In an ideal world, the dimensions of goods , vehicles and the loading bays they use would conform to strict rules and dock shelters would scarcely be needed. In the real, non-ideal world, vehicles and loading bays vary in size and configuration. This leaves a gap, not a theoretical marketplace gap, but a physical gap between the particular vehicle concerned and the loading bay it6 is occupying. Since the gaps to be filled vary, dock shelters must be flexible and able to conform to the situation at hand.
Just a moment though, what’s the problem with a gap being there anyway? Well, the gap isn’t a huge problem in itself, but what passes through it can be. Any cargo-handling staff member can attest to this. For example, suppose the goods in transit would suffer if they became wet. Rain, hail, sleet and snow vary in the degree of dampness they crate, but the end result is the same soggy goods. Imagine drenched dresses, sodden soap, or wet white goods. This will give you an good idea of the need for dock shelters.
Besides, dock shelters aren’t essential only for what they keep out. Everyone is encouraged to have double-glazing and cavity wall insulation to trim their home’s carbon footprint. Actually, everyone has these things to keep their heating bills down. Do they leave a door or window open in mid winter? No they don’t but an open loading bay loses heat from a building just as effectively. Dock shelters help maintain an even temperature to keep workers even-tempered. They reduce this unarguably expensive and uncomfortable loss by closing the above-mentioned gap.
A dock shelter has to form an effective temporary seal between a loading bay and a vehicle. To do this, it must be able to accept various sizes of vehicle. Doing so is easier than it sounds because dock shelters are simple devices. They come in two guises, projecting or recessed, and both work in the same way. Each has a pair of flexible, fabric side curtains, which rest against the rear quarters of a vehicle’s body when it’s reversed into place. Vertical marking strips help the driver align the vehicle correctly. This leaves only the upper edge of the vehicle’s tail to be accommodated. The various heights of vehicle are catered for by the head frame, which can be positioned to allow the head curtain it carries to rest in the right place. What makes a dock shelter good? In a word, flexibility. In order to make a working seal between a vehicle’s tail and a building, a dock shelter must flex but only in a horizontal direction. Equally, it must be tough, tough enough to handle repeated pressure and friction from moving vehicles as well as assaults from Mother Nature. Fortunately, fabrics strong enough to cope are used, suspended from similarly brawny side and head frame assemblies.
Foam dock seals form a snug gasket-type seal around the sides and tops of a trailer as it is backed into the loading dock. The tightly compressed seal helps keep heated or cooled air inside the building when the dock door is open and goods are being loaded or unloaded. Studies show that companies can reduce their energy costs by hundreds of dollars per year per dock position, simply by installing an effective seal that is sized and applied to match the variety of trailers being serviced. Seals also help keep outside elements from entering the facility, which protects products from damage, keeps employees safe and comfortable, and reduces infiltration of bugs, dust and other contaminants.
National Door provides service and installation of dock shelters/dock seals throughout the Metro Detroit area and all of Michigan.