The right mix of dock equipment

Programmable suite of dock gear improves safety, reliability.

By ·

As Ohio-based Vitamix saw sales of its premium blenders increase, warehouse managers noticed the demand was taking a toll on its six dock bays. Dock levelers were a particular problem, according to plant manager Steve Zimmerman.

“The springs weren’t holding up, there were leaks and erratic operation with the hydraulics system, there were weld issues, and parts were coming loose,” says Zimmerman.

During a recent renovation that included six additional bays, the company installed a range of new dock equipment in its LEED Silver-certified Ohio facility. Since the upgrade, the facility has seen increased uptime, production and safety.

After years of struggling with poorly performing equipment, Zimmerman wanted a reliable solution. A friend recommended a visit from a dock equipment manufacturer with a mobile showroom. The 53-foot semi-trailer gave the Vitamix management team access to more than 20 pieces of the latest in loading dock and warehouse equipment. They could see first hand the durability of the equipment and how it operates, as wel as talk to factory representatives about how to meet their operational requirements.

Vitamix soon installed new hydraulic dock levelers, recessed vehicle restraints, and foam dock seals with head curtains. The new lifts feature push-button operation and are rugged enough to withstand heavy traffic. Zimmerman says the levelers were easy to install and maintain. The recessed restraint retracts into the wall when not in use, a design ideal for snow removal. The hood-style head curtain and foam dock seals accommodate a variety of vehicle heights and are ideal for doors that are 9-feet high or taller.

In addition, the operation of the leveler, restraint and door are coordinated electronically through sensors and programming. Operation of the powered dock equipment is tied into a combo panel on the dock wall. This setup simplifies operation, which is important because, as Zimmerman points out, “Business is booming, so we continue to hire new people at the dock.”

Serco Company
800-933-4834
http://www.sercocompany.com

More Dock Equipment Coverage

More from Modern’s 2012 Casebook


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Casebook 2012 · Dock Equipment · Serco · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic departure from the norm.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
For all the advances in lift truck technology and fleet management, operators will always be the heart and soul of a fleet. As manufacturers and equipment purchasers place more value on that piece, the role of the operator extends from design to daily use.
Reader survey: Lift trucks keep on truckin’
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Warehouse Execution Systems (WES): The Pathway to Same-Day Fulfillment
This webinar explores the processes and technologies enabling same-day, same-hour order fulfillment using intelligent supply chain software.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Lift truck operators: Drivers of change
For all the advances in lift truck technology and fleet management, operators will always be the...
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic...

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits: Designed to Last
On Long Island, the country’s premier distributor of wine and spirits turned to shuttle and case...
GE Healthcare System Report: Lean repairs
Self-driving mobile robots improve cycle times and reduce floor space at GE Healthcare’s new...