Your facility houses your operation, which means that any imperfections in it could potentially impact your inventory and processes. While much of a facility manager's attention is generally focused on what goes on inside the four walls of the building, it's also important to regularly inspect the outside of it to detect any damage.
Next time you're reviewing your building, look for these four types of damage that can have major consequences for your operation:
Missing or broken dock bumpers
They may be easy to overlook, but the dock bumpers affixed to your building provide necessary protection for your facility. Bumpers prevent trucks backing up to the loading dock from striking the side of your building, thus reducing the chances of cracks or chips to appear in the concrete.
Once damages such as these begin to appear, they can worsen quickly. A small crack can easily grow larger with continued impacts or if rain, ice or snow make their way inside. If your dock bumpers have lost corners due to overuse or have fallen off the building completely, you'll want to remedy this type of damage as soon as possible.
You have several options for dock bumpers, and the right one depends on your operation. Molded bumpers are one of the most common choices, but laminated and steel face dock bumpers offer additional protection and are generally longer lasting.
Cracking or chunking concrete
Perhaps the most obvious type of exterior facility damage, cracking or chunking concrete can expose your building to a number of problems.
Cracks or chips may provide small openings into your facility, through which rain, wind, debris, bugs or rodents could pass. Chunking concrete can also lead to damage to other facility elements such as the loading dock leveler.
Imperfections in the concrete can make replacing other facility assets more difficult. It's not only challenging, but simply poor practice, to install a new dock leveler or dock door when the surrounding concrete is missing chunks.
These types of damage can happen in a number of ways, including trucks backing up to the dock improperly or incorrectly driven forklifts colliding with the exterior. Determining the root cause of the issue will help you come up with a plan to avoid it in the future.
Bent or broken dock shelters or seals
The dock shelters or seals attached to your facility provide numerous benefits, including increased protection from the weather, improved climate control and better control over the cleanliness of your facility. However, these advantages deteriorate when the dock shelter is bent or the dock seal is broken.
Dock shelters can bend when a truck backs into them accidentally. Shelters can either be rigid or flexible, and the rigid varieties are generally more prone to damage than flexible models.
Dock seals can become damaged when trucks move away from the dock too quickly or improperly. They can be ripped from the facility or sustain tears in their fabric. They are also more prone to damage than shelters because they endure the weight of the truck being backed up into them, as opposed to shelters, which are fitted overhead and on the sides of the truck.
Loading docks are the interface between your facility and your supply chain, which makes these systems are integral to your productivity. Make sure yours are in optimal condition with the help of Miner: https://t.co/8D2cfCPYfZ pic.twitter.com/pDSTOTcLKo
— Miner Corporation (@MinerCorp) 23. 2018.
Missing or ineffective truck restraints
Truck restraints are a critical safety device for facilities. They hold the trailer stable throughout the entire loading or unloading process, ensuring that trailer creep or jostling doesn't prevent forklift drivers from safely entering and exiting the truck.
Unfortunately, not all facilities have truck restraints. Some may have wheel chocks, which are also designed to keep trucks stationary but aren't always as reliable as truck restraints. Others have no prevention methods at all. In these locations, there's always a risk of things going awry at the loading dock.
If your loading dock doesn't have truck restraints or wheel chocks, or the restraints aren't operational, it's critical that they be installed or replaced. These will not only keep your workers safe from potential harm, but also reduce the risk of damaged inventory due to an unexpected moving trailer.
Improve your facility exterior with Miner's help
These four types of damage can greatly impact your operation in terms of safety, sanitation, climate control and more. If your building shows any of these problems, fixing them will benefit your facility and overall operation. Miner can help with all four of these issues and more. To learn more about working with Miner, request a quote or complimentary consultation today.