Vehicle restraints and dock lock safety systems are a key component of efficient and safe modern loading docks. Vehicle restraints lock trailers into position at the loading dock. The vehicle restraint systems incorporate an integrated system of signal lights located inside on the vehicle restraint control panel and outside on the facility wall. These are designed to communicate loading and restraint status to the dock attendant as well as the truck driver.
Trailers with air-ride suspensions pose additional risks. Bed height can fluctuate by several inches as loads are added or removed. The trailer can drop with the weight of lift trucks and loads, resulting in:
Dock walk - An exaggerated form of trailer creep
Loss of engagement - When the trailer bed drops under the weight of an entering forklift, then quickly rises as the forklift leaves, some trailer restraint designs can lose contact with the rear impact guard
Vertical and horizontal trailer movement - A trailer that's not properly stabilized moves substantially in both the vertical and horizontal directions, causing costly problems, such as chronic back injuries to forklift operators, serious accidental injuries or deaths, damaged equipment and products, and greatly decreased productivity
Detached Trailers - Trailers spotted at docks are especially vulnerable to serious tip over accidents such as:
- Landing gear collapse
- Trailer pop-up
- Trailer upending
- Unexpected separation from early departure or trailer creep
Wheel Chocks may be compliant, but are not secure because they can be lost or stolen, misplaced and just ignored. Trucks can drive right over them and they will not protect against aggressive pull outs, landing gear collapse or detached trailer concerns. They also provide no communication with drivers.
A properly installed DOCK LOCK VEHICLE RESTRAINT SYSTEM provides the highest level of security because of the following reasons:
- Safe attachment to dock
- Clear, full-time communication with driver
- Eliminates ALL trailer movement
- Designed to fit with current trailer models and work with NHTSA mandated Rear Impact Guards (RIG's)
Russell Industries can provide several models and brands that can work with conventional concrete docks or portable steel platforms. Next article will discuss the different configurations and types and how they will ensure your Docks will be safe for your employees, customers and Trucks when loading and off loading at your facility. For more information our products and services give us a call at 877.718.7225 or online at www.palletracksystems.com. Feel free to see our showrooms at our main office in Houston, TX and our DFW-area location in Irving, TX.