Frequently Asked Questions about Dock Levelers

dock levelersKelley dock levelers are engineered and warranted to last for years, but every product will eventually break down and need repair if it is used long enough. Here are some frequently-asked questions we at Beuschel Sales get about dock levelers – with our answers. Please follow recommended safety procedures before examining or attempting to repair dock leveler equipment.


Our dock leveler won’t stay down/sometimes pops up as we cross it. Why is this?  

This can be an issue with mechanical dock levelers, and usually the problem is in the hold-down. A mechanical leveler is powered by coiled springs. The tension in those springs always want to push the dock leveler up; it’s how the leveler lifts. The hold-down is the part of the leveler that acts to keep the leveler stored at the proper height when not in use.  If the paws, paw springs, or ratchet fails, the leveler will stay in the up position. Those broken or malfunctioning parts must be replaced to ensure the leveler operates correctly.


Our dock leveler won’t stay down, and we need the overhead door shut until it can be fixed. Is there a way to solve this problem until the leveler can be repaired?

The simplest fix is to walk the dock leveler down. While standing on the leveler, shut the overhead door and latch it in place.  The weight of the door should keep the leveler down.  If that doesn’t work or the door doesn’t have a latch, place a pallet with product of 300 pounds on the leveler to hold it down, then close the door.


Why won’t the dock leveler come up when I pull the chain?  

This is an issue with mechanical levelers because they need working springs with the proper tension to operate.  If the leveler isn’t coming up, that means either there isn’t enough tension in the springs or they’re broken.  We recommend you call a trained technician for this issue.  They know how to safely and properly lift the leveler and safely secure it to work on the equipment without accident.


Why does the dock leveler make a weird noise when I push the button?

On a hydraulic leveler this usually means there is an issue with the hydraulic pump or it is low in hydraulic oil.  If it is an aFX air powered leveler, this is an issue with the motor.


Why won’t the lip come out on our dock leveler?   

There could be multiple issues based on the style of the leveler.  There may not be enough tension on the springs or the lip assist assembly may be faulty. Contact a trained technician to diagnose and repair it.


Why doesn’t the dock leveler lip stay out long enough to get in the back of the trailer?  

This usually happens when the dock leveler is out of adjustment or its springs need to be replaced.


Why does the trailer drop when I go into it with a fork truck? It’s difficult to get back out because the lip isn’t sitting flat.  

This is called stump-out.  It happens with mechanical levelers because they cannot float freely with the trailer.  You need to pull the below dock chain to move the cross traffic legs.  The best option is to replace the mechanical leveler with either a hydraulic or an air-powered leveler.

Do you need service on your dock leveler? Beuschel Sales serves West, Central, and Northern Michigan. Click here to see if your business is in our service area.

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