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The Necessity of Dock Equipment

Not every dock, trailer or warehouse has been created equally, therefore some type of dock equipment is required to load and unload goods. There are three main types of dock equipment used for this, Dock Plates, Edge of Dock levelers and In Ground Pit Levelers. Institutional grade warehouses will have In Ground Pit levelers that will handle of any application. These are the most common but also expensive to install if they are not already in place. Depending on the building, the trailer height and your use there may be other options that fit your needs.

  • Dock Plates/Boards

  • Used to transferring hand trucks, pallet jacks and light forklifts

  • Weight capacity typically 5,000 lbs to 10,000 lbs

  • Made of Steel or Aluminum

  • Cost ranges from $500 to $2,300

  • Edge Of Dock Levelers

  • Fastens to the exterior of the dock

  • Lip extends out 16”-20”

  • May make for steep inclines

  • Weight capacity typically 20,000 lbs to 30,000 lbs

  • Manual or hydraulic plate lift

  • Cost ranges from $700 to $6,000

  • In Ground Pit Levelers

  • Installed in a recessed “pit” within the warehouse floor, in front of the dock door

  • Manual (pull chain), pneumatic or hydraulic controls allow the leveler to go up and down

  • Typically can raise to 12” above the dock surface to 12” below the dock surface to allow a wide range of versatility

  • Weight Capacity typically 25,000 lbs to 100,000 lbs

  • Width ranges from 6’-7’ feet

  • Depth ranges from 6’ to 10’, this provides a gradual incline

  • Cost ranges from $3,800 to $30,000

This brief overview of the basics in dock equipment shows many options, functions and varying price points. Your individual operation will ultimately determine the appropriate equipment for you.

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