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max slope for loading dock

max slope for loading dock

max slope for loading dock

We would like to know what is being used as the maximum slope for loading dock ramps.  In our case there is no dock leveler (just a set of doors), however, we are in a winter climate.

We are thinking of using a value of 12%, but have not been able to find anything definitive.  Any input would be apprecieated

RE: max slope for loading dock

All the dock equipment suppliers (Kelly is another one) have information on ramp design.  Check their websites for the information.

As I'm sure you know, the slope of the ramp affects how the trucks will "seat" against the dock door.  The steeper the ramp, the sooner the top of the semi-trailer will hit the head of the door.  So, though you don't plan to use a dock leveler, you should use dock bumpers.  Also, since you are in an area of cold winters, a dock seal is a good thing too.  

You should also check the OSHA regulations regarding truck dock design.  I'm pretty sure there are now requirements for safety locks at truck docks, particularly if you are using forktrucks to unload the trucks.

RE: max slope for loading dock

Our company tries to stay away from any slope greater than 7% because it makes loading and unloading with a manual pallet jack virtually imposable at greater slopes and electric pallet jacks will have a hard time truck bed or jacks tires get wet.  We are also located in an icy winter area and if your dock is located on the north side of the building slopes greater than 6% can cause the truck to slide if the ramp is icy and automatic wheel chalks are not used.

RE: max slope for loading dock

12%? 7%? I assume you mean 40-foot tractor-trailers?

We just finished a 26-acre Warehouse for in central PA (lotsa snow here!).  In one area we had to go 3% to accomodate a swale, but for design, the client requested 0.005 and stated a max of 0.01.  I have been involved with individual ramps for smaller local supply trucks (cube vans, etc.) going .04 or .05, but here in central PA, residential driveways are typically prohibited over 0.10 and often limited to .08.

RE: max slope for loading dock

thanks for all the input.

We have settled on a value around 7-8% based on a number of things, and very much apprecieate all your feedback.

Have a nice day

RE: max slope for loading dock


One more thought, since you are not using a dock leveler, you might want to do a survey of the Owner's trucks using the dock.  Dock levelers allow a wide variety of trailer heights.  If your Owner has anything but the "normal" truck a "standard" dock height of 48" may not work.

Just another thought to prevent heartburn at night!

RE: max slope for loading dock

good idea jheidt,

happy holiday's to all...


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