Dock levelers are helpful devices that make loading and unloading shipments easier and more efficient. However, they experience significant wear and tear over time that drastically reduces their structural integrity, longevity, and overall quality. However, figuring out if you need loading dock leveler repair or replacement isn’t always easy.
Fortunately, Hobbs Dock and Door is here to explain when to repair and when to replace your dock leveler.
Hobbs Dock and Door is one of Illinois’s most trusted dock and door service companies. Whether you need dock repair or professional replacement services, Hobbs Dock and Door is here to help.
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What Are Dock Levelers?
Dock levelers attach to loading docks to help workers load and unload goods. Most feature a pull chain or hydraulic system that allows workers to control them swiftly and easily. They are important yet often undervalued devices that improve efficiency while making the loading process faster.
However, when dock levelers break down, transporting goods off and on trucks becomes much more difficult and time-consuming. While you can repair mild- to moderately-damaged dock levelers, severely damaged devices typically require a replacement.
Main Reasons for Replacing a Dock Leveler
While dock leveler repair might seem like the best solution since it seems more cost-effective at first, fixing outdated or overly damaged dock levelers typically provides short-term results. Most older and worn levelers will eventually break down again, requiring you to spend hundreds on repairs for a second time. These repairs add up over time and often surpass replacement fees.
Replacing your old, worn-out dock leveler also allows you to upgrade to a newer, more efficient model. Newer dock levelers typically work better and provide more benefits to you and your employees.
You can install most in one day, and many of them have additional safety features that older models don’t have. They also ensure your facility stays up-to-date with the latest guidelines and regulations, preventing multiple issues that adversely affect your business.
Process to Replace Dock Levelers
Before you install your new dock leveler, you must clean the area and ensure debris isn’t in the pit. If you have an electric model, disconnect it before cleaning the space and starting the installation process.
Once you completely clear the pit and shut off the device, cut out your old leveler with a torch and smooth out sharp edges along the pit with a grinder. You want the pit floor to be as smooth as possible to ensure proper installation and operation.
Next, carefully place your new leveler inside the pit while ensuring even placement. Most dock levelers are two inches smaller than the pit, leaving a one-inch gap on both sides. You also want to weld shims to the dock level to prevent them from shifting later on.
After that, tack weld the leveler’s corners and make every surface as level as you can. You also want to tack weld the curb angle to the leveler’s front bottom angle. Continue welding the front and back angles until everything is secure before using a grinder to make the welds smooth.
Finally, complete all the necessary wiring (if you have a mechanical leveler) and connect it to the device’s control panel before testing the leveler, completing the process.
Although some handy business owners might be able to replace their dock leveler themselves, it’s best to hire a professional dock leveler replacement company to handle the process and ensure top-quality results. Professionals understand the best installation methods and utilize first-rate tools that guarantee a fantastic final product.
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Dock Leveler Preventive Maintenance
Every dock leveler requires routine maintenance to operate at its highest efficiency level. Failing to maintain your dock leveler can cause it to give out prematurely and create several other problems that impact both your business and your staff. It’s best to maintain your device daily to ensure optimal function while preserving its lifespan.
Before using your dock leveler, remove any debris on and around the unit. This will prevent debris from obstructing the lip and hinge, preventing mobility issues. Once the dock leveler is clean and clear, you should:
- Wipe down the pit
- Check the lip for potential damage and wear
- Lubricate all the moving parts (such as springs, pins, and hinges) with penetrating oil
- Check the dock seals and replace them if necessary
- Evaluate the dock bumpers to ensure they have at least four inches of cushion
- Assess the dock leveler’s structure (such as the pins, welds, angles, and concrete) for corrosion or damage
Completing these tasks every day will help you get the most out of your dock leveler while preventing costly repairs and potential employee injuries. Routine maintenance is one of the best ways to extend your dock leveler’s lifespan, allowing you to focus your money on other aspects of your business.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) — Dock Levelers
What Are Dock Levelers Used For?
Dock levelers help workers move items on and off trucks when your company receives or sends a shipment. They create a bridge between the truck and your facility, allowing you to transport heavy goods faster and more effectively.
What Is the Difference Between a Dock Plate and Dock Leveler?
Most dock plates are portable and don’t accommodate heavy weights. Dock levelers are permanently installed on loading docks and are much more robust, allowing them to handle large, overweight shipments without issue.
Contact Hobbs Dock and Door for Outstanding Dock Leveler Repair and Replacement Services in Illinois
Instead of Googling “dock leveler repair near me” the next time your leveler malfunctions, contact Hobbs Dock and Door. Our dock leveler repair service will make your device as good as new again so you can continue your business operations. If your dock leveler is beyond repair, we will replace it with a new model at a price that won’t break the bank.Give Hobbs Dock and Door a call at (708) 293-8910 or fill out our online form via our “Contact Us” page and receive first-class dock leveler repair and replacement services in Illinois!
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