Red Flags When Replacing a Dock Leveler: Parts 1-3

I recently visited a potential client who is interested in replacing a dock leveler. They already met with a potential supplier who provided them information and a proposal. The client was now looking for additional quotes. Unfortunately the information they received was not correct, which makes the pricing irrelevant. I would expect this information will help you identify the key things to be aware of when planning to replace a dock leveler.

Over the past 22 years that I’ve been in the loading dock and door industry I have worked as an installer/technician, account rep, operations manager and for the past 8 years a business owner. Not surprisingly these are some of the things I have come across repeatedly. When considering a replacement leveler be sure you have a full understanding of these red flags.

  1. #1 — Rear Curb Angle. This critical piece of steel should be embedded into the concrete when the dock pit was initially constructed. There is no maybe with this. It is pass or fail. If the person you’re meeting with to the review pricing and installation cannot tell you a definite yes or no in regards to replacement, find a new company to partner with. Untrained and/or careless installers have been known to break rear curb angles loose when removing the old leveler, look out for a “maybe” story on the front side. A high-quality company with high-quality installations will be able to tell if the rear curb angle is a pass or a fail. Other curb angles (side, front or vertical) may need repair or replacing as well. An educated and properly trained rep will be able to tell by looking, even with the old leveler still in the pit.
  2. #2 — Forklift capacity, weight and usage. Not all dock levelers are created equal, neither are the manufacturers that build them. One manufacturer may recommend a 30,000 pound capacity leveler and another may recommend a 45,000 pound capacity leveler. Be sure to get the manufacturer usage and weight charts or data before making a decision. If the company you’re working with cannot clearly explain how this works and supply clear cut manufacturer provided information find a new company to partner with.
  3. #3 — Is everything else OK? What issues are you having with the existing equipment? What works? What doesn’t? These questions need to be reviewed. Changing something as simple as the dock bumpers can create issues. Read on!
  4. … View Parts 4-6 in next week’s post

These first three of six red flags are a few of the things that need to be identified prior to starting a project to replace a dock leveler. If you need additional information or are contemplating the best approach feel free to contact me at any time via email: jay@dockdoortec.com.

Thank you for reading!

Jay Anderson

President/Owner – Dock & Door Tec.

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