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Dock Leveler Pit Construction - Step-by-Step Guide

by Carllaen Joshua Gonzales 27 Dec 2023 0 Comments

Constructing a dock leveler pit is no easy task. Especially because the safety and longevity of your dock leveler are on the line. There are many considerations to be made to make sure that the dock leveler will be installed correctly. Mistakes like wrong measurements can lead to costly mistakes down the line, which is why it's important to follow the right procedures from the start.

This article will act as a guide if you're trying to build your own pit, or as a refresher if you are already an expert. Let's get started!

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is for general information use only. If you have no experience in doing this, it is recommended that you consult a professional to ensure the build is done properly and safely.

Steps for dock leveler pit construction

  1. Planning and designing - Careful planning of your dock leveler pit details and designing are necessary before beginning the construction process. Take into consideration the kind of dock leveler you'll have, the necessary load capacity, and the dock leveler pit dimensions. Make sure that the measurements are made correctly so that the dock leveler will fit and to avoid any re-dos.

    dock leveler pit construction
  2. Excavation - Mark the pit area to prepare the construction site. Excavate the pit in compliance with the dock leveler pit dimensions and design requirements. Make sure the excavation has adequate depth to support the dock leveler and has enough room for maintenance and installation.
  3. Installing subgrade - Preparing the base comes next after the hole has been dug out. This means ensuring that the pit's bottom is level and compacted by creating a stable subgrade. To sustain the weight and motion of the dock leveler, a solid foundation must be built. Use a plate compactor to achieve proper compaction and ensure even support for the equipment.
  4. Pouring the concrete floor - Construct concrete footings to support the dock leveler. Ensure that the floor is smooth and level because any unevenness may interfere with the dock leveler's ability to function. After setting rebar inside the footing area, fill the space with concrete to the specified depth. Observe the manufacturer's instructions and let the concrete cure.
    dock leveler pit floor pouring

  5. Forming the pit walls - To build the walls of the dock leveler pit, use plywood forms. Keep the forms in the appropriate shape while the concrete is being poured by reinforcing them with braces and stakes. Make sure the concrete fills the forms to the necessary thickness. For a flawless finish, use a trowel to smooth the surface.

    dock leveler pit shuttering

  6. Installing anchor bolts - Install anchor bolts into the pit's walls while the concrete is still wet. The dock leveler will be fastened in position with the help of these bolts. Make sure that the bolts are positioned and aligned in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions so that the dock leveler will fit.
  7. Curing and finishing - Before going forward, make sure to let the concrete cure completely. After the pit has dried, check it for flaws and make any required fixes. To improve durability, use waterproofing coating and apply sealants to the joints of the pit walls.

    dock leveler pit finishing

  8. Installing the dock leveler - Position the dock leveler onto the anchor bolts in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure the leveler is positioned correctly and fastened firmly. Attach the required mechanical or hydraulic parts as instructed.

  9. Testing and inspection - Before putting the dock leveler into operation, conduct thorough testing and inspection. Check for proper functionality, smooth operation, and load-bearing capacity. Make any adjustments or repairs as needed.

Related: How to Install a Dock Leveler [Step-by-Step Guide]

How long does it take to construct a dock leveler pit

Generally, the construction of a dock leveler pit can take up to one or two weeks, depending on several factors like site-specific conditions and the expertise of the construction crew. Which means if you try to do it yourself without any prior knowledge, it may take a long time to form the pit.

dock leveler pit semi finished

The time for curing the concrete varies as well, depending on the manufacturer's guidelines. This might take a few days for the concrete to reach sufficient strength.

Other ways to form a dock leveler pit

The steps mentioned above in this article are for the traditional way to construct a dock leveler pit. However, there are alternative ways to simplify the process, such as using pit kits or pour in pans. 

Pit kits consist of prefabricated steel panels that are assembled on location and welded together to create a rectangular pit. They have three side walls, which are connected by bars to make sure that they are properly positioned. Some even come pre-assembled, making the process that much easier.

Pit kit for dock leveler

On the other hand, pour in pans are comparable to pit kits with the exception that the dock leveler's steel sides are welded to it. So it's a dock leveler that comes with the pit kit connected to it.

Before the floor is poured, a notch is carved into the foundation wall to accommodate the leveler. The pour-in pan walls enable a precisely-formed pit while shielding the leveler from the concrete. This is perfect for facilities who want to install several units at once.

dock leveler pour in pans


Hire us for your dock leveler needs

Looking to build a pit, replace a dock leveler, or upgrade your existing one? We can help. Located in Toronto and Montreal and working with a trusted and reliable network of dock leveler technicians, we can support you for all your dock leveler needs.

We offer a variety of affordable high quality dock levelers, made here in Canada. As well as pit kits and dock leveler accessories. Contact us today to get a quote for yours now!

Get a quote

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