How the Loading Dock Has Changed over the Decades

good-food-labLast month we talked about the history of the Beuschel family and Beuschel Sales – how it came to be. This month we’d like to talk about how the loading dock has changed over the years as the marketplace and logistics have transformed into the system we have today.

First of all, there are many more loading dock product manufacturing companies in the business today –  close to 20, in fact. Beuschel Sales began selling Kelley products and has continued to sell and install them, but Kelley itself is only the brand name. Entrematic is the parent company now supplying all the high speed doors and commercial doors. While the manufacturer may have changed, Kelley dock levelers are still excellent. In fact, the product line itself has gotten better over time, becoming much more user friendly. Maintenance for these dock levelers is not as necessary or difficult now. Most companies can use their own maintenance departments when something breaks or must be replaced.

As far as how the loading dock looks – that’s very similar to how it looked in 1970. What’s changed is how the dock levelers are activated and used. There are also more products around the dock opening than there used to be: the dock seal, warning lights, and trailer restraints. This has to do with the exponential growth in shipping the world has experienced over the past fifty years.

Nearly all of the change is safety driven, with more and more safety standards initiated by the government in order to protect workers. The modern loading dock has the self-contained loading dock pit. Instead of workers bending over and inserting a piece of steel so they can drive a forklift into a truck, today they only need to push a button to produce a ramp. This increases efficiency, makes the operation safer, and requires less maintenance over time because, unlike with pneumatic and hydraulic systems, a mechanical dock leveler is always under tension. Anything under tension will eventually break and need to be repaired.


In addition to dock levelers, Beuschel Sales also sells trailer restraint safety systems. The restraint system grabs onto the back of the truck trailer and holds it. Red and green lights tell the driver and dock attendant when things are safe to proceed.

These safety products mean a lot less thinking on the loading dock and far fewer accidents. Of course, as shipping has expanded nationally and globally, every day there are more of these interactions on loading docks across the world. Human error is always a factor, but so many workers have been spared an injury or worse because of the improvement in safety standards and the installation and use of better products.

Beuschel Sales’ motto has always been: “Do it right the first time.” We sell, install, and fix all of the products we install. Our customers know that we are reliable and fair, and we know our products and how they work. While many things have changed in this business since 1970, that never has.

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