Loading docks are considered essential for warehouses. With commercial garages, there is more of a decision to be made. That said, for many commercial garages, the ongoing benefits of having a loading dock far outweigh the cost of the initial investment. Here are the three main reasons why.
There are three main ways loading docks enhance safety. Firstly, they create a designated zone for loading and unloading. This is separate from the main work and/or storage areas. Having clearly-designated zones for different tasks helps to promote safety. It’s particularly important in environments where you have pedestrians and vehicles close to each other.
Secondly, they offer protection from the weather. This means that you avoid problems with rain creating slippery puddles, gusts of wind blowing people away from where they should be and excessive sun making people feel ill. You also avoid problems with items being damaged by the weather.
Thirdly, loading docks provide shelter from pests and pollutants, especially in summer. This may seem like a minor issue but some people have allergies. Even if they don’t, getting stung, bitten or generally harassed by pests is enough to distract people. Distracted people aren’t going to be focussed on keeping themselves safe let alone thinking about other people’s safety.
Modern buildings are generally climate-controlled, at least to some extent. Climate control is at its most efficient when a building’s doors are closed. In fact, in some cases, it’s best if its windows are closed as well.
Without a loading dock in your commercial garage, you’re going to need to keep your garage doors open for the full loading and/or unloading period. During this time, your climate control will be, at best, working its hardest just to keep your main commercial garage at a decent temperature. At worst, you will be paying a whole lot of money for nothing.
If, however, you have a loading dock connected to your commercial garage, you only have to open and close the doors twice per vehicle and then only briefly. Most of the time, you’ll be able to keep the doors closed and enjoy all the benefits of your climate control at a minimal cost.
Having a loading dock connected to your commercial garage essentially brings delivery vehicles into a designated area in your main workspace. This immediately takes a lot of the pressure off both the driver and your staff as a whole.
Without a loading dock, everyone has to down tools and rush to get the vehicle unloaded and/or loaded as quickly as possible so it can be out of everyone’s way. This often results in a classic example of “more haste less speed”. With a loading dock connected to your commercial garage, you can focus on deploying your staff to best effect.
This may mean that you slow down the unloading/loading of the vehicle to allow staff to focus on higher-priority tasks. You can do this because the addition of loading dock has created two distinct and safe zones, one for unloading and loading vehicles and one for other work.