A loading bay is an area of a warehouse or building where goods are loaded on or off a vehicle. Also known as loading docks, they are usually found in industrial buildings like manufacturing plants and warehouses. They are used to maintain order in the movement of goods coming in and out of the facility.
Loading bays are known to be one of the busiest areas of a warehouse. As such, business owners need to ensure that the location of loading bays is efficient and safe. With vehicles and people constantly moving around the area, loading bays should have a specific design to avoid confusion and accidents. A well-planned loading bay can provide safety for equipment, goods, workers and the warehouse. Installing traffic signals and warning lights are also recommended.
What are the Different Types of Loading Bays?
Enclosed Loading Bay
An enclosed loading bay allows vehicles to park inside the building or sheltered areas during loading, which makes it great for climate control and product protection. However, this type of loading dock is not commonly used because of its design. It tends to take up a large amount of space and it requires a ventilation system for exhaust fumes produced by vehicles in an enclosed setting.
Saw Tooth Loading Bay
This type of loading bay is used when there is limited space. The design involves angled spaces next to each other, which makes it easier for vehicles to back up to them. It also allows the trucks to leave the bay effortlessly as they are already lined up in the direction of the driveway. However, if you plan to have this type of dock, take note that extra warehouse space is required.
This loading dock is not a common option but can be required in particular situations. Open docks are typically covered by a roof or canopy but are not enclosed on the sides. Because of its design, it does not offer that much protection. Both the workers and cargo are subject to varied weather conditions, like heavy rain and the heat from the sun.
Flush docks are the most popular loading bays used in warehouses today. This design allows the back of the truck to attach seamlessly to the dock. It ultimately saves space because it does not require an enclosure for the delivery vehicle. To avoid damaging the wall, the dock bumper must extend four inches beyond the outside wall.
Cantilever Loading Bay
This design has a dock face or foundation wall that spreads past the buildings outside walls. Nevertheless, this type of loading bay can prevent damage to dock equipment, vehicles and building walls, if there is a dock bumper in place
Types of Loading Bay Lights
LED or Xenon Strobe Beacons
These lights are excellent tools for warehouses who want to improve landing bay security, safety, and efficiency. LED or Xenon Strobe Beacons can provide warning signals to help drivers avoid collisions.
Stop and Go Lights
Stop and go lights are used for organising the traffic flow in loading bay areas. It helps manage vehicle entries and departures by signalling with green and red lights. These lights can give instructions to the driver, informing if they are clear to back into the bay or if they need to stop. It also alerts the bay personnel regarding the status of the dock and the vehicles.
With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, TPS Gates & Doors is a family run business that offers high-quality factory and warehouse security services to our valued customers. Our team of expert engineers can repair, replace, service and maintain your loading bays and provide you with a detailed report for your records. For any enquiries or for a competitive quotation, phone us on 01594 840408 or fill out this contact form.