How to Know When Your Loading Dock Levelers Need to Be Serviced

Maintaining loading dock levelers can reduce the likelihood of breakdowns while ensuring safety on the dock, front and center. So…how do you know when a dock leveler needs to be serviced or repaired?

How to Know When Your Loading Dock Levelers Need to Be Serviced

If you spend any amount of time in a warehouse or manufacturing plant, you understand the importance of efficiency and safety. Loading docks are one of the busiest and most hazardous areas of your operations, especially when you are actively seeking peak performance of day to day business. Loading dock levelers are particularly important when it comes to running an efficient operation because you rely on them to be the gateway to your organization. They help prevent unexpected logistics breakdowns and help keep safety at the dock, front and center and are also critical if you need to stay in compliance with warehouse regulations. So… how do you know when a loading dock leveler needs to be serviced?

The type of leveler your facility has will determine how and when you service your equipment. There are three main types of pit mounted levelers: mechanical, air and hydraulic. Mechanical levelers tend to require more regular service whereas hydraulic levelers need less and air powered levelers falling somewhere between the two.

Mechanical Dock Levelers Repair & Maintenance

If your facility uses mechanical dock levelers, it is recommended to perform maintenance tasks daily in addition to every 90 days. On a daily basis, you should check the loading dock leveler for dirt and debris and remove anything that could hinder the function of the leveler. Specifically, make sure the hinge section of the lip and the platform is clean and unobstructed. It is recommended that every 90 days you perform a more thorough inspection of your dock leveler:
  • Start by cleaning the pit area; inspect all lip out mechanisms (pins, lip crank, links, chains and shackles) and replace any that look worn.
  • Lubricate the dock leveler with the proper lubricants in all appropriate locations.
  • Inspect all weather seals (if installed) and replace if worn or damaged.
  • Inspect dock bumpers. Four inches of bumper protection is required. Worn, torn, loose or missing bumpers must be replaced.
  • Check the condition of concrete, angles and welds. Repair or replace if necessary.
  • Inspect structure, hinge pins, clevis pins and cotter pins for abnormal wear and tear.

Air and Hydraulic Powered Levelers Repair & Maintenance

If your facility uses air or hydraulic dock levelers, it is suggested to perform all daily tasks and 90 day maintenance tasks to ensure safe and efficient loading/unloading. Perform your inspections as detailed above, and add the following repair and maintenance tasks to your routine for air and hydraulic dock levelers:
  • Inspect all conduit boxes, control boxes and electrical connections for damage. Inspect the hydraulic system (cylinders, hoses, fittings, and power units). Repair or replace if worn or damaged. Make sure to check the control box for any evidence of condensation.
  • With the leveler supported by the Safe-T-Strut, inspect the air tower for damage. For hydraulic dock levelers, check the hydraulic fluid level in the tank. Add fluid if necessary. 
  • In addition, every 360 days, make sure to check and tighten the control box mounting hardware on either air or hydraulic powered units. Retorque all shoulder bolts on units equipped with a Safe-T-Lip®.

If you are in any doubt about how and when to service your loading dock levelers, contact your local representative. Rite-Hite can provide the service you need or put together a planned maintenance program for your loading dock levelers and other related equipment. Any make or model can be serviced and we’ll take into consideration your specific operational needs. Like your business, you want your dock levelers to be as efficient as possible while performing at the highest level. You’ve made big investments in your loading dock equipment, and as the gateway to your warehouse, you can’t afford to leave their performance to chance.

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