Elevating docks are work platforms that are used to raise and lower material, people and other items for loading and work positioning in dock work. Elevating docks are a very safe and efficient way of handling industrial material and loads at dock sites. They are a very important piece of dock equipment. Elevating docks or dock lifts, as they are more commonly called, are used in a wide array of industrial applications ranging from: the automotive sector, wire and cable industry, construction, garage work, telecommunications, painting, inventory management and the manufacturing sector. They can be used basically in any type of work in which access to above ground locations is necessary.
Some very important factors which need to be considered while choosing an elevating dock are its lift capacity, the platform length, vertical lift travel, and the platform width. The lift capacity is the maximum force or load that can be supported by the lift. The vertical lift travel refers to the difference between the fully lowered and fully raised lift positions. The platform width is the narrow dimension of the platform while the platform length is the long dimension of the lift platform.
There are various types of elevating docks and they can be raised and lowered by different types of mechanisms. These include scissor lifts, screw lifts, rack and pinion lifts, telescoping lifts and articulated lifts. Elevating docks may be operated by various types of power devices such as hand cranks, screw drives, foot pumping and ratcheting, pneumatic air cylinders and air motors, hydraulic cylinders and motors, and electrical motors.
Some of the features that elevating docks come with include tilting, rotating, wheels, hand or safety rails and truck mounting. Some elevating docks may also be equipped with tilting and rotating functions along with lifting and lowering. Some docks may also come with wheels to provide rolling for load transport and positioning. Most of them generally have a brake or stabilizing outriggers. The dock’s hand and safety rails help to give personnel safety and to help prevent the loads and materials from falling or sliding off the lift.