What is the purpose of a dock leveler? A dock leveler bridges the gap between the edge of a dock at that of a truck or trailer. The most basic form is simply a thick piece of metal that bridges the gap. This can be picked up and carried, which is easy but is also inconvenient and physically demanding.
Whatever bridges this gap must support the weight of a hand cart, pallet jack, or forklift in addition to the weight of the cargo. This means that the integrity of the dock leveler ranges from 25,0000 to 50,0000 pounds.
Traditional dock levelers have one side that is hinged, and the other side is lifted to require less force to lift.
This is too heavy to be lifted by a single person, so lifting mechanisms are used. The three types are mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic. Mechanical levelers use springs to lift the deck of the leveler. Hydraulic levelers are generally stronger, and they use a fluid forced through cylinders to raise the deck. They are also controlled by a remote switch. Pneumatic levelers use air to lift the deck, typically by pressing the button to activate a blower to force air into a large bag under the deck.