With the weather warming up, now is the time to start those renovation and industrial construction projects you may have been putting off.  Loading dock’ pits, for example, are better built during warmer seasons since they leave the inside environment susceptible to potentially unsavoury temperature changes and making sure the fresh concrete can sustain the temperatures.

Beyond determining which loading dock to choose, there are many factors to take into consideration when deciding on the area for a new loading dock……

When determining the area you want to install a new loading dock pit, there are a few guidelines to follow:


Make sure that your loading dock is installed in an area with maximum safety in mind, both on the inside and on the outside your facility, along with proper design and installation….

Property Gates

16’ to 20’ is the suggested minimum width of the gates leading into the approach roadway for one-way traffic. 30’ to 32’ is suggested for two way traffic, and 38’ if you plan to include a pedestrian walkway.

Roadway Approach

The trucks should be able to drive directly into the loading dock area rather than back in. Depending on the traffic, we can also expect straight through, “Y”, or angle approaches when driving into the loading dock.  Designs for the approach roadways should also consider counterclockwise traffic rotations as it is easier for drivers to make left turns back into the dock from this position.

Yard Approach

The service road for a one way truck should be at least 14’ wide and at least 26’ wide for two-way traffic. Add additional 6’ lanes separated with barrier from the the service road if you also plan to accommodate pedestrians for safety precautions.

Apron Space

The apron space is the area that is required to properly operate and position the trucks back into place. When planning the apron space, it is important to know what the trucks’ movement is going to be and have a general idea of how much room is required for that movement. It is also important to recognize the flow of traffic, and the length of the truck.

Landing Strip / Dolly Pads / Aprons

This area is for the trailers to park at the loading docks and usually extend 50’ out from the building.  Concrete is highly recommended for and is important to use as the dolly pad.  Asphalt is not recommended as the trailer stands will sinking into the asphalt. Avoid gravel-covered apron space as it can create an uneven surface resulting in an unsafe working condition. Keep in mind that all roadway surfaces should be evenly laid and structured enough to support heavy loads.

Waiting Area

The waiting area should be used as the provision area. This area prevents trucks from interfering with other trucks that are maneuvering or pulling away from the dock.

Here at Nex Industrial, we specialize in providing design consultations and construction services.

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