A loading dock is typically an elevated opening (or openings) in a building’s sidewall where shipments are sorted and staged for loading and unloading of trailers, shipping containers or rail cars. To make that area more accessible and safe during the movement of goods, loading dock equipment and attachments are used. Because the shipping and receiving process requires personnel to conduct loading and unloading processes, dock equipment is designed to ensure the safety of both the workers and the loads as they enter and exit the trailer. Typical equipment includes attachments that secure and bridge the gap between the vehicle and the dock, lighting to illuminate the inside of the trailer, building-to-vehicle communication systems and weather protection.
There are several types of dock equipment. These include:
Dock equipment is used at the point where a trailer, shipping container or railcar is loaded or unloaded.
Dock equipment provides a variety of benefits:
Dock equipment can be found in facilities in nearly every industry, including:
Read more about how Dock Equipment is used in different industries and applications. Case studies detailing the use of Dock Lifts can be found here.
The purpose of this standard is to serve as the guide for designers, manufacturers, sellers, installers, owners, users, and governing bodies of dock leveling devices and to achieve the following objectives:
A dock leveling device is a manufactured structure designed to span and compensate for space and height differentials between a loading dock and a transport vehicle to facilitate freight transfers in an effective and efficient manner. The three types of dock leveling devices within the scope of this standard are described in the following paragraphs.
Performance and testing requirements for portable dock leveling devices are provided in ANSI MH30.2 2022.
This standard defines performance and testing requirements for the design, use, and maintenance of portable dock boards and dock plates, collectively known as portable dock leveling devices. The purpose of this standard is to provide a uniform means of comparison, improve user confidence and knowledge, and to define product requirements for portable dock leveling devices.
A dock leveling device is a manufactured structure designed to span and compensate for height differentials between a stationary loading dock and a movable transport vehicle to facilitate effective and efficient freight transfers. Dock leveling devices may be either built-in or portable. Dock leveling devices are designed to be capable of withstanding typical loads imposed by material handling equipment.
A portable dock leveling device is not permanently affixed to either the transport vehicle or the dock structure. It is capable of being moved from one location to another by manual effort or by independently powered equipment. Portable dock leveling devices are commonly referred to as dock boards or dock plates. Dock boards are typically designed to be capable of withstanding heavy-duty loads imposed by material handling equipment, while dock plates are typically used in lighter-duty hand loading or hand truck loading applications.
Performance and testing requirements for built-in dock leveling devices are provided in ANSI MH30.1-2022.
This standard defines performance and testing requirements with regard to design, use, and maintenance of vehicle restraining devices. The purpose of this standard is to provide a uniform means of comparison, to improve user confidence and knowledge, and to define requirements for vehicle restraining devices.
A vehicle restraining device is a manufactured structure designed to interface between a loading dock and a transport vehicle. It is intended to facilitate effective and efficient freight transfers by limiting vehicle motion and preventing unanticipated departure or vehicle creep. Vehicle restraining devices commonly incorporate a communication light system between the dock worker on the inside of the building and the transport vehicle driver on the outside. The two types of vehicle restraining devices within the scope of this standard are described below.
Vehicle restraining devices are further classified according to manual vs. powered operations:
Package includes all three of the LODEM standards at a discount:
Loading docks are an integral part of many commercial and industrial operations. Selecting proper equipment in the loading dock can be key to the successful operation of any facility. This document outlines the considerations and capabilities of various accessory products and can be deployed in a loading dock environment to help improve safety, operational efficiency, and asset protection.
Anyone who works near a loading dock is familiar with how busy, and potentially hazardous the
environment around loading and unloading can be. From trailer creep to trailer up-ending, these
financial and time-costing accidents can be better avoided with the addition of one piece of equipment:
a vehicle restraint.
In January 2017, a series of rules and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) pertaining to walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards were enacted. The new rules impose new requirements on employers who operate loading docks to either equip dockboards with run-off guards or to demonstrate that there is no hazard of transfer vehicles from running off the dockboard edge.
The purpose of this publication is to provide voluntary guidelines for the selection and application of safety labels for use on loading dock levelers. This is a voluntary guide and should be incorporated into a comprehensive safety program by owners of loading dock levelers.
A properly designed dock area can be a huge contributor in productivity or a complete bottleneck for material flow if not given the time it deserves. This guide was created to assist in the basic design of the loading dock and introduce the reader to fundamental concepts of dock design.
What You Always Wanted to Know About Dock Seals and Shelters But Were Afraid to Ask.
A basic primer which answers the most frequently asked questions from entities considering the purchase of a dock leveling device.
Abbie Hennessy, Virginia Tech
The $2,000 LODEM Honor Scholarship has been awarded to Abbie Hennessy. Abbie is a senior Industrial Engineering student at Virginia Tech. She is actively involved in the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and intramural sports.
Kathryn Sloan, Virginia Tech
The 2023 James Galante Memorial Scholarship ($3,700) sponsored by EASE, LIFT and LODEM has been awarded to Kathryn Sloan, a senior Industrial Engineering student at Virginia Tech. She is active with the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) and the Female Engineering Mentorship Program at her school. She has interned at a box manufacturing plant where she worked on the plant floor and analyzed data. After graduation, Kathryn would like to enter the workforce and then work on a master’s degree.
The Loading Dock Equipment Manufacturers (LODEM) members are the Industry's leading suppliers of loading dock equipment. They supply solutions worldwide and in virtually every major manufacturing and distribution sector.
Equipment used to make the loading dock area of a facility more accessible and to provide safe movement of goods in that dock area. Loading dock equipment includes elevating docks, dock levelers, dock boards, dock lights, bumpers, seals, shelters, vehicle restraints and traffic doors.
To promote market growth and safe use through the development of standards, best practices, and market intelligence, consistent with the best interest of the user in the loading dock and accessory products industry.
To be the recognized independent authority for loading dock equipment and safety best practices.
LODEM members meet regularly to review, discuss and revise the standards for design, performance and proper operation of loading dock equipment.
LODEM Programs Include: