Know When it’s Time to Repair or Replace Loading Dock Equipment
If your business has existing loading docks in place, this is a centralized location where productivity is likely booming. It’s really important to have efficient loading dock equipment to streamline business. It’s important to keep the equipment in this area, such as a dock door, dock bumpers and dock levelers, in working order to ensure safety while keeping the business running.
Because of the complexity of this equipment, it’s necessary to contact garage door professionals that can inspect your existing loading docks and related equipment, provide emergency repairs, and offer routine maintenance to improve efficiency and increase the lifespan of your equipment. As everything gets older, you may be faced with having to decide whether your loading dock needs to be repaired or if certain things need to be replaced. Let’s take a look at some of the signs to watch out for.
Loading Dock Levelers
A loading dock leveler is a key component of loading and unloading trucks. This is essentially a bridge that moves to close up the gap between the trailer of a truck and the facility’s dock. It’s actually a big part of safety. There are some key problems that can occur with this equipment, some of which can be repaired. Sometimes a replacement may be necessary.
Cracks or Visible Damage
During routine inspections and maintenance, a professional will take a look at the welds that have been used to hold the leveler in place. If there is any sign that a weld has been compromised, it may be as simple as having the area repaired. If the entire leveler looks unstable and the welds have broken down beyond repair, then it may be time for a new investment. It’s a good idea to have small issues taken care of early on to prevent major catastrophes later on.
A brand-new leveler has a smooth surface that is free of grooves, dents and uneven spots. If you start to notice any kind of surface damage, this could be an indication that the material is starting to stretch or break down. A professional can assess the extent of the damage, helping you determine if it’s time to replace your platform.
You may find that mechanical problems are preventing your dock from raising up or down. Mechanical issues like this are almost always repairable so you don’t have to worry about replacing the entire unit. It’s important that the right parts are being replaced and that high quality materials are used for the repairs though, so always work with a professional to rectify the situation.
Overhead Dock Doors
Commercial overhead dock doors are usually very heavy and durable so they can withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, these systems are just as prone to malfunctions as any other garage door. Don’t forget, this is a very high traffic area that requires routine inspections and maintenance as well.
An overhead dock door that isn’t moving at its normal pace can really slow down business efficiency. Not to mention, you could experience an impact on your heating and cooling bills if you’re allowing too much outside air to make its way inside. This speed problem should be inspected by a professional to ensure that your open and close cycles are the speed they should be. If there is a need for replacement at some point, you may want to consider upgrading to a high-speed door that can move up to ten times faster than your old model. There are also doors that use less power, which reduces the cost of frequent door cycles.
Cables and Track Damage
Cables are a sensitive piece of equipment that can see a lot of wear and tear over time. Luckily, replacing these cables doesn’t require you to invest in a whole new dock door. Keep an eye out for a door that opens and closes louder than normal or shaking upon opening and closing.
In regard to the tracks that the door opens and closes on, routine maintenance can provide lubrication, so the tracks are protected as well as the door. It’s also common for tracks to be knocked out of alignment, which could cause larger problems if you don’t have the issue addressed right away. Instead of having to replace your entire door, it makes sense to invest in repairs and routine maintenance.
The Need for Replacement
There will come a time when damage or malfunctions are discovered that are not eligible for repairs. Some of the more involved issues that warrant the replacement of loading dock equipment include damaged door panels, broken tracks, dock doors that don’t seal even with the replacement of the seals, and inflated energy costs. It’s sometimes better to just go ahead and replace your loading dock equipment to save money in the long run.
If you would like information on new loading dock equipment or feel that your equipment is in need of repairs, reach out to Commonwealth Garage Door. We would be happy to assess the situation and help you determine if repair or replacement is needed.