Choosing a Dock Leveler for Your Loading Dock


For every business with a loading dock, having a dock leveler, a height adjustable platform that bridges the dock with an incoming truck, is important for handling incoming freight. While you can’t predict the height of every incoming truck, you can make accommodations to make loading and unloading easy.

Making a Loading Dock Safer With a Dock Leveler

In today’s business, the loading dock offers Dock Levelerdirect access to the warehouse and freight elevator. Having a dock leveler enables palletized freight to be loaded or unloaded onto a forklift or other material handling equipment. It may be outside, fully enclosed so that the truck pulls inside, or flush with the building. Dock heights in the U.S. are typically 48-52″, but some trucks require heights up to 55″. When a truck pulls in that is not the same height as the dock, the bumpers on the truck might rest against the dock while leaving a gap, or the trailer and the floor of the warehouse might not be properly aligned.

A dock leveler can make loading or unloading safe and convenient. The best ones are equipped with dock bumpers and a vehicle restraint system to prevent unexpected trailer departure of the dock or trailer creep that pushes the truck away from the dock during loading and unloading. Using a dock leveler is a safer, sturdier upgrade from the plates and boards used as a ramp between the truck and the dock.

Types of Dock Levelers

There are several popular types of dock levelers:

Hydraulic dock levelers. Mounted on a pre-formed pit at the dock, they can equalize the grade between the trailer bed and the dock floor with the push of a button. A hydraulic dock leveler is a good solution for light to medium duty applications.

Air powered levelers. Also operated with a pushbutton but powered with air rather than hydraulics, an air-powered gas leveler can handle more heavy duty applications. The platform floats up and down with trailer movement and can accommodate out-of-level trailers with up to 4″ of flex.

Mechanical dock levelers. Operating with a pull chain that operates with a cam and roller counterbalance, a mechanical dock leveler permits a smooth walk between the trailer bed and a lower dock.

Choose McGuire Levelers

Dock levelers made by McGuire are considered the best in the industry, due to the design, engineering, materials, and manufacturing quality. McGuire dock levelers come in a variety of options for companies who need a safe, dependable solution for their loading dock. For a free consultation about the best type of dock leveler for your business, contact Overhead Door Company, a distributor and certified installer of McGuire dock levelers and commercial garage doors and accessories.