Wheel Guides Help Protect Your People and Save Time

Loading docks are busy environments and trucks efficiently moving in and out is critical to a business' bottom-line and reputation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average U.S. warehouse loses 6.9 weeks (about 1 and a half months) a year in [wasted time], costing the industry $4.3 Billion annually. Every time a trailer backs into a loading dock off-center, a facility is not only wasting costly time, but is also exposing their building, material handling equipment and loading dock solutions to unnecessary wear and tear, and worse, potentially placing their products and people at risk. 

Rite-Hite® Wheel Guides provide dock backing alignment with consistent on-center positioning by helping guide the trailer into the right position. The simple solution helps facilities:

  • Improve safety and productivity with accurate positioning the first time
  • Provide precise trailer alignment needed for unobstructed full-width end loading access
  • Enhance sealing around the trailer opening, reducing product exposure and contamination
  • Support Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

Improve Safety and Productivity with Accurate Positioning the First Time

Pedestrian Safety on the Drive Approach

Oftentimes, a facility has employees working on the drive approach opening trailer doors, chocking tires, lowering landing gear, and maintaining dock equipment.

OSHA reports that semi-tractor trailers are the second leading cause of back over fatalities in the United States. If a trailer backs into the loading dock off-center or crosses nearby drive approach lanes, crushing an employee or colliding with neighboring trailers could easily become a scary reality. 

Wheel Alignment Guides are raised off the ground and coated with a high-visibility safety yellow powder for visibility from a trucks' cab, helping ensure the trailer is safely and accurately directed to the dock door. By keeping the backing trailer in line, wheel guides help mitigate collisions with neighboring trailers; which in turn also helps protect employees from crushing hazards on the drive approach

Improved Productivity at the Loading Dock

For facilities without wheel guides, trailers may have to re-position multiple times due to inaccurate positioning, adding downtime to the loading process. Wheel guides keep backing trailers in line, center and flush to the door opening, especially important when full-width loading and unloading is needed. 

Full-width loading or "cube-loading" is a method of maximizing the amount of space inside of a trailer. Wheel guides keep backing trailers in line, center and flush to the door opening, especially important when full-width loading and unloading is needed. If trailers are off-center and full-width trailer access is needed to the trailer opening, there won't be full clearance for the pallet.

Enhanced Sealing Effectiveness

A trailer that is incorrectly positioned not only adds to downtime and hinders full-width loading, but it can also result in an uneven seal at the dock opening, meaning lost energy, money and possible product contamination. 

Each loading dock door opening (typically ranging from 8'x8' to 10'x12' or larger) represents a giant hole in the wall of our facility. If the opening is large enough for pests or rodents to enter or escape, especially in highly regulated food or beverage facilities, it can set a company back $10M per incident.

Wheel guide alignment systems provide consistent on-center trailer positioning to help seal the gaps around the trailer top and sides for the highest sealing efficiency. Properly sealing the gaps around your trailer can help facilities save energy costs, protect products from weather-related damage and help prevent contaminants from entering your facility. 

Help Protect Automation Investments

Automated Guided Vehicle sensors often shut down the equipment if there is too much trailer movement, or if trailers back into the facility out of square, as the sensors rely on precise trailer positioning to safely enter and exit the trailer. For facilities that have made investments in AGV equipment, trailers efficiently and consistently squaring to the face of the dock is critical to the equipment autonomously operating. 

Wheel guides further support the rise in AGVs when paired with Stabilizing Trailer Restraints. Two heavy-duty double acting hydraulic cylinders support the restraint to minimize vertical trailer drop from 4" to only 1" during loading, directly minimizing movement to the forklift and computer componentry. 

Rite-Hite's Solution

By incorporating loading dock trailer alignment products like wheel guides at each dock position, your facility is helping protect people, products and improve productivity with a simple solution. From reduced downtime with accurate positioning and alignment the first time, to enhanced sealing effectiveness and supporting investments in automation at the loading dock, wheel guides upgrade any loading dock application. 

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