As the world of material handling turns to electrics power for energy efficacy and a greener environment, there is a gaping hole in most operations’ energy conservation plans - called their loading dock. Most all product-based businesses have a loading dock or docks to deliver or ship raw materials or finished goods to warehouses, distribution centers or the end customer. With some planning and implementation of warehouse products, energy leakage from loading docks can be minimized.
One of the first things to do when embarking on an energy efficient warehouse or facility, is to order a loading dock inspection. A dock inspection can reveal many issues for safety and productivity of the dock as well as showcase energy saving solutions. The inspection may find tiny gaps or misaligned areas that need maintenance or installation of energy conservation devices.
One of the best ways to prevent cold or hot air escaping or entering the building is the installation of dock seals around the dock door. The dock seal is compression based and is fit to cover the sides and top of the dock door. The cushy material creates a seal once the truck or trailer is backed up against it for loading or unloading. A good dock seal can improve energy efficiency as much as 90% during summer months.
Just when 90% energy efficiency was sounding pretty good, the reality is that due to the varied sizes and shapes of trucks and trailer utilizing the dock seals, it is difficult to create the “seal.” Another dock product called a dock shelter can create a true air tight seal around the perimeter of the dock door. While dock shelters are more expensive than dock seals, they are more reliable in preventing cold and hot air from escaping depending upon the season. Productivity is also increased with faster loading and unloading with workers focused on complete access to the trailers’ contents from within the shelter.
But Wait There’s More
There is one more opening - the “fourth-side.” Most all dock seal and dock shelters are built and installed on three sides of the dock doors. The bottom is often over looked as what the industry calls the “fourth-side.” Even with dock plates or dock levelers as the flooring between the trailers and warehouse facility, there are gaps and pits of energy escaping. The placement of an under-leveler sealing curtain will help significantly reduce energy loss.
Darr Equipment is the material handling expert. Our dock specialists can inspect your loading dock and make recommendations for improved productivity, safety and energy efficiency. Regardless of the size or budget of the operation, don’t let energy saving slip out the dock door. Contact Darr Equipment and upgrade your dock processes today.