Hydraulic Dock Levelers
Dock levelers are generally mechanical devices that are designed to connect the back of the vehicle, truck or ship, to the unloading area and bridge the gap between the dock and the vehicle. Because many trailers have bed heights that are either above or below the height of the dock, a dock leveler can be moved up or down to meet the trailer bed.
Dock levelers can compensate for height differences between the vehicle and the ground level, in order to facilitate smooth transit operations and to help prevent any damage to expensive equipment and machinery. Hydraulic dock levelers are used extensively in dock operations for loading and unloading various types of equipment and loads.
The difference between hydraulic levelers and other types of dock levelers such as mechanical dock levelers is that hydraulic levelers use hydraulic fluids in their operation. These fluids give them a greater ability to handle heavy loads and also greater maneuverability. This leads to greater flexibility and automation in dock operations.
Some common features of most hydraulic dock levelers are: push buttons, electric, hydraulic actuators, safety grills (to prevent materials and machinery from sliding off), molded bumpers and standard weight bearing capacities. These hydraulic dock levelers are a notch above ordinary dock levelers in terms of operational efficiency as they have the benefit of providing a smoother transition when they are used with trailers that have soft suspensions.
Hydraulic dock levelers are built to be used on docks that have a high volume of loading and unloading. They use both an electric pump and a hydraulic cylinder to operate the dock leveler by the use of a remote switch which is usually mounted on the wall next to the dock. These hydraulic levelers have a longer shelf-life than ordinary dock levelers as all the components of a hydraulic leveler are coated in hydraulic oil to prevent contamination and breakdown. You can also get upgrade kits that will provide hydraulic capabilities to a mechanical dock leveler if you prefer hydraulic levelers. All types of dock levelers are rated by their weight capacity and by their service range.