an adjustable head curtain on top of a 16-inch projection with a 10-foot by 10-foot door opening to facilitate full trailer access


Benefits of Dock Seals

Ideally, the trailers that make contact with your loading dock would be of similar size and style. If this applies to you, then a dock seal is probably worth considering. But dock seals offer more benefits, even if your business sees a lot of activity from trailers of varying form factors.

Superior Sealing Capability

The most significant advantage of choosing dock seals is right in their name: They provide the best sealing prowess for your loading dock. Since they apply pressure to maintain a tight grasp of the trailer, dock seals are the preferred option for eliminating unwanted gaps in the loading dock area.

Dock seals are also ideal if you want to keep unwanted pests outside their loading area and, ultimately, the entire facility. Without a proper way to cover the gaps between a truck trailer and your loading dock, you’re wide open for bugs and rodents to fly or crawl into your work environment.

Additionally, dock seals do a fantastic job insulating your facility during the loading and unloading processes, meaning the temperature within your warehouse or backroom will remain consistent and help you preserve valuable energy.

Greater Protection

By effectively closing any gaps between the loading dock and truck trailer, dock seals provide enhanced protection to your loading area and, by extension, your employees. Whether your concern lies in the weather outside or with potential rodents sneaking into your base of operations, a dock seal will be an effective safeguard you can trust, especially with a head curtain at the top of the seal.

What Are Dock Shelters?

Loading dock shelters serve the same purpose as dock seals but in a slightly different way. Where dock seals tightly compress around the perimeter of the trailer, dock shelters act more like tunnels that offer space for trailers to fit under and within at the expense of effectively sealing the truck trailer in place. They include soft fabric curtains that cover the trailer tops while docked.

Types of Dock Shelters

We work with top-rated partners to provide you with the best possible selection of dock shelters. Consider one of the following for your loading dock area:

  • Inflatable Dock Shelters, featuring a 10-foot by 10.5-foot opening, a pressure-treated wooden frame, and a pair of highly durable inflatable side pads
  • Retractable Dock Shelters, providing full trailer access with a 10.5-foot by 10.5-foot opening and impact-retracting frame
  • Stationary Rigid Dock Shelters, with a 24-inch projection to accommodate larger trailers while offering weather protection with a peaked wood head frame

Benefits of Dock Shelters

Dock door shelters offer numerous benefits to businesses that want a flexible, durable solution for their loading dock. We partner with several top industry brands to ensure you reap the full benefits available from a dock shelter installation.

Greater Flexibility

Since dock shelters offer more space for trailers to fit underneath and inside, they tend to be a more forgiving solution for truck drivers when backing into and out of the loading dock. This also extends to forklift access, which a dock seal may restrict.

Longer Lasting

If longevity is your priority, then dock shelters have an edge over dock seals, which can see more wear and tear due to regularly sealing around trailers. In comparison, dock shelters last longer.

More Options

You have several options to consider regarding dock shelters, which we facilitate through our expert consultation services. Some of the more recent models bridge the gap between dock shelters and dock seals through additional features, such as side curtains that wrap around the sides of the trailer, effectively sealing it off. The trailer tops accompanying dock shelters can also include weighted curtains to achieve similar results.

Get Superior Loading Dock Protection Today With Hobbs Dock & Door

There’s much to consider in the discussion of dock seals vs. dock shelters, and the answer isn’t always clear-cut. That’s where the team at Hobbs Dock & Door comes in. We offer various dock seals and shelters to commercial and industrial businesses seeking protection around their loading dock area. Our professional team is available 24/7 for any repair, maintenance, and emergency service you need at a time that works for you.

Contact Hobbs Dock & Door today at (708) 293-8910 to request your free quote or schedule service for your business.


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