Glossary of Loading Terms


ATTACHMENTS  –  Implements that can be added to a fork truck for load handling. Attachments such as clamps, slip sheet forks, and carpet poles can have an effect on capacity and should be considered in selecting a dock leveler.

BARRIER VEHICLE RESTRAINT  –  The portion of a vehicle restraint device that engages the transport vehicle to prevent movement.

CHOCK  –  Wedges of sturdy material placed closely against a vehicle’s wheels to prevent accidental movement.

CLEAR WIDTH  –  The minimum width each door opening must be to be considered sufficient for loading.

DOCK BOARD  –  A device for bridging the gap between the warehouse and/or loading dock platform and a vehicle’s bed.

DOCK LEVELERS  –  A manually, hydraulically, or electrically operated plate, located at the dock entrance, that can be raised and lowered to accommodate varying trailer heights.

DOCK PIT  –  The recessed opening in the building’s floor that accommodates the dock leveler.

DOCK PLATE  –  A moveable metal ramp that allows access to a rail car or trailer.

DOCK SEAL  –  A rubber or canvas covering that extends out from a dock face to seal the gap between the dock and the trailer’s entrance.

DOCK SHELTER  –  A cover that protects the space between the door of a rail car or truck and a warehouse from inclement weather.

EOD (Edge of Dock)  –  A Dock Leveler design mainly to be face mounted on the leading edge of a dock. It can also be pit mounted.

FORKLIFT  –  A vehicle with a pronged device in front for lifting and carrying heavy loads over short distances.

HOLDOWN  –  A mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic device that holds a dock leveler at a set height above, at, or below dock level.

INDUSTRIAL VEHICLE  –  Forklift trucks, powered or non-powered pallet jacks, or any other form of vehicles used to load or unload material on a transport vehicle.

LOAD  –  The load is the weight of a typical individual pallet on a transport vehicle. For typical capacity calculations there are a maximum of 20 loads per transport vehicle.

LOADING DOCK  –  The sorting or staging platform where shipments are loaded or unloaded.

LOADING DOCK DOOR  –  The openings in the loading dock area to the outside of a building.

MANUAL OPERATION  –  Placement of a dock leveler or a vehicle restraint device in its operating position by the manual effort of the loading dock operating personnel.

PAWL  –  A toothed device that when engaged with a ratchet bar limits the travel of the bar to one direction.

PIT  –  That part of the dock area that is cut out to contain a dock leveling device.

PIT STEEL  –  Steel edging embedded in concrete to protect the corners surrounding the area cut out to contain the leveler device.

RATCHET BAR  –  A steel bar with inclined teeth on one face which when used with a pawl only allows movement of the bar in one direction.

RATED CAPACITY  –  The maximum load which can be applied according to the manufacturer’s specification.

RATED LOAD CAPACITY  –  The maximum load for which the equipment is designed by the manufacturer.

SHIM  –  Steel plates that can be used to help level pit-mounted dock levelers.

TRANSPORT VEHICLE  –  A cargo-carrying vehicle (i.e. truck, semi-trailer, trailer, railcar) which may be entered upon by an industrial vehicle or conveyors to load or unload material.

UNSCHEDULED DEPARTURE  –  The event of a transport vehicle departing the dock before loading or unloading is completed.

WHEEL CHOCKS  –  Blocks of rubber, wood or metal placed in front of, between or behind truck wheels to prevent accidental trailer movement.

WHEEL RESTRAINT  –  A vehicle restraint that engages one or more wheels of vehicle to inhibit uncontrolled movement away from the dock structure.



PORTABLE LOADING DOCK  –  A modular, self-standing loading dock that can relocate as business evolves.

DOCK HOUSE  –  A fully modular, relocatable loading dock which is affixed to the side of a building.

RAILBOARDS  –  A platform that bridges the gap between boxcar and building floor to protect forklift operators and personnel at railcar loading docks.

RAIL DOCK SAFETY BARRIER  –  A forklift barrier that provides personnel and forklift fall protection at loading docks, on rail sidings, and around equipment.

TRAILER HEIGHT ADJUSTMENTS  –  Truck and trailer wheel risers, levelers, and pit fillers that salvage the capabilities of unproductive, unsafe loading docks.

MASTS  –  Vertical hydraulic levelers that provide both fall protection and a recessed plate to mount a control box without projecting into aisle.

STEPS  –  Enables personnel access to the dock pit for opening rear trailer doors and cleaning.

LADDER  –  A structure consisting of a series of steps bolted to the wall of a loading dock.