Loss of crown angle can lead to injuries and equipment damage

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A sudden rise in maintenance costs or employee sick leave could be a sign that your dock leveller has lost its crown angle. That's the message from dock equipment specialist Stertil Stokvis, which is reminding dock leveller users to ensure crown angles are regularly checked.

All dock levellers need a crown angle between the platform and the lip: this allows the lip to sit on the vehicle bed without dangerous edges sitting up when above dock. The greater the crown angle, the wider the range of vehicles that can be served by the dock leveller. An effective crown angle results in a much lower level of impact on materials handling equipment and can cut maintenance costs by half. However, if the crown angle is too great, it can result in smaller vehicles, such as power-operated electrical pallet trucks (POEP's) or roll cages, tipping over and causing load spillage or, worse, injury to operators.

For those who rely on small trucks with low ground clearance to transport their pallets, Stertil's HW Ergonomic Dock Leveller has overcome this problem. The HW has a unique design which includes a front lip with a special parallelogram hinge construction, to reduce and vary the crown angle between the lip of the leveller and the platform. This is especially significant for the all-important below-dock area, where equipment with low ground clearance can ground out. The ability to vary the crown angle is crucial, with different angles recommended for trailer beds, forklift trucks, hand pallets and electric pallet trucks.

The design of the HW's energy-absorbing rear hinge means that it is sited as close as possible to the back of the dock leveller, reducing the hinge opening to the smallest possible dimension, regardless of the platform position. The hinge is set on polypropylene beds that act as shock absorbers. Also, Stertil has made the front chamfer on the lip even longer: with a starting thickness of 2.5mm, it extends back 90mm.

The HW Ergonomic Dock Leveller provides a good working range - the HW3020 gives 360mm above dock and 260mm below dock - with a minimum crown angle. This range, combined with the polypropylene strips upon which the rear hinge sits, eliminates 'hang-ups' (where pallet trucks cannot clear the crown angle) and guarantees a smooth cross-over. Expensive maintenance is kept to an absolute minimum and the leveller is easy and safe to operate. Significantly, to ensure that it can be used to replace old levellers which have come to the end of their useful lives, the HW Dock Leveller is offered in both metric and imperial sizes.

Twaron anti-slip coating is an optional extra on the HW Dock Leveller and adds to the smoothness of the transition. By transmitting far less vibration than a conventional treadplate, it is known to reduce operational noise by up to 16dB.

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