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Dock Equipment

Loading Dock Equipment Overview

Loading docks are the first and last contact at any facility. It's the place where supplies first arrive and the place from where shipments leave. With today’s modern, fast-paced loading docks, selecting and properly installing the best leveler for the job plays a major role in safety and productivity. Creating safe and efficient bridges between facilities and the trucks and trailers that pull up to them is no easy task. With so many different kinds of dock levelers available today, in such a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and mounting styles, choosing the right one can be more complicated than ever. The reason there are so many choices in dock levelers is that there is such a huge variety of freight, vehicles, frequency of use, and loading conditions. These different operations place different demands on a dock leveler, so it is important to make sure that the leveler you recommend matches the individual requirements.

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Use Considerations

The first thing to consider is where and how the dock leveler will be used. Is it a replacement, a retrofit, or new construction? What types and variations of vehicles will be unloading and loading? What are the space limitations? Are environmental control and security prime considerations? Oftentimes budget or space restrictions may unduly influence the decisions. This is where bringing in a dock professional can help the most.

Types of dock levelers:

  • Edge-of-dock
    These levelers are mounted to the outside of the face of the loading dock. As such, they're the most economical and typically the easiest levelers to install. Their drawback is limited size and weight capacities.
    See Edge-of-dock products below.
  • Pit-style
    These docks offer greater capacities and options to suit more demanding cross-docking applications. Because of more space above and below the leveler, pit-mounted levelers typically have greater working and service ranges and adaptability over edge-of-dock levelers.
    See Pit-style products below.
  • Vertical-storing
    This type is recommended most for food and other applications where temperature control is a concern. They're better at keeping the elements and pests out and the temperature in.
    See Vertical Storing Series Hydraulic Leveler specs below.

Helpful Information about Dock Levels

Leveler capacity simply means that the selected leveler has the structural strength to handle the weight, speed, and frequency of use of the material handling equipment.

Material handling equipment used for loading and off loading has grade operating limitations, so it is important to consider this when determining the right length of dock leveler.

Units range in price from under a thousand dollars for edge-of-dock levelers to several thousand for large-capacity hydraulic levelers.

Additional Factors
The dock leveler makes up only one piece of a loading dock. Consideration must also be given to dock safety, communications, operator environment, and energy conservation. In a busy shipping area, there can be up to 100 opportunities a day, per single loading dock, for serious mishaps to occur. A combination of signal lights, controls, and signage advises both vehicle drivers and dock attendants of safe / unsafe and park / depart conditions.

Edge-of-dock Products

Ohio Garage Doors MD-CH Series Hydraulic Model
30,000 lb (13,636 kg ) Rated Capacity
Ohio Garage Doors MD-CM Series Mechanical Model
20,000 to 30,000 lb ( 9,090 to 13,636 kg ) Rated Capacities

Pit-storing Products

Heavy Duty I-Beam Deck Construction

Ohio Garage Doors A-Series Model FH/FHE Hydraulic Dock Leveler
30,000 to 80,000 lb (13,636 to 36,364 kg) Rated Capacities
Ohio Garage Doors A-Series Model M Mechanical Dock Leveler
30,000 to 50,000 lb (13,636 to 22,727 kg) Rated Capacities

Medium Duty Formed Beam Deck Construction

Ohio Garage Doors Mantis Series Hydraulic Dock Leveler
25,000 to 40,000 lb (11,364 to 18,181 kg) Rated Capacities
Ohio Garage Doors Mantis Series Mechanical Dock Leveler
25,000 to 40,000 lb (11,364 to 18,181 kg) Rated Capacities
Ohio Garage Doors C-Series Model FHC Hydraulic Dock Leveler
25,000 to 35,000 lb (11,364 to 15,909 kg) Rated Capacities
Ohio Garage Doors C-Series Model FMC Mechanical Dock Leveler
25,000 to 35,000 lb (11,364 to 15,909 kg) Rated Capacities

Vertical Storing Series Hydraulic Leveler

The VS Series is stored in the vertical position behind the overhead door allowing for a complete energy efficient seal. Includes a "controlled lowering" hydraulic system - the dock "floats" to allow the deck to move up and down during load transfers. With a service range of 12" (305mm) above cross traffic and 6" (152mm) below, the VS series from Blue Giant can efficiently service a wide range of trailers. The open style continuous pit design is easier to form and reduces construction costs. It also simplifies cleaning and maintenance.

Vertical Storing Leveler Highlights

Constant pressure style down button ensures controlled lowering during operation.

  • Constant pressure style down button ensures controlled lowering during operation.
  • 1 HP motor and equipped with overload protection.
  • One-piece head member.
  • Heavy-duty 6" x 4" wide flange structural I-beam deck support.
  • Six rear vertical supports.
  • 3" high run off guards.
  • Hydraulic system
  • Double-acting lip cylinder.
  • Hydraulic velocity at hose of cylinder to prevent platform free-fall in the event of hose rupture.
  • Hydraulic fall safe

Operator controls

  • Easy downward activation, “operator controls descent.”
  • Independent lip control.
  • Maintain "up" pressure to store leveler prior to truck departure.


Maintenance stand, supports deck for safe under deck inspections and maintenance.
Mechanical lock for added security, when unit is in prolonged stored position.

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