Loading bays need three key elements for success; efficiency, safety and speed. A bottleneck in any of these means potential loss of time and money. Here are a few quick tips for better loading and unloading of trailers:
1. Have your dock areas clearly numbered.
Truckers save time when they know they are to back up to door # 2 and can clearly see the dock numbers from their tractor cabs. It is also good to have slanted lines painted or marked to expedite alignment when backing up.
2. Have your staff be efficient with the red and green lights.
If you utilize red and green lights for ready and not-ready indicators, be sure the lights are illuminated quickly as the status of the load changes. Require your warehouse shipping and receiving staff to change the status of the lights as soon as possible. Do not inconvenience a trucker who is ready to pull out by allowing the red light to be on while the warehouse personnel go get coffee.
3. Invest in good tools of the industry.
Dock bumpers, bright curbs, dock lights and wheel chocks all encourage and support safety. Do not forget the value of good exterior and interior lighting in the docking areas also. Well illuminated docks help drivers maneuver their rigs for parking and backing up quickly and safely. To keep dock entry areas secure, yet allow for air movement in hot weather; consider folding, scissor-style security gates.