Thursday, September 24, 2015

Loading docks

Image a screen capture from Google Maps.
I thought this was a smart way to configure a loading dock.  Traditional loading docks require that the tractor-trailer be backed up 90 degrees from to the side of the building.  They consume a lot of real estate because of the need to snake the trailer in between trailers that are already parked.  Another issue with traditional loading docks is the lack of visibility and the attendant hazard to drivers and dock workers who must move among the trailers.

The sawtooth configuration allows the truck to pull past their assigned space and back into it with very little maneuvering.  The real estate requirements are significantly lower than for the traditional system.  The dispersed system spreads out the exterior traffic and probably increases the visibility of dock workers while minimizing their exposure to traffic.

The downsides of the sawtooth configuration are that building construction is more complicated and that the docks are more dispersed.  In some cases, dispersed loading docks are advantageous because it reduces in-plant shipping and mobile equipment traffic.

1 comment:

  1. Sawtooth is definitely more 'spacious', but it all comes down to 'total footprint'. Looking at the picture, they have a very limited footprint to the bottom of the picture, which would have made the traditional loading dock a real bear to get a truck into.

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