Differences between hydraulic and mechanical dock levelers

Dock levelers or loading bays have the main function of being the passageway between vehicles and the dock area, as well as compensating for the distance and the difference in level that is created between these two spaces. Given their importance, at Alapont we make sure that all our dock levellers are resistant, safe and suitable for use by people and manual and motorized transport equipment, in all kinds of situations. However, if we want to optimize our loading and unloading operations to the maximum, choosing between a hydraulic dock leveller or a mechanical dock leveller can be fundamental.

What is the difference between a hydraulic and a mechanical dock leveller?

The two most common types of dock levellers are hydraulic dock levellers and mechanical dock. Each of them has a number of advantages and disadvantages that will be very helpful to know when choosing the type of dock leveller that best suits our centre, which will be vital for optimizing work performance and increasing productivity.

The main difference between a hydraulic dock leveller and a mechanical dock leveller is that the hydraulic one works automatically and is activated by simply pressing a button, while the mechanical dock leveller requires a spring system to raise the leveller which, in general, is activated by manually pulling a chain located at the rear of the ramp. In addition, as can be intuited, hydraulic dock levellers are more expensive than mechanical ones. However, when choosing the best dock leveller for your logistics centre, it is advisable to go beyond the price and consider what you are getting for the price you pay and, therefore, whether the characteristics of each type of dock leveller can help you improve efficiency and safety at your loading dock.

Hydraulic dock leveller

While it is true that hydraulic dock levellers are usually more expensive than mechanical dock levellers, it is also important to bear in mind that they can save a lot on maintenance costs and offer a wide range of advantages.

Alapont Logistics hydraulic dock levelers, for example, are characterised by their reinforced hinges, a cylinder equipped with an emergency parachute valve to achieve balanced and safe operation, a folding lip cylinder to ensure control and firmness of lip movement, and more than 10 beam reinforcements that support the platform giving it more resistance and durability, as they prevent the usual surface deformations produced by the continuous passage of vehicles.

On the other hand, despite the complexity of its elements, the control panel that accompanies the hydraulic dock leveller allows for simplifying and making loading and unloading processes safer, and for controlling the manoeuvre, the start-up light, the operating control, the box and the safety stop, among many other things, in a very simple way.

In addition, Alapont Logistics Solutions hydraulic dock levellers can be adapted to any size and offer a galvanised option that allows you to ensure that the dock leveller is suitable for all kinds of needs.

Mechanical dock leveller

For their part, mechanical dock levellers are usually a quick and easy solution to manoeuvre. For example, the mechanically operated dock leveller adapts to the existing dock space without the need for or with little civil work, so its installation is very easy and economical.
It should also be mentioned that Alapont Logistics mechanical dock levellers are very easy to use and are ideal for adjusting and compensating for the small differences between the loading dock and the lorry bodies, so they are the ideal option if we want an affordable and very practical, quick and easy to manoeuvre solution.

Which dock leveller or loading ramp should I choose?

Daily use and the available budget are the two main factors that you should take into account when choosing your dock leveller. However, given the wide variety of dock levellers available today and the wide variety of models, the ideal thing is to consult a specialised company during the selection process to ensure that the levelers are perfectly adapted to your needs and requirements.
At Alapont Logistics we have extensive experience in the sector, so we design all our products with the aim of offering the best solution to the logistical problems of each company, adapting to their needs and requirements. If you have any questions or would like information on the subject, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will advise you to find the optimum solution for your business.

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