unloading truck, truck restraints and dock locks Cleveland

Call Cleveland Dock Equipment Pros to Inspect Truck Restraints / Dock Locks

Truck restraints, also known as dock locks, are used by a broad range of businesses and facilities with loading docks fused for the shipment and receipt of goods. Our Cleveland dock equipment experts know that functional truck restraints are essential to the safety of dock workers, the preservation of goods being loaded/unloaded, and the goal of maintaining an efficient supply chain.

Truck restraints are devices used in loading docks to secure trucks and trailers in place during the loading/unloading process. The primary function is to prevent accidental trailer separation from the dock, which can lead to serious safety hazards, equipment damage, and product loss.

They are commonly used by warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, retailers, freight & logistics companies, food & beverage companies, e-commerce fulfillment centers, cold storage facilities, and retail stores. Basically any operation that’s dealing with shipping, receiving, and storage will have loading docks, and those docks almost certainly have truck restraints.

Types of Truck Restraints

There are several different types of truck restraints. These include:

  • Mechanical Truck Restraints. These use physical barriers or mechanisms to immobilize the trailer, such as rotating hooks or wheel chocks.
  • Powered Truck Restraints. These have hydraulic or electric systems that lock the trailer to the dock. Hydraulic restraints can be either rear-impact (use a hydraulic arm that reaches out and locks onto the rear impact guard of the trailer) or vertical (especially useful when dealing with cold or refrigerated storage because they prevent vertical movement, thereby improving the seal). Electric-powered restraints use electric motors to engage and release, making them easy to operate and maintain. These are great for high-traffic loading docks.
  • Combination Truck Restraints. These use both mechanical AND hydraulic or electric components for enhanced security and flexibility. These would be ideal for loading docks that work with a wide variety of trailer types and require both horizontal and vertical restraints.

There are also low-profile restraints and in-ground restraints, which are good for docks that have space constraints or that work with low-clearance trailers.

When selecting the ideal truck restraint for your specific use, consider factors like the variety of trucks and trailers you work with, the available space on your loading dock, safety requirements, maintenance considerations, and budget constraints. It’s often advisable to consult with a professional who specializes in dock equipment to assess your needs and recommend the most suitable truck restraint solution for your facility.

Signs a Dock Lock Needs Replaced

Depending on the type of restraint and frequency of use, truck restraints can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. But if you’re concerned it may be time to initiate a replacement – or at least an inspection of your truck restraints – some clear indicators include:

  • Visible damage. Broken or bent parts, rust, extensive corrosion, wear-and-tear – these are obvious signs of physical damage that will indicate the device should be replaced.
  • Malfunction. Any kind of failure – even if it only happens once – should prompt an immediate inspection. It’s possible that improper use can cause malfunction, but improper use can also cause damage that would make future malfunctions more likely. Best to call for an inspection just to be sure.
  • Regulatory compliance. If there are changes in industry standards that require updated or more advanced truck restraints for your operations, you’ll want to make sure you’re in compliance with these rules.
  • Advances in technology. It’s possible there’s nothing wrong per se with your truck restraints, but newer models offer enhanced safety and efficiency – making the choice to upgrade sooner than later an easy one.

When you contact our Cleveland dock equipment experts for an inspection of a truck restraint at your dock, the process will likely involve:

  • A visual inspection.
  • Functional testing.
  • Alignment check.
  • Safety interlocks & sensors check.
  • Review of control panel and lights.
  • Examination of power source and electrical connections.
  • Structural integrity check.

These inspections don’t usually take long because we know exactly what we’re looking for.

The cost of replacement typically includes the price for the part as well as professional installation, which is recommended – and sometimes required if you want to retain manufacturer warranties and support.

Advance Door Co. provides dock equipment installation, repair, and replacement throughout Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland, Parma, and surrounding communities.

Additional Resources:

Why Every Loading Dock Should Have a Vehicle Restraint, Aug. 20, 2019, By Jeremy Artz, EHS Today

More Blog Entries:

How to Tell Your Cleveland Loading Dock Equipment is Due for an Upgrade, June 30, 2023, Cleveland Dock Equipment Expert Blog