Mechanical Dock Levelers

What is a mechanical loading dock leveler?

A Mechanical Dock Leveler, unlike its hydraulic counterpart, requires more manual operation. They are both versatile and durable and can boast long lifespans.

Mechanical dock levelers are spring-powered and are activated when a dock worker pulls a chain, which lifts the leveler while its lip extends out above a truck bed or trailer. The leveler is then lowered by a dock worker’s bodyweight (he/she will walk onto its surface), pushing it down firmly onto the floor of the truck’s trailer.

Because mechanical dock levelers demand less energy and don’t consume any power, they are a more economical alternative to hydraulic dock levelers. They are a perfect fit for smaller warehouses and do not require large docking stations for heavy loads.

Though they’re economically preferred, mechanical dock levelers are not as ergonomically efficient as hydraulic dock levelers. Their springs are also much more sensitive to severe weather (such as extremely low or high temperatures); they expand if it’s too cold and contract if it’s too hot.

Mechanical dock leveler troubleshooting

Like any busy piece of loading dock equipment, mechanical dock levelers can be prone to faults. If these problems arise, reference the leveler’s instruction manual and search for the corresponding mechanical dock leveler troubleshooting section.

Some of the most typical complications mechanical dock levelers can have include:

  • The platform does not rise.
  • The platform does rise, but slowly or not fully raised.
  • The platform rises to its full height, but the lip does not extend fully.

Should any of these inconveniences happen, review your mechanical dock leveler’s instruction manual to solve the issue. 

Mechanical dock leveler maintenance

Mechanical dock leveler maintenance includes daily servicing, such as freeing the lever of any dirt, grime, or other muck that can impair the leveler’s functionality.

Every 90 days, a more comprehensive inspection should be performed, and this involves the following:

  • Leveler lubrication.
  • Weather seal inspections (including the replacement of worn/damaged weather seals).
  • Inspection and cleaning of the leveler’s pit area.
  • Inspection of dock bumpers (regulations require 4 inches of bumper protection).
  • Checking conditions of welds, concrete, and other surrounding areas.

Ensuring that your mechanical dock leveler is regularly inspected and maintained can help prevent work accidents or injuries and support your warehouse operations’ efficient performance.

If any problems with a mechanical dock leveler persist, reach out to a professional for a more experienced solution.