Five Tips for Safer and More Efficient Door & Dock Operations
8/25/2011 9:24 AM
|Loading docks are mission critical to any company's operations. Quality dock services and equipment are essential to making sure the loading and unloading of your trailers happens safely and without delays, and that your products & materials arrive at their destinations in the best possible condition. This article provides five helpful tips for dock safety, efficiency, and cost savings for your organization.
- 1) Make Safety and Security a Priority
Don’t wait for an accident or security breach to illustrate the importance of dock safety and security. Planning can make a big positive difference. An experienced dock service vendor will know how to spot risks and address any safety or security concerns. Look for a service vendor who can provide a complete range of quality safety & security products and accessories designed to protect your people, products, and machinery. A structured facility audit is a great place to start. Your service vendor should provide a documented report with specific recommendations for increasing the safety and security of your dock operation.
- 2) Take Care of Your Doors and Dock Levelers
Don’t wait for your dock doors or dock levelers to fail, however long that may take. Look at the costs you’re incurring or anticipating for maintenance, repair, or replacement. These costs can add up quickly, especially when you’re faced with downtime. Downtime can be more expensive than repairs. Define your problems and challenges. Broken springs? Dock heaters running 24/7? Dock board lips wont flip out onto trailers? Productivity jeopardized while waiting for replacement parts? Then consult with a qualified service vendor on opportunities to increase your doors’ operating efficiency and productivity.
- 3) Practice Active Maintenance
Put your dock operation’s key components and accessories on a regular maintenance schedule. Your components will last longer, be more reliable and productive, and have less downtime. Any service vendor can clean, lubricate and adjust parts. But a vendor with its own warehouse and trucks stocked with parts and accessories can respond more quickly and effectively to solve your problems. This helps minimize downtime and solves more problems in one service call. A quality service vendor will work proactively to identify opportunities for greater efficiency, productivity, safety, and security through integration of quality aftermarket products.
- 4) Combat Energy Loss and the Elements
Keeping the dock seals and shelters in good condition as well as weather stripping on your dock doors & levelers will save you money and additional product damage. Regularly check all weather stripping for leaks and replace damaged seals as necessary. A one inch gap around your equipment leads to energy loss similar to a 13x13 hole in your wall. Make sure your dock seals and shelters effectively cover any unsealed truck door hinge gaps. Water is one of the biggest safety hazards and threats to your merchandise and materials.
- 5) Leverage New Technology
It’s not always feasible to be an early adopter of new dock related technologies, but keeping up-to-date on available technology can have substantial benefits. Look for areas of your dock operation where integrating new technology can improve safety and efficiency without a major equipment overhaul. Some dock leveler manufacturers provide incentives to upgrade from mechanical to push-button operation. Likewise, integrating vehicle restraints can enable compliance with safety standards without replacing equipment. A quality dock service vendor will actively consult with you on replacement and upgrade scenarios based on your unique operational requirements and the life expectancy of your current equipment. The benefits of new door and dock technology innovations in your operation can be realized for years to come.
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