loading docks with garage doors and sealers

What Type of Dock Leveler is Right for Me

Choosing the right dock leveler for your factory or warehouse can mean the difference between a highly functioning, productive business and a complete disaster. There are many important factors to consider, and the choice is harder than ever. Truck designs are changing, and innovations in dock levelers are continually being offered. There are three basic types of dock levelers – mechanical, air powered and hydraulic. Here we look at the points to consider when choosing the dock leveler that’s right for you.

Dimensions and Capacity

One of the most practical aspects of choosing the right dock leveler is ensuring you choose one that has the proper width, length, and load capacity for your business needs. This involves considering the traffic and activity that your dock will receive. The trend towards wider, lower and higher capacity trucks has meant that dock levelers need to be more extended and supportive of higher loads.

maintenance availability

Frequency of Use

How much you will need to use your dock leveler will be a significant determinant in which leveler is right for you. How many times a day do you need to use your dock? What capacity are you regularly handling on your dock? How easily do you need the leveler to operate? If you’re using the dock leveler frequently, ease of use and convenience are critical to boosting productivity. Every second wasted in dock leveler operation costs you money. Because push button levelers such as hydraulic and air powered levelers are so easy to operate, they can be well worth the investment for the time they will save in operation.


Maintenance Availability

You also want to ensure that keeping your dock leveler maintained is easy, and expert help is available when needed. If your dock leveler goes out of order, it can severely hinder your business operations. Hydraulic levelers usually require less maintenance than other lever types, while air powered levelers are rated as the next lowest maintenance. Mechanical levelers require the most maintenance as they are prone to failure if the components are not maintained, and they require regular adjustment to the hold down system. Whatever leveler type you’re considering, look for an easy to clean pit, maintenance support, energy savings and ease of lubrication as signs of an easy to maintain dock leveler.


Of course, you also need to consider any budget constraints you may have when choosing your dock leveler. Mechanical levelers are usually the lowest price. However, they do require regular maintenance, have a slower operation, and are prone to failure. If you’re using your dock leveler somewhat regularly, it’s well worth the investment in a hydraulic or air powered dock leveler. These more efficient dock levelers can save you valuable time and therefore money by increasing productivity.

Choosing the right dock leveler for your business might be no easy task, but the experts at Frontier Pacific are here to help. At Frontier Pacific, we have years of experience finding the right dock leveler according to a business’s needs and requirements, and we can do the same for you.