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How to Know When Your Loading Dock Levelers Need to Be Serviced

As a facility manager or someone who spends any amount of time in a warehouse or manufacturing plant may know, there are many things you can do to ensure peak performance of day to day business in order to keep your facility running as efficient as possible. Your loading dock levelers are particularly important when it comes to running an efficient operation because you rely on them to be the gateway to your organization. Levelers are vital pieces of equipment for any business and keeping them in peak working order can reduce the likelihood of failure, help avoid unexpected breakdowns and keep safety on the dock, front and center. So… how do you know when a leveler needs to be serviced?

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The answer to that question depends on the type of leveler you have. There are three main types of levelers: mechanical, air and hydraulic. The type of leveler your facility has will determine how and when you service your equipment. Mechanical levelers tend to require more regular service where hydraulic levelers need less, with air powered levelers falling somewhere in the middle of the two.

Mechanical Levelers

If your facility uses mechanical levelers, it is recommended to perform maintenance tasks daily as well as every 90 days, for optimal productivity of your equipment. On a daily basis, you should check the leveler for dirt and debris and remove anything that could hinder the function of the leveler. Specifically, make sure the hinge section of the lip and the platform is clean and unobstructed. It is recommended that every 90 days you perform a more thorough inspection of your leveler:

  • Start by cleaning the pit area; inspect all lip out mechanisms (pins, lip crank, links, chains and shackles) and replace any that look worn.
  • Lubricate the leveler with the proper lubricants in all appropriate locations.
  • Inspect all weatherseals (if installed) and replace if worn or damaged.
  • Inspect dock bumpers. Four inches of bumper protection is required. Worn, torn, loose or missing bumpers must be replaced.
  • Check the condition of concrete, angles and welds. Repair or replace if necessary.
  • Inspect structure, hinge pins, clevis pins and cotter pins for abnormal wear and tear.

Air and Hydraulic Powered Levelers

If your facility uses air or hydraulic levelers, it is suggested to perform all daily tasks as mentioned above as well as the 90 day maintenance routine. Perform the 90 day inspection as detailed above in addition to the following for any air and hydraulic levelers:

  • Inspect all conduit boxes, control boxes and electrical connections for damage. Inspect the hydraulic system (cylinders, hoses, fittings, and power units). Repair or replace if worn or damaged. Make sure to check the control box for any evidence of condensation.
  • With the leveler supported by the maintenance strut, inspect the air tower for damage. For hydraulic levelers, check the hydraulic fluid level in the tank. Add fluid if necessary.
  • In addition, every 360 days, make sure to check and tighten the control box mounting hardware on either air or hydraulic powered units. Retorque all shoulder bolts on units equipped with Safe-T-Lip.

If you are in any doubt about how and when to service your loading dock levelers, contact the experts at Loc8 (800-Loc8 5628). Loc8 can provide the service you need or put together a planned maintenance program for your loading dock levelers and other related equipment. Any make or model can be serviced and we’ll take into consideration your specific operational needs. Like your business, you want your dock levelers to be as efficient as possible while performing at the highest level. You’ve made big investments in your loading dock equipment, and as the gateway to your warehouse, you can’t afford to leave their performance to chance.

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