Reducing energy costs – whether it’s to take steps towards a responsible way of doing business, or saving on operational costs – is always a good idea, especially during the colder seasons, to maintain a comfortable, climate-controlled environment.
When considering ways to cut down on energy consumption, make sure to look at how much energy is lost due to poorly maintained loading dock equipment. Without the right additions, such as weather seals and door shelters, you could be facing a major heat escaping issue over the Fall and Winter months.
Here are four ways you can save energy and keep your loading dock safe operational, despite the weather outside:
Deal with Damaged Dock Doors
Dock doors and levelers are susceptible to damage from forklifts and other vehicles, as well as general wear and tear. This causes gaps along the door frame, which is further complicated by worn out weather seals. These openings allow cold air to enter your facility, and due to the increased cold, push the heaters to work overtime. Additionally, dinged doors can become misaligned from the tracks, making them difficult to open and close.
While minor dents and dings on industrial doors can be fixed by replacing the panels, considerable damage is better mitigated with upgraded doors that can help maintain comfortable temperatures inside and operate quickly and smoothly. For better insulation, make sure to install or replace worn out weather seals as part of the loading dock equipment maintenance.
Seal and Shelter
A well-fitted dock door is just the first step in eliminating drafts; for a better outcome and longer-lasting results, fit the dock area with seals and shelters. Compression seals attached to the perimeter of the dock door can effectively seal any openings when a trailer backs into the loading bay.
With weather seals in place, you can combat the loss of heat, which escapes from the spaces around equipment, particularly in pit-style dock levelers. Add to that, you can also use leveler blankets to lay on top of the loading dock equipment when not in use – because despite being simple, these are effective at blocking drafts.
Used with seals, door shelters add another layer of protection to loading dock equipment and to your entire industrial facility. Shelters surround the top and sides of the trailer creating a weatherproof enclosure in the loading area.
Leverage Truck Restraints
Apart from safety benefits, truck restraints also help reduce energy costs. Because these keep trailers in place during loading or unloading procedures, weather seals and shelters can do a better job of keeping heat in and preventing its escape due to shifts in the trailer’s position.
Automate your doors
Adding automated, powered door controls, or upgrading your existing operators with new high-speed systems will open and close doors faster, reducing heat loss and increasing productivity.