Glossary of Terms

Having knowledge and understanding of the vocabularies that are often used will break the communication barrier between you and others who are involved in this industry.

By reading our ‘Loading Bay Glossary of Terms’ below, we hope to help and guide you in choosing the correct terms that you will use when you need to discuss a specific concern or inquiry that is related to your loading bay equipment.

ATTACHMENTS - This term refers to implements that can be added to a forklift truck for handling a load. Attachments such as clamps; slip sheet forks and carpet poles can have an effect on capacity and should be considered in selecting the correct dock leveller.

COMMUNICATION LIGHTS - Coloured lights to communicate the status of the loading operation to the dock operator and to the driver of the transport vehicle. Typically one set of lights is visible to the dock operator to indicate whether the restraint is engaged, and another set of lights is visible to the transport vehicle driver to indicate whether it is safe to pull the vehicle away from the dock. The lights are typically green to indicate “GO” and red to indicate “STOP”. Amber lights may be used to indicate caution.

CONTROL SYSTEMS - Combining the operation of your products into one single control does not only offer aesthetical benefits but also saves on installation and maintenance costs since only one power supply is required. Loading Systems developed control systems for basic operating and totally integrated operating systems. This means combined controls for dock levellers, dock shelters, industrial doors and accessories. With the automatic sequence control, the optimum operating sequence can be programmed to prevent damage and secure optimal usage of the loading bay. All controls come with the Loading Systems Docking Assistant as standard. The Docking Assistant provides an indication of the distance between the rear of the vehicle and the loading bay. This simplifies docking and reduces the risk of vehicle damage.

CORNER SEALS - To improve sealing at the bottom of the curtain dock shelters. Trapezoidal and Cylindrical Models available

CURTAINS – Curtains such as strip curtains and air curtains are solutions for internal segregation, hazard protection, heat retention and wash-down areas.

DOCK - The sorting or staging platform where shipments are loaded or unloaded.

DOCK BUMPERS - Pieces of rubber or other resilient material located at the floor level of a dock opening to cushion the building from truck trailer impact.

DOCK FACE - The outside wall of the dock door area.

DOCK HOUSES - Dock houses are an attractive, economic modular alternative to traditional dock leveller pit systems. Mounted externally, they ensure that expensive internal space is being fully utilised. Dock houses can be delivered either as individual units or can be linked together. Where yard space is limited, dock houses can also be installed in a sawtooth arrangement.

DOCK LEVELLER CAPACITY - The manufacturer’s capacity tag rating may not reflect the gross roll-over load for a specific dock leveller. Capacity is the rating of the load that the manufacturer of the dock leveller deems to be appropriate for the design, based on considerations of the characteristics of the user’s application. The complexity factor is typically determined by a set of characteristics that are present at the particular application. These characteristics may include, but are not limited to: the heaviest forklift and load being driven across the dock leveller; the number of forklift cycles driving across the dock leveller; the speed of forklift moving across the dock leveller; the life expectation of the dock leveller; the loading slope above or below dock level; the use of three vs four-wheel lift trucks; whether there are attachments on the front end of the lift truck; the lip length as well as other considerations. The manufacturer can help determine the capacity of the dock leveller that is required for a specific application.

DOCK LEVELLER DECK - The deck assembly is the major part of the structure that is driven over. Most decks have some type of anti-skid surface such as a tread plate surface to provide traction at the various working angles. The deck assembly pivots at the back end of the dock leveller – the end of the dock leveller that is furthest from the transport vehicle. The dock leveller has a hinged lip attached to the other end.

DOCK LEVELLERS - A manual, hydraulic, or electrically operated plate, located at the dock entrance that can be raised and lowered to accommodate varying trailer floor heights. Loading Systems offers various dock levellers; such as Swing Lip, Telescopic Lip, Combi Dock and Manual Dock.

DOCK LIGHTS – A dock light is used to illuminate the full length of truck trailers. These dock lights increase safety during loading and unloading.  The dock light can be supplied with its own control box. To increase its user-friendliness it can also be integrated in the control box of your Dock Leveller, Dock Shelter or Industrial Door. In this case, the light will turn one in sequence with your dock product.

DOCK NUMBER PLATES - The loading and unloading process can be simplified by marking the individual docks with number-signs.

DOCK PIT - The pit is the recessed opening in the building’s floor that accommodates the pit dock leveller. Most pits are lined along the edges with structural steel angles that are embedded in the concrete.

DOCK PLATE - A moveable metal ramp that allows access to a rail car or trailer.

DOCK SHELTER - Dock shelters provide an optimum seal between the internal and external environments and assist with the reduction of energy consumption. As well as protecting your goods, dock-shelters also contribute to an improved workplace atmosphere which can also lower your absence rates due to illness. Loading Systems offer various dock shelters such as Cushion, Curtain, Curtain with special foam and Inflatable Dock Shelters.

DOCK STAIRS –  Dock stairs are used to enter the building through a pass door when the warehouse floor is higher than the loading yard. It is practical to build entrances between load and unloading stations for trucks. With the Loading Systems dock stairs, personnel can have easy access from the platform and the hall.

EOD (Edge of Dock) - A Dock Leveller design mainly to be face mounted on the leading

HIGH SPEED DOORS – High speed doors allow your fleet of forklifts trucks to move much quicker between areas than via a standard industrial door due to the increased opening speed. Loading Systems High Speed Doors use radars or sensors that can automatically detect forklift trucks, vehicles or pedestrians, thus increasing productivity.

INDUSTRIAL DOORS – Loading dock doors are an important topic in planning and constructing a building. The rapidity of a loading dock door opening is a consideration where some control of ambient temperature and humidity are required and often doors of this type are equipped to open automatically as a moving object approaches the door. Industrial doors are generally known as sectional doors, PVC fabric doors or roller shutters. Their durable construction provides higher operating speed and they are able to sustain a higher number of cycles (opening and closing cycles) and require lower maintenance and repair cost. Depending on the intended field of application, horizontal or vertical operating door types are available.

LIFTING PLATFORM - Lifting platforms are used for bridging large differences in height between the yard level and the vehicle bed or between the internal warehouse floor and the upper deck of a double deck trailer. The Loading Systems double dok lifting tables are specifically designed for vehicles with a double-deck bed. With the double dok lifting tables, both the vehicle bed and upper deck of a double deck trailer can be reached

LIP - The lip assembly is usually pivotally attached on the deck assembly and pivots from a vertical stored position to a position that rests to the transport vehicle’s floor. Lips are usually made with a tread plate that is similar to the deck.

LOAD - The load is the weight of a typical individual pallet on a transport vehicle.

LOADING BAY - The sorting or staging platform where shipments are loaded or unloaded.

LOADING BAY DOOR - The openings in the loading dock area to the outside of a building. See, Industrial Doors..

LOADING BAY EQUIPMENT - Equipment used to make the loading bay area of a facility more accessible and to provide safe movement of goods in that dock area. Loading bay equipment includes elevating docks, dock levellers, dock lights, bumpers, seals, shelters, vehicle restraints and traffic lights.

LOADING BAY OPERATING PERSONNEL - A person or persons engaging in the process of loading and/or unloading transport vehicles whereby the activities may include the operation of industrial vehicles, dock levellers, vehicle restraints, dock doors, etc.

MANUAL OPERATION - Placement of a dock leveller or a vehicle restraint device in its operating position by the manual effort of the loading dock operating personnel.

MATERIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT (MHE) - Forklift trucks, powered or non-powered pallet jacks, or any other form of vehicles used to load or unload material on a transport vehicle.

PIT - That part of the dock area that is cut out to contain a dock-levelling device.

PIT EDGE ANGLES - Steel edging embedded in concrete to protect the corners surrounding one face which when used with a pawl only allows movement of the bar in one direction.

RATED CAPACITY - The maximum load which can be applied according to the manufacturer’s specification.

RATED LOAD CAPACITY- The maximum load for which the equipment is designed by the manufacturer.

ROAD MARKINGS - Road markings are fixed to the surface of your loading yard. Road markings are used on loading yards with high-density traffic and are available in a normal version and a version with LED-lights. The built-on road markings are designed to withstand lorry wheel load.

SAFETY BOLLARDS – Safety bollards provide optimal protection around your loading and unloading area.  They protect doors, walls, loading and loading areas, machinery and racks and are suitable for extreme loads. The safety bollards are also suitable for the protection of work areas. Available as built-in and as a surface mounted models.

SAFETY FENCES – Safety fences may be used around the loading and unloading platform to “mark” dangerous areas and to protect personnel as well as material.

SAFETY MIRRORS - Safety mirrors provide optimal safety around your loading and unloading area. They can be easily installed in every place with limited visibility and at risk of accidental collisions, inside or outside. It is the ideal solution for locations with an increased risk of vandalism or applies to industries where an aggressive chemical atmosphere prevails.

SERVICE & MAINTENANCE - A good service & maintenance regime guarantees and protects the lifetime of your equipment and products, and also minimises the impact of downtime. Loading Systems can offer an extensive range of maintenance and service options.

TAIL LIFT SEAL – A tail lift seal provides optimum protection of the tail lift opening i.e. it protects the letterbox opening underneath the dock leveller against draft and litter. The seal also provides extra protection against pests.

TOE GUARD - It is a shield that is mounted flush to the side of a deck assembly in order to provide toe protection when the dock leveller is above dock level.

TRANSPORT VEHICLE - A cargo-carrying vehicle (e.g., a truck, semi-trailer, trailer, or railcar) which may be entered upon by a powered or non-powered industrial vehicle or conveyors to load or unload material.

VEHICLE CREEP - The movement of a transport vehicle away from the loading dock caused by the transfer of momentum as an industrial truck decelerates when entering the vehicle and accelerates when exiting the vehicle. Uncontrolled trailer creep may allow the lip of a dock leveller to become unsupported and create a dangerous gap between the transport vehicle and the dock.

VEHICLE DRIVE OFF - The event of a transport vehicle departing the dock before loading or unloading is completed

VEHICLE RESTRAINT SYSTEM - The portion of a vehicle restraint device that engages the transport vehicle to prevent movement, such as the Loading Systems 505NG solution.

WARRANTY - At Loading Systems we offer a 5 year, no quibble, extended warranty on all our new equipment.  In the unlikely event of component failure or malfunction, our engineers will attend site and replace the problem item at no charge to you for parts or labour

WHEEL CHOCKS - Blocks of rubber, wood or metal placed in front of, between or behind truck wheels to prevent accidental trailer movement

WHEEL GUIDES - Wheel guides enable vehicles to dock in the exact middle of the dock and door opening. This prevents vehicles from damaging each other or the building.  Wheel guides are especially recommended in combination with wide dock levellers and curtain or inflatable dock shelters because in these situations precise positioning of the vehicle is even more important. Surface mounted and built-in models are available.

WHEEL RESTRAINT - A vehicle restraint that engages one or more wheels of a transport vehicle, thus inhibiting uncontrolled movement of the vehicle away from the dock structure.

WORKING RANGE - The horizontal and vertical range of positions of an RIG that can be engaged by the vehicle restraint.

YARD - The surface in front of the dock where the transport vehicle is parked. The yard surface may be generally horizontal or may be sloped toward or away from the dock.

Easilift Loading Systems can help you with your loading bay requirements.

Call us today on 0800 1601965 or email on for a free consultation.