A loading dock, sometimes known as a loading bay, is a warehouse section or other structure where a truck or other vehicle loads or unloads goods.
They are usually made to interact with a specific type of vehicle (or a group) more efficiently. Around 71% of the total cargo tonnage is transported via trucks in the United States.
This means that the importance of loading docks cannot be over-emphasized. However, particular challenges and threats are still posed against loading and unloading goods.
As a result, liftgate loading docks came about and are constantly being used to make freight relatively easier. The question then becomes, what is a liftgate loading dock?
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What is a Liftgate Loading Dock?
This mechanical device, sometimes known as a tail lift, is mounted on the back of trucks to handle products. It transports cargo from the ground to the truck’s bed or from the truck’s bed to the ground.
This permits the freight carrier to utilize a pallet jack to transport a palletized load from the truck’s trailer to the ground via the liftgate loading dock and subsequently into the freight’s destination.
When the goods or freight being transported is too heavy to be loaded or unloaded by hand, this comes in handy. In simpler terms, the liftgate trailers at a loading dock resemble any other enclosed trailer, with one exception.
At the back, they have a gate that may lower from the trailer to the ground. A liftgate resembles a tiny deck at the trailer’s end users at a loading dock to lift heavy or fragile goods. With the push of a button, operators can ascend or decrease the gate.
The majority of liftgates are operated with pneumatic, hydraulic, or mechanical methods. This makes a liftgate at a loading dock serve the primary purpose of creating ease and efficiency.
While a liftgate is necessary for many businesses who utilize loading docks, some occasions are not. Companies using a shipping dock do not need a lift gate since the truck may back the trailer up to a platform and then unload the freight with a forklift, pallet jack, or another piece of machinery.
However, this service is intended for businesses with no access to a shipping port or a forklift.
This means that businesses can save more money by inquiring whether or not the shipping companies use a shipping dock, as this would save them the cost of a liftgate for loading docks.
However, it is essential to note that liftgates for loading docks should be resorted to where other necessary equipment for offloading is not available. Business owners may think that offloading their goods without the proper equipment would save them some money.
On the contrary, this is counter-intuitive because risking offloading equipment, which costs thousands of dollars without the proper equipment, could lead to the total loss of such equipment—a clear-cut case of penny-wise, pound foolish.
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Certain businesses cannot do without employing the services of a liftgate at loading docks. Some of these include construction or architecture businesses as well as residential homes. A liftgate loading dock may be required for home deliveries, which depends on the nature of the shipment.
This means that there should be no need for a lift gate if the things can be removed by hand. It would be required if massive furniture or building supplies were brought, as no home is equipped to handle large shipments.
These trailers may also be required on construction sites because while some may have a makeshift loading dock or a forklift on hand, the majority will require a liftgate.
This enables the individual or company to remove the heavy equipment and supplies from the truck safely. Also, most businesses that do not have access to a loading dock would require this service.
There are usually no significant concerns if the things weigh less than 150 pounds; however, anything above this or at the upper end of this range may require assistance.
One of the benefits of a liftgate at a loading dock includes safety reasons. One of the most common causes of job-site injuries is lifting big things.
Workplace injuries not only consume time but also puts such businesses at risk of being sued. The majority of these injuries arise as a result of someone overexerting themselves or lifting incorrectly. A liftgate reduces this risk by eliminating the need for them to do so.
Another benefit includes reducing the risk of one’s goods being damaged. If the load falls, the height of an average trailer’s bed is adequate to assure breaking or other forms of damage.
The losses that follow could result in you spending many times your initial investment. This can be avoided by simply using a liftgate at a loading dock, particularly when transporting valuable cargo.
In addition, the requirement of the barest minimum when it comes to the workforce is an added advantage. Getting a liftgate at a loading dock requires minimal staff during delivery, resulting in fewer workplace disturbances.
However, these advantages serve as an encouragement to business owners. However, to whom much is given, the same is expected. Each year, 97,000 forklift accidents are reported in the United States, resulting in injury or death.
Seven percent of these cases take place while loading or unloading a trailer. Although precise statistics are not available for the mortality rate caused by having a liftgate at a loading dock, it is also quite dangerous if not properly managed.
A popular question that often comes up regarding this topic is how much a liftgate loading dock is.
There is no specified price range for the employment of this service as different factors come into play when deciding the price.
Some of these include the location the liftgate loading dock service is to be employed at and the weight of the load to be loaded up or offloaded.
In conclusion, when it comes to ordering and shipping things, fears and concerns are often involved—various doubts about whether the goods will be received in perfect shape or arrive early.
However, with a liftgate at a loading dock, the possibility of causing damage to the items after their arrival is eliminated from this list of worries.
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