New dock doors yield calm despite the storm

New dock doors resist lift truck impacts as well as hurricane-force winds.
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
October 22, 2011 - MMH Editorial

You expect your dock doors to get a few bumps and bruises, but facilities in hurricane alley need an entirely different degree of ruggedness. When Florida-based Cheney Brothers installed heavy-duty dock doors, managers there got more than just protection from the occasional 150 mph wind. They also received a level of protection for refrigerated products from the tropical heat.

Controlling the chilled temperature was a challenge, according to plant manager Danny Wells. Door damage sometimes meant taking a door out of operation for repair, and damage was all too common.

At peak times, the dock floor was loaded with staged pallets, leaving little room for forklifts that are always trying to beat the clock. Forklifts frequently backed into doors, rammed them with pallets or clipped bottom panels.

“A lot of our door repair work involved replacing bottom panels,” says Wells. He considered using knockout bottom panels, but he knew that damage also occurred at other points in the door. Besides, all doors must meet Florida’s wind-load ratings, which poses a problem for those with knockout panels.

Door maintenance was costing Cheney about $6,000 a year, says Wells, and that didn’t count the increased energy costs that accrued just to keep the bay cool. What’s worse, the loss of doorways meant lost production and more man-hours as workers struggled to get more product through fewer doors.

The new doors meet all of Florida’s wind-resistance ratings and are certified to positive pressure up to 52 pounds per square foot and negative pressure up to 67.5 pounds per square foot.

The doors feature flexible panels and spring-loaded steel plungers that pop back into place after an impact. Sliding door locks enable workers to quickly transition from hurricane resistance to production. Wells says the bay holds its 40-degree temperature better than before, thanks to a weather seal around the door perimeter.

TKO Dock Doors

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!

Recent Entries

Events to include tabletop exhibitions of products and services from leading robotics companies.

Ninety-six percent of manufacturers intend to have at least some products "connected” by 2018.

Combined offering to deliver end-to-end software solution for corrugated packaging manufacturing.

Key Amazon conference speaker offers ALAN matching gift fundraiser that achieved its goal in 18 hours.


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA