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Dock Leveler Safety Supports for Maintenance

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245799D
Publication Date: 2016-Apr-08

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

To maintain, clean or otherwise service a pit area underneath the deck of a dock leveler, some example dock levelers include deck obstructions/stops, and/or lip obstructions/stops, that can be deployed for securing the dock leveler's deck and/or lip in a raised or extended position for the purpose of providing safe access to the underside of the deck. In some examples, the deck and/or lip obstructions/stops are actuated by manually lifting and rotating a handle on the upper surface of the deck. In some examples, the handle is recessed within the deck when the dock leveler is configured in its normal working configuration and protrudes prominently above the deck when the dock leveler is locked-out in its service configuration for maintenance. In some examples, a resilient coupling enables a lone dock worker to reconfigure a dock leveler between its service and working configurations.

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Dock Leveler Safety Supports for Maintenance

Background

[0001] A typical loading dock of a building includes an exterior doorway with an elevated platform for loading and unloading vehicles, such as trucks and trailers. To compensate for height differences between the loading dock platform and an adjacent bed of a truck or trailer, many loading docks have a dock leveler. A typical dock leveler includes a deck or ramp that is pivotally hinged along its back edge to vary the height of its front edge. A retractable extension plate or lip pivots or translates outward from the deck's front edge to span the gap between the rear of the truck bed and the front edge of the deck. The deck and lip provide a bridge between the dock's platform and the vehicle's bed so that personnel and material handling equipment can readily move on and off the vehicle during loading and unloading operations.

[0002] Many dock leveler installations have a pit in which the deck can descend to its cross-traffic position where the upper surface of the deck is generally flush with the platform. Some pits underneath the deck contain power actuators and other mechanisms for operating the dock leveler. To gain access to such mechanisms for maintenance, cleaning or other service operations, it might be necessary to fully raise the deck well above its cross-traffic position. For safety, the raised deck should be securely braced before working underneath it.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0003] FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional side view taken along line 1-1 of FIG. 8 showing an example dock leveler in a working configuration (with its deck in a lowered cross-traffic position) constructed in accordance with the teachings disclosed herein.

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[0004] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional side view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the deck in a raised position.

[0005] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the deck even lower.

[0006] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the dock leveler transitioning to the service configuration.

[0007] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view similar to FIG. 4 but showing the dock leveler's obstruction actuator being rotated.

[0008] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view similar to FIGS. 1 - 5 but showing the dock leveler in a service configuration.

[0009] FIG. 7 is a side view showing the dock leveler in a service configuration.

[0010] FIG. 8 is a top view of the dock leveler shown in FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 9 is a front view of the dock leveler shown in FIG. 8.

[0012] FIG. 10 is a top view similar to FIG. 8 but showing the dock leveler in its service configuration.

[0013] FIG. 11 is a back view of FIG. 4.

[0014] FIG. 12 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 8.

[0015] FIG. 13 is a back view of FIG. 7.

[0016] FIG. 14 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 14-14 of FIG. 10.

[0017] FIG. 15 is a partial cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 12 but s...