Building a permanent docking area can be very expensive.
It may involve excavation, concrete construction, and much more. Plus, if it’s an expansion to an existing warehouse or docking zone, the construction can spill over into other areas, making it more difficult to use existing docking zones or space.
This is one reason why many warehouses use self-standing loading dock ramps when they need to expand their operations. This allows them to increase their unloading area without costly construction.
What are Self-Standing Loading Dock Ramps?
These dock platforms are most often made out of steel that is designed to withstand high amounts of weight and use. They can be customized in a number of ways, and many make use of a modular design that can fit nearly any space. They require no concrete or other support—they are completely self-standing and can be relocated when necessary.
Meeting OSHA Safety Standards
Any warehouse or business that makes use of a self-standing loading dock ramp should make certain it meets OSHA safety standards. This is important because it helps guarantee worker safety and reduce the chance of accidents.
These safety features include things such as handrails and guardrails, barriers to prevent forklifts from running off of the platform, and more. Many are painted a bright color so they are highly visible and make use of non-slip surfaces. Most self-standing dock ramps can be customized, too, so different types of guardrails can be installed and the ladders or stairs can be moved to different parts of the platform to make them more convenient.
Low Maintenance Cost
Because these loading platforms are made from high quality steel, there is very little maintenance needed. They are very hard to damage, and some areas, such as the front of the dock, have been reinforced to provide extra support in case a truck backs into it. Steel stands up to heavy use over time, too, so while warehouses may choose to replace their self-standing loading docks after decades of use, there is often no need to do so. Cement loading docks often require repairs as the cement cracks and chips over time.
Solutions Designed for the Warehouse
Many times, these self-standing loading dock ramps are custom-built for the warehouse where they will be used. This is because the size of the loading dock has to fit the space. If it’s even slightly too small, it can create gaps that present a danger to workers. It also needs to be configured to work with the rest of the warehouse and make it simple to move pallets off the self-standing loading dock and into the rest of the warehouse.
In addition to the low maintenance cost, purchasing self-standing loading dock ramps is much, much cheaper than having a permanent loading dock made out of cement. In addition to maintenance, the excavation and cement costs are often much more than the cost of a self-standing loading dock. Because these docks can last for many years, they’re a smart investment for a warehouse looking to expand.