The Importance of a Reliable Vehicle Restraint for Your Company’s Dock

January 07, 2019

The Importance of a Reliable Vehicle Restraint for Your Company’s Dock

More than 70 percent of freight moved throughout the United States travels by truck, and nearly every journey begins and ends at a loading dock. No matter if you run a shipping company or you regularly send or receive cargo at your business, it’s crucial to maintain best safety practices with the trucks docked at your facility. One of the most important things you can do is install quality vehicle restraints at each of your docks. Here’s a brief overview of these essential pieces of safety equipment and a few reasons why they’re necessary.

How Vehicle Restraints Work

As the name implies, a vehicle restraint holds a truck or other automobile in place while it’s parked, but there are two different main designs. While both models perform the same purpose, the manner in which they accomplish this task varies:

  • The Shadow Hook Dok-Lok uses a large hook that attaches to the trailer’s rear impact guard.
  • The Wheel-Lok grips the trailer’s wheels and uses a metal tooth system to keep the vehicle in place.

Either product will safely secure trucks in your loading dock, but you should make sure you’re installing the right model for your business. If you deal with one specific type of truck that has a rear impact guard, you can get away with the original hooked design. For companies that work with a wide range of characters and vehicles, it’s best to go with the global flexibility that comes with a Wheel-Lok. Now you know the difference between the designs, it’s time to look at a few common issues vehicle restraints can solve.

Trailer Creep

Wheels are an essential component of any automobile, but they can also create a hazardous situation at the loading dock. If you use forklifts to fill vehicles with cargo, the repeated forward motion of the lift driving into the truck can cause it to slowly pull away from the dock in a phenomenon known as trailer creep. When enough movement occurs, it can create a dangerous situation that could lead to a deadly forklift accident. Wheel chocks are traditionally used to prevent creep from happening, but they aren’t nearly as reliable as a restraint system.

Landing Gear Failure

When a trailer is attached to a truck, it remains relatively stable, but it’s not always feasible to keep trucks attached during extended loading periods or vehicle maintenance. When separated, trailers rely on a stand known as a landing gear to keep it from tipping over. If a landing gear collapse occurs during loading, the entire trailer could tip forward and cause injuries as well as damage to equipment and inventory. A hooked restraint system holds the trailer’s back end in place, and can be strong enough to keep things upright if a collapse occurs.

Keep Your Loading Dock Safe

Now you know more about the importance of vehicle restraints, turn W.E. Carlson to help ensure the safety of your loading and unloading operations. If you’re looking to upgrade the equipment at your dock, you can trust our 40 years of experience in the industry to provide the products you need. To learn more about our offerings or schedule a service appointment, contact us online or give us a call at 847-640-0011 today.