One question we get asked frequently is about the correct dimensions of loading dock doors. This is understandable because choosing the proper loading dock door width and height is crucial for the smooth transfer from truck to building. In this blog we will discuss what the options are and what you should factor into your decision making about your facility’s dock doors.
What Size Door Opening Do You Need?
Selecting the wrong size of loading dock doors can cause more problems than you might imagine. It creates extra labor for workers who load and unload the truck. It reduces work efficiency, often causes products damage, and can even result in worker injury. Loading dock doors need to be properly sized to make this highly trafficked area as problem free as possible.
The Right Loading Dock Door Width and Height
A tractor trailer can be as wide as 8’6” and as tall as 13’6”. This is the maximum legal width and height for a truck. Given these dimensions, for a dock that is 48 inches high, Beuschel Sales recommends that you choose a door that is either 9’ tall x 9’ wide or a door that is 10’ tall x 9’ wide. This will allow your workers to have full access to the back of the trailer for loading and unloading.
If you choose an 8’ wide dock door, it might not be possible to easily load or unload a truck that backs into the loading dock off center or has pallets loaded side by side. It also increases the possibility of damage to the door track.
If your facility must accommodate wide-load trucks, you should consider adding at least one dock door with greater width.
In terms of height, the standard door heights are 8 feet, 9 feet, and 10 feet high. The 8-foot height will work for many trucks, but it will not be tall enough for full access to trucks with the maximum allowed trailer height. A 9’ high door will, and a 10’ high door will give full access to the back of trailers that are the maximum allowed height.
If your company needs to service special permitted trucks with greater heights than typical, you should consider adding a taller door to allow for that height.
If you have questions about which loading dock door width and height you should choose for your loading dock, we are always available to discuss your options with you. Give us a call at (616) 520-8680.