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Mechanical Dock Leveler Troubleshooting Guide

by Carllaen Joshua Gonzales 21 Feb 2024 0 Comments

A broken dock leveler can mean costs of hundreds of dollars for fixing it, days of downtime, and even safety concerns for employees. But if your mechanical dock leveler is broken, this article will help you out. We'll walk you through the most common issues and help you troubleshoot the problem. Let's get started!

troubleshooting mechanical dock leveler

How to troubleshoot mechanical dock levelers

Now before you get into troubleshooting your mechanical dock levelers, keep in mind that at some point you'll need to get under it to identify the problem and it could be dangerous. Always practice proper safety before you get to work in order to avoid any accidents or fatal injuries.

Here's the most common issues and what they mean:

1. Mechanical dock leveler fails to raise or lower - If your leveler has problems raising or lowering, verify first that it is not jammed or obstructed by checking the area around it. Then, inspect the lifting chain or cable for sign of damage, wear, or obstructions. Make sure to also check the leveler's engagement lip if it's jammed.

If there are no obstructions and the leveler still doesn't rise or lower, then the main lifting spring might be broken. Have a professional inspect your equipment and replace the broken parts.

2. My dock leveler doesn't stay down/keeps popping up - The main cause of this issue is usually in the hold-down assembly, which helps keep the dock leveler securely in place when in use. Over time, components in the hold-down assembly can become loose or damaged, leading to the leveler popping up during loading and unloading.

Inspect the hold-down assembly for loose or damaged components. Tighten any loose fasteners or replace any damaged components to resolve   the issue.

mechanical dock leveler troubleshooting

3. I hear strange noises from my dock leveler - The cause of this issue depends on the type of leveler that you have. If you hear strange noises coming from your mechanical dock leveler then it may mean that the springs, which power the leveler, need adjustment. In some cases, the lip assembly may need to be repaired or replaced so take a look at that as well.

If you're still having problems with your dock leveler, then we strongly advise that you call up a professional technician to come and take a look at it. We also offer dock leveler repair service throughout Canada, so don't hesitate to contact us if you need help.

How do you adjust the spring on a dock leveler?

On most mechanical dock levelers, there are springs on each side that help to counter balance the weight of the leveler as it moves up and down. Identify which spring needs to be adjusted and measure the current tension using a spring tension gauge. This will help you in figuring out how much tension needs to be increased or decreased.

troubleshoot a mechanical dock leveler

Use a wrench or another tool to adjust the spring tension by turning the adjustment nut on the spring. If you need to increase the tension, turn the nut clockwise. To decrease the tension, turn the nut counter clockwise. Make small adjustments and re-measure using the gauge until you reach the desired tension.

Get a professional to troubleshoot your dock leveler

Seeking professional assistance for your dock leveler is a better idea than waiting until it breaks completely. Its lifespan is significantly increased by spotting minor problems early on and fixing them.

If your dock leveler exhibits any of the following problems, you should have an expert inspect it right away:

  • Visible rust
  • The dock leveler is making a weird noise
  • The deck plate is warped
  • The beam welds are damaged
  • The lip won’t fully extend/won’t stay extended
  • The lip won’t come down
  • The lip is bent or cracked
  • The plate lifts up when driven over

We also recommend that you go through a dock leveler safety checklist, ideally daily. This will help you catch these issues outlined above.

Hire us for your dock leveler needs and repair

If you're looking for someone to help you with your dock leveler needs, then we've got you covered! We provide maintenance and repair services for dock levelers in Quebec, Ontario, Vancouver, and other parts of Canada. Our specialists and network of professionals are qualified, trained, and ready to resolve your dock leveler issues.

If you're looking to replace your equipment, feel free to browse our variety of dock levelers for sale. We've got the best, high quality and affordable dock levelers just for you!

Just send us an email or call us and we'll get back to you as soon as possible! For emergency calls, you may reach us at 438-817-4797. 

Get a quote

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