Understanding Dock Levelers & Why They Are Important

The warehousing industry has experienced significant technological advancements over the past years. Among these advancements, dock levelers have gained notable importance due to their crucial role in unloading and loading trailers and trucks. The primary objective of dock levelers is to enhance safety conditions and reduce the risk of accidents. Safer work environments lead to happier employees, resulting in more productive businesses.

What Are Dock Levelers?

Dock levelers are permanent fixtures placed at the door of the dock. They consist of a metal plate known as a lip, which is placed in a stowed position and can be lowered onto the body of a trailer or truck. These levelers can be telescopic or hinged and can be operated manually or automatically.

Different Types Of Dock Levelers

Selecting the correct dock leveler that matches the height and load capacity of your truck is essential for smooth and safe unloading and loading operations. There are various types of dock levelers available with different functionalities, including:


Air-powered dock levelers are popular in warehouses due to their economic nature, simplicity, and reliability. They have a minimal number of moving parts, making them easy to maintain and cost-effective to own.


Hydraulic dock levelers are recommended for loading docks that handle a high volume of loading and unloading operations. These levelers are robust and capable of handling heavy workloads, making them highly reliable.


If the loading dock lacks an electrical supply, mechanical levelers are the ideal choice. These levelers operate using a spring or a pull chain and are cost-effective since they do not require an electrical supply.

Dock Levelers – Varying Functionalities

Dock levelers serve three different functions, depending on their type and purpose. When selecting a dock leveler, consider its intended functionality to ensure better operating results and efficient loading from the dock. The three main types of dock leveler operations are:

Vertical style loading dock levelers

These levelers act as barriers in facilities where cleanliness, energy efficiency, and climate control are significant factors. When not in use, they can rise to a vertical position to minimize the transfer of cold and heat between the external and internal environments. They are especially suitable for clean room environments and cold storage warehouses.

Edge of dock levelers

Affordable and commonly used in light-volume loading bays, the edge of dock levelers does not require a pit for installation. These levelers can be mounted to the edge of the dock, providing a safe and convenient alternative to portable plates. They are particularly useful when the truck floor is less than three inches off the dock floor.

Pit style levelers

Pit style levelers, also known as recessed style levelers, are the most common type found at warehouse docks. They are installed in recessed concrete openings and are available in various capacities and sizes to meet specific company needs.

The Importance Of Dock Levelers

Dock levelers offer significant advantages over alternatives such as truck lifts, dock plates, and dock boards. Their feature-rich design makes them highly functional. One of their primary purposes is to bridge the gap between the dock and the truck or warehouse floor when the heights do not match. The importance of dock levelers can be summarized as follows:

  • Sturdy and capable of carrying heavy loads.
  • Suitable for motorized forklifts.
  • Improve warehouse safety through standardized dock height and design.
  • Facilitate easy and smooth transition between trailers and docks, preventing accidents.
  • Absorb bumps and shocks during loading and unloading processes.
  • Enhance efficiency and effectiveness of operations.
  • Durable with low maintenance costs.

Choosing The Right Dock Levelers

Consider several factors when selecting a dock leveler to ensure it meets your specific requirements, including:

  • Determine whether you will be using a pallet jack or forklift and the required weight capacity.
  • Consider the dimensions of the leveler, taking into account the vehicles that come to your warehouse and any special requirements.
  • Prioritize safety by considering the goods being loaded and unloaded and the specifications of the trucks.

Contact Authority Dock & Door For Dock Leveler Installations

If you are seeking a trustworthy and high-quality service provider for dock leveler installations, Authority Dock & Door is your best choice. They offer various types of dock levelers, and their team of experts can help you select the ideal leveler for your business needs. Contact them via message, email, or phone call to receive a free estimate. Remember, investing in a dock leveler can significantly enhance the ease and security of your operations.

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