Common Loading Dock Maintenance Issues and What to Do

Machinery breakdowns at the loading dock can decrease productivity and increase safety risks, but a planned maintenance program can be your solution to combat it.


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Common Loading Dock Maintenance Issues and What to Do

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day aspects of working in a warehouse or industrial facility. Workers get familiar with the equipment they use and come to rely on it as a part of performing their everyday tasks.

Unfortunately, equipment and machinery need maintenance, and knowing how to notice issues and correct them before equipment breaks or someone gets hurt is just as essential as the job the equipment is meant to perform.

After all, your machinery doesn’t do you any good if it’s broken down. That brings us to loading docks – the shipping and delivery heart of the warehouse.

If equipment breaks down here, you’re not only looking at lost productivity from your staff, but delays can also impact the drivers that are trying to drop off or pick up supplies, products, etc.  For this reason, it’s important to know some of the most common loading dock maintenance issues and what you should do to prevent them from halting productivity or worse - injuring a worker.

Dock Levelers

Dock levelers are an integral part of the loading dock process. They make sure that the connection between the dock and the trailer is smooth, allowing forklifts to enter and exit without problems, such as trailer creep. But dock levelers also have many moving parts, which means there’s a lot of room for breaking down.

The best way to handle maintenance is to have a professional conduct regular inspection visits, like Rite-Hite’s planned maintenance program. They’ll perform operational tests, check fluid levels for hydraulic systems and perform inspections to keep your dock levelers in working order by fixing small problems before they become hazards.

Dock Doors and Vehicle Restraints

Loading dock doors and vehicle restraints are another area that need regular attention to help prevent problems.

Misaligned tracks, problems with cables, spring malfunctions and sensor issues are just some of the potential issues that can arise with the dock doors. Like with dock levelers, having a preventative plan, rather than reactive one, will allow you to address issues before they become productivity-halting problems.

If you’re noticing a trend here, that’s good. We repeat it because it’s important for not only productivity, but for safety reasons as well.

Keeping well-maintained equipment that is checked by an expert on a regular basis will lead you to less downtime, increased safety and improved productivity. You can’t afford to let small issues become big problems - that’s where preventative maintenance comes in. 

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