Portable Loading Equipment: FAQs - Dockzilla
DZ Series

Portable Loading Equipment: FAQs

Portable Loading Docks, Ramps, Platforms and other equipment provide a modern, cost-effective, and flexible approach to today’s loading challenges.  Here are some of the most common questions we receive about loading dock design and deploying heavy-steel loading docks and ramps for a variety of loading applications.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Portable Loading Docks

Q:  How can our facility add a loading dock without permanent concrete construction?

A:  Portable loading docks and forklift ramps are the easiest, most cost-effective way to add loading docks to a facility without the hassle or downtime of concrete construction. They can be used indoors or outdoors, and are able to be relocated to another job site or facility.


Q:  How do we unload over the road trailers if we don’t have a loading dock?

A:  Companies who don’t have loading docks typically unload/load manually or they may coordinate a special delivery with a lift gate style trailer.  Both of these options can be time consuming and hazardous for employees. Heavy-steel loading docks and ramps enable companies to use a forklift to load/unload trailers 80% more quickly than by hand.


Q:  How can portable loading docks be a viable alternative to concrete loading docks?

A:  Unfortunately, not every ramp that is labeled “portable loading dock” is engineered to withstand the rigors of daily trailer unloading and forklift impact loads.  A true “Portable loading dock” is self-standing with solid front safety legs and designed with the same architectural safety codes required by OSHA and the IBC for conventional loading docks.  Heavy-steel loading docks and forklift ramps that include pedestrian handrails, tall side curbs, wheel chocks, and more, mirror the integrity of permanent docks in a portable loading solution.

Q:  Why is the ability to remove or relocate a portable loading dock important?   

A:  For companies that lease a facility or anticipate an expansion down the road, the ability to easily remove and relocate the loading docks will save time, demolition, and investment.  Companies who attach modular dock houses to to their loading docks can detach them during expansion and re-attach the dock houses when expansion is completed.


Q:  How long does it take to get a portable loading dock?

A:  Only Dockzilla docks and yard ramps feature the integrity of concrete and OSHA safety features in a heavy steel frame that can be onsite, ready to perform the duties of a permanent loading dock in just 6-8 weeks.


Q:  What’s involved in ordering a mobile loading dock v. stationary loading dock?

A:  Adding mobility to a loading dock so it can be maneuvered to load anywhere on a property, requires more intuitive design than just adding wheels.  Due to ramp positioning and engagement at the trailer, there can be added hazards involved with mobility. Be sure to determine how much employee interaction is involved in a mobile loading solution.  


Q:  Is there a mobile loading dock that can help us avoid employee incidents?

A:  The safest mobile loading docks and ramps virtually eliminate employee interaction with automatic features:  a) easy kingpin attachment to both forklift tines (vs. one) and b) wheels fall into place when a forklift simply lifts the ramp – no intensive manual pumping.


Q:  What kind of companies or industries use portable loading docks?

A:  Portable and modular loading docks are ideal for use in any industry that requires loading or unloading.  E-commerce company use portable loading docks to quickly set up shipping infrastructure in urban environments or when existing industrial facilities require more efficiency.  Manufacturers use modular loading docks to gain energy efficiencies, save interior floor space, and avoid contamination or theft at the loading dock.


Q:  How do portable loading docks hold up in the elements?

A:  Many heavy-steel docks and ramps are built to endure rain, snow, ice, extreme heat, and other inclement weather. Ramps with open, serrated bar grating allow the elements to fall through for increased traction and snow or debris removal. Dockzilla units are built from high quality steel to last for at least 10 years, and feature an unmatchable 5-year warranty.

Loading Dock Design

Q:  Why are there so many issues with conventional loading docks?

A:  Unfortunately many loading docks are designed and constructed improperly, and most aren’t equipped to offer a one-size-fits-all solution.  The variability of trailer styles, sizes, and axle positions cause trailer bed heights to be several inches above or below dock level. Our line up of trailer solutions products were engineered specifically to remedy inferior design that impacts drainage placement, specialty trailers, or those that have shorter bed heights than the typical 48” high over-the-road trailer.


Q:  How can I fix the issues with drainage placement?

A:  Drainage placed further away from the building can interfere with trailer configuration and negatively impact the geometry of the dock design.  Unfortunately, you don’t know the drain is in the wrong location until it’s too late and the truck comes in too low for the dock. Our pit filler wheel risers are custom-built static, non-adjustable wheel risers which correct below dock conditions caused by compound decline approaches.


Q:  How do you correct trailers backing in too far below dock level to safely unload?

A:  We have multiple risers and levelers in our wheel riser product line to tackle improper loading dock design and correct dock heights.  Our loading dock experts survey the area and provide measurements so that we can deliver custom products that accommodate the application, such as static wheel risers or pit filler wheel risers.


Q:  How can we unload trailers that come in 10” or higher above my existing loading dock?

A:  Our hydraulic top of dock leveler installs on top of your existing building floor without need for any construction.  This hydraulic ramp features simple push button operation and will service up to 18” above your building floor level.


Q:  How can we streamline the two-step process in loading/unloading delivery vans?

A:  Most often, we see parcel delivery trucks are challenged by below-dock loading conditions that requires employees to hoist boxes two feet to the building floor and then bend over to pick up the boxes left on the dock. Leum Engineering’s parcel dock ramps eliminate these ergonomic, safety, and productivity issues by raising the truck or van so that employees can better handle and expedite packages with a trailer that is level with the building.