To understand dock levelers we must first understand the purpose. A dock leveler is intended to act as a bridge to safely allow for the transfer of goods from a trailer to the building and vice versa.
To best determine the type of leveler needed it is important to gain a full understanding of your needs. Many factors should go into the decision, such as the volume of use, gross weight transferred, type of material handling equipment used (forklift, hand loading, pallet truck, conveyor, etc.), size of product handling, and building layout are just a few.
Regarding cost, of course, the upfront cost is important but we see many paying less upfront (they really got a good deal!) but paying exponentially more over the life of the equipment due to a poor purchasing choice. Looking beyond the upfront cost and understanding the cost of ownership is very important. The other variable is safety, with the wide ranges and type of equipment available safety never has to be compromised.
Operation types can be broken down into three basic types: mechanical, air and hydraulic. There are hybrids of these which are often a great choice, for example a hydraulic leveler with a mechanical lip will work great in many applications.
Type of levelers:
Whether you are replacing existing equipment or designing a new facility it is important to keep your long terms needs front and center when selecting the right piece of equipment.