Find answers to the most common questions about industrial doors and dock loading.

Industrial Doors and Docks FAQ

Do you have questions about selecting and purchasing your door from us? Do you even need a door? Find the answer from our industrial doors and docks FAQ: the most frequently asked questions our clients ask us about industrial doors and docks.

Door FAQs

What is an industrial door?

What is a high speed door?

How do I choose the right industrial door?

What is an impact door?

How do I choose the right cold storage door?

What is the purpose of an impact door?

What is the criteria for the “correct door for the application”?

How do I choose the correct Ulti Group industrial door?

What is Ulti Group’s position on Warranties?


Dock FAQs

What is a dock leveller?

How do I choose the right dock leveller?

What is a vehicle restraint?

How do I choose the right restraint?

What are the questions to ask when choosing a restraint?

How often do you service Air-Ride trailers?

What about “aggressive pullout”?

Do you load liftgate trailers?

Do you service detached trailers?

What is a dock seal or shelter?

How do I choose a dock seal or shelter?


 

What is an industrial door?

Industrial doors are barriers used to separate environments of a facility, yet allow a passage through when needed. There are many different types of industrial doors, including: high speed roll-up doors, bi-parting doors, bi-rolling doors, sectional doors, rolling steel doors, screen doors and impact doors. Each type of door can bring distinct features to an application.

Different types of doors may be appropriate for different applications. Before deciding on a specific door style, contact Ulti Group and speak to a representative who will help you decide which door will be the best solution for your challenge.


 

What is a high speed door?

High speed doors are designed for fast open and close, allowing people and/or equipment to move quickly through an opening. When properly applied, they can increase environmental separation, productivity and safety, and reduce maintenance costs.

There are two basic designs of high speed doors: roll-up and bi-parting. Roll-up doors open vertically, while bi-parting doors open horizontally from the center. The specific application must be examined to determine which style is ideal, as each design has distinct features and benefits.

An Ulti Group representative can walk you through the entire process to help you select the best industrial door for your application. Please Contact Us with your request.


 

How do I choose the right industrial door?

Today, selecting the right industrial door for your facility can be more complicated than ever. There are a variety of door styles, types and configurations on the market today, so it’s easy to understand why choosing the best industrial door is a difficult decision.

In addition, not all doors are the same. A misapplied door can cause serious problems with environmental control, efficiency, durability and safety, while a properly applied door can: improve safety, increase productivity, save energy, minimize maintenance and repair costs, enhance plant productivity, and provide the best overall return on investment.

There are six factors to consider, which will help you determine the best total door solution for your facility:

  1. Environmental Control
  2. Efficiency
  3. Durability
  4. Safety
  5. Activation
  6. Selection

1.Determine Importance of Environmental Control.
The most common reason for purchasing an industrial door is to separate different environments. There are several factors which can affect environmental control. These include: environmental separation, sealing, speed of operation, security and quality control. By examining these factors and their importance to you, you will be one step closer to choosing the door that will provide the best environmental control for your application.

2.Examine how Efficiency can be Improved.
Proper door selection can improve the efficiency of a facility. For example, a fast passage time allows equipment to move quickly through the opening, increasing productivity. Also, optimizing the traffic flow through a facility will improve efficiency, and will increase the productivity of your employees and machinery. A closer look at the issues affecting efficiency will help you make the right door decision.

3.Choose a Door Designed for Durability.
The durability of a door can be determined by the following criteria: performance, impactability, maintenance needs and service support. Choose a door which was designed to meet your durability requirements.

4.Make the Safest Choice Possible.
Because safety is important at every facility, factors must be considered which can affect safety. For example, the type and flow of traffic at the opening can contribute to safety concerns. Also consider visibility needs at the opening. A high traffic opening will require more visibility than an opening with minimal traffic. Finally, look for the potential for accidents and choose a door which will help prevent those accidents.

5.Activation of Power Doors is as Important as the Door Itself.
Activation is often taken for granted in door selection, however properly activated doors can provide many benefits. Use activation to your advantage to improve safety, increase environmental separation, customize door operation, improve productivity, eliminate false cycles, minimize door impacts, and lower maintenance and downtime. To determine the best activation for your application, look at the traffic, equipment going through and around the opening, the physical characteristics of the opening, and the types of industrial door activation offered.

6.Final Selection is a Total Door Solution.
The door manufacturer you choose should provide a total solution, not just hardware. You should expect innovative products with state-of-the-art features. But, you’re not only choosing an industrial door, you’re also choosing a company. Make sure you select a manufacturer and local dealer who stand behind the equipment and provide complete service and support. Ask about a company’s track record with existing customers. Ask for a product demonstration, and visit a field site where the equipment has been installed for some time. Check out the availability of service specialists. Ask about guaranteed life expectancy of the door and make sure you get written warranties.


 

What is an impact door?

A door which is impacted or pushed open by the machine, load or personnel going through. Sometimes a door may be accidentally impacted when one of these objects is moving through it and some doors are designed to be ‘impactable’, so the door breaks away from its tracks, lessening the damage on the door panels or skin. Some are also fitted with automatic re-feed technology, so the door completes the next cycle after being knocked out and it repairs itself, feeding its slats or curtain back into the guides.


 

How do I choose the right cold storage door?

Today, selecting the right cold storage door for your facility can be more complicated than ever. There are a variety of doors on the market today, so it’s easy to understand why choosing the best cold storage door is a difficult decision.

In addition, not all doors are the same. A misapplied door can cause serious problems with environmental control, efficiency, durability and safety, while a properly applied door can: improve safety, increase productivity, save energy, minimize maintenance and repair costs, enhance plant productivity, and provide the best overall return on investment.

There are six factors to consider, which will help you determine the best total cold storage door solution for your facility.

  1. Environmental Control
  2. Efficiency
  3. Durability
  4. Safety
  5. Activation
  6. Selection

 

1.The Importance of Environmental Control.
Environmental control is critical in cold storage facilities. There are several factors which can affect environmental control. These include: environmental separation, sealing, speed of operation, security and quality control. By examining these factors and their importance to you, you will be one step closer to choosing the best cold storage door for your application.

2.Examine how Efficiency can be Improved.
Proper door selection can improve the efficiency of a facility. For example, a fast passage time allows equipment to move quickly through the opening, increasing productivity. Also, optimizing the traffic flow through a facility will improve efficiency, and will increase the productivity of your employees. A closer look at the issues affecting efficiency will help you make the right door decision.

3.Choose a Door Designed for Durability.
The durability of a door can be determined by the following criteria: performance, impactability, maintenance needs and service support. Choose a door which was designed to meet your durability requirements.

4.Make the Safest Choice Possible.
Because safety is important at every facility, factors must be considered which can affect safety. For example, the type and flow of traffic at the opening can contribute to safety concerns. Also consider visibility needs at the opening. A high traffic opening will require more visibility than an opening with minimal traffic. Finally, look for the potential for accidents and choose a door which will help prevent those accidents.

5.Activation of Power Doors is as Important as the Door Itself.
Activation is often taken for granted in door selection, however properly activated doors can provide many benefits. Use activation to your advantage to improve safety, increase environmental separation, customize door operation, improve productivity, eliminate false cycles, minimize door impacts, and lower maintenance and downtime. To determine the best activation for your application, look at the traffic, equipment going through and around the opening, the physical characteristics of the opening, and the types of activation offered.

6.Final Selection is a Total Door Solution.
The door manufacturer you choose should provide a total solution, not just hardware. You should expect innovative products with state-of-the-art features. But, you’re not only choosing an industrial door, you’re also choosing a company. Make sure you select a manufacturer and local dealer who stand behind the equipment and provide complete service and support. Ask about a company’s track record with existing customers. Ask for a product demonstration, and visit a field site where the equipment has been installed for some time. Check out the availability of service specialists. Ask about guaranteed life expectancy of the door and make sure you get written warranties.


 

What is the purpose of an impact door?

  • Energy conservation
  • Environmental control
  • Free flow of traffic
  • Employee comfort
  • Division of spaces
  • Reduction of maintenance


 

What is the criteria for the “correct door for the application”?

  • Traffic
  • Type of traffic
  • Width and height of the loads
  • Number of cycles
  • Traffic patterns

Jamb Conditions

  • Width of jamb
  • Construction of jamb, steel or wood
  • Can a correct jamb be installed
  • Should mounting brackets be used

Purpose of Door

  • Temperature
  • Sound attenuation
  • Humidity control
  • Contamination control
  • Reduce traffic speed

Specific Conditions

  • Wash Down
  • Pressure
  • Floor incline or decline
  • Interior or exterior location
  • Existing transom
  • Existing overhead door or fire door
  • Oversized opening for transom or dutch door design


 

How do I choose the correct Ulti Group industrial door?

Here are some guidelines that will help.

When door is to be installed for temperature control:

  • Check the temperatures on each side of the opening.
  • A 30 degree variance determines the door model & facing material.
  • A fully sealed .50 – 2.0 cm thick impact door will provide a good thermal barrier.

Width of the opening determines the available clearance for traffic passing through:

  • The width of the traffic must be no more than 60% of the opening width. For example, a fork lift is normally 122 cm wide; this would require the width of the opening to be 228 cm or more.

Measurement & observation of the opening is extremely important:

  • It is essential to measure three widths & three heights.
  • If there’s an error in measuring, the installation of the door is jeopardized.
  • Look for a floor that is not level. If the floor inclines or declines, it will affect the manufactured size of the proposed door.

The door is only as good as the jamb where it is installed:

  • Check your options when it comes to mounting brackets. A number of choices are available to aid with proper installation.
  • In lieu of the recommended jambs, there are alternatives.

An impact door is not designed for high cycle usage:

  • 30 cycles per hour is the maximum.

A correctly designed door can be used in wash down or cooler applications:

  • Educate yourself on the wash down process. If chemicals are used, find out their concentration should it affect the door’s materials.
  • Cooler temperatures are very important as well as customer expectations for temperature control.


 

What is Ulti Group’s position on warranties?

We stand behind the products we manufacture and the service we provide, offering warranties that go beyond those that are typically offered in the industry. Customers can rest assured they are covered with our parts and labor warranties and product specific warranties.

For more information on Ulti Group warranties, including others that may be available, contact us.


 

What is a dock leveller?

Dock levellers are devices used to bridge the gap between the dock and the trailer during loading and unloading. Many trailers come in with bed heights either above or below the height of the dock. Dock levellers move up or down to meet the trailer bed so that forklifts can make a smooth, safe transition into and out of the trailer.

Dock levellers are also known as dock boards or dock plates.

In addition to their basic function, dock levellers can also enhance safety and productivity on the dock through a variety of design features. Different types of levellers are appropriate for different industries and/or different operations.


 

How do I choose the right dock leveller?

Today, selecting the right dock leveller for your facility can be more complicated than ever. New models are being introduced. Truck designs are changing. Productivity is critical. And safety is becoming an even bigger issue at docks across the country.

There are now three basic types of dock levellers: hydraulic, mechanical, and power assisted mechanical units. Each design has its place, depending on the application, but there are distinct differences between each type. So before you select a leveller for your facility, follow this simple six-step procedure for evaluating your needs. By analyzing these key areas, you’ll be able to choose the best equipment for your operation.

Here’s a brief look at the topics we cover:

  • Your Specific Needs
  • Safety
  • Ease of Operation
  • Maintenance
  • Reliability/Durability
  • Manufacturer Support

Step 1: Consider your specific needs.
Different operations place different demands on a dock leveller. Make sure that the leveller you choose matches your individual requirements. Consider the types of vehicles that will use your dock, trailer dimensions, frequency of use and load capacities. All of these factors will help determine the leveller that’s best designed for your operation.

Step 2: Put employee safety first.
Safety is one of the most critical considerations when selecting any loading dock equipment. The leveller covers the “danger zone” – that gap between the dock and trailer that is crossed by forklifts up to 100,000 times per year. Make sure that the levellers you choose are built for maximum safety in four key areas: (1) vacant dock drop-off protection; (2) free-fall protection; (3) protecting cross-traffic against voids in the floor; and (4) protecting personnel during leveller maintenance.

Step 3: Look for easy operation.
Convenience is a key consideration in choosing your leveller. For optimum productivity, you want a system that’s easy to learn, easy to operate and easy on your personnel. You need to look at the convenience of operation for the three leveller types, hydraulic, mechanical, and power-assisted mechanical to determine which is best suited for your facility. Push-button vs. pull chain, full range float, and lip extension/retraction are just a few of the issues to consider.

Step 4: Consider maintenance costs.
Initial cost is just part of the picture when evaluating your leveller purchase. Anticipated maintenance and repair costs are also vital factors. Consider the accessibility of components for servicing. Look for simplicity of design. Check the overall quality of construction. And consider the frequency of required maintenance. Levellers can vary widely on these points, which all contribute to the overall lifetime ownership cost of the unit.

Step 5: Look for reliability and durability.
To get maximum reliability from your dock leveller, consider your specific application and make sure the equipment can meet the challenge. Structural differences between competitive models may not be obvious at first glance. So when evaluating equipment, look closely for dependable design, quality construction, strength and stability. These factors should give you more dependable performance, longer leveller life and lower ownership costs.

Step 6:Check manufacturer and representative support.
When you choose a dock leveler, you’re making a long-term investment. You’re choosing an important product. And you’re also choosing a company. Make sure you select a manufacturer and local dealer who stand behind the equipment and provide complete service and support. Ask about a company’s track record with existing customers. Ask for a product demonstration, and visit a field site where the equipment has been installed for some time. Check out the availability of service specialists. Ask about guaranteed life expectancy of the leveller and make sure you get written warranties.

 


 

What is a vehicle restraint?

Vehicle restraints, or trailer restraints, are devices that latch onto trailers to keep them from separating from the dock during loading/unloading.

They were first introduced in 1980 as a better solution than wheel chocks, which were known to be ineffective. Restraints have been recognized by OSHA since 1981 as an acceptable alternative to wheel chocks.

Types of Trailer Separation: There are five typical causes of trailer separation that can lead to serious accidents if the forklift and driver fall into the gap created between the trailer and the dock:

Trailer Creep – Also known as Dock Walk. The trailer gradually moves away from the dock due to the ongoing impact and momentum of the forklift traveling in and out of the trailer. Eventually the leveller lip loses contact with the bed of the trailer and a dangerous gap results between the trailer and dock. Air-ride trailers compound the problem.

Early Departure – The truck driver mistakenly pulls away from the dock before loading operations are complete. Due primarily to lack of communication between truck driver and dock workers.

Landing Gear Failure – Weak or corroded landing gear give way under the impact of loading and the spotted trailer collapses to the ground.

Trailer Upending – A form of trailer tipover, usually on pup trailers, where the first heavy load placed in the nose of the trailer causes the rear of the trailer to rise.

Collision with adjacent trucks – Another form of tipover whereby a truck departing from one dock position collides with a spotted trailer in the adjacent position, causing it to tip.

Accident Facts: Accidents associated with trailer separation at the dock are documented regularly. These accidents are typically very serious and often fatal. They are also extremely costly, due to direct costs of medical care and product and equipment damage, as well as the indirect costs of lost time and increased insurance premiums.


 

How do I choose the right restraint?

The most important things to consider when evaluating different restraints is how well they prevent trailer separation and how reliably they communicate. Factors specific to your operation will also help guide the selection process. Not all restraints perform the same. You need to consider: Your Specific Needs.

Types of trailers you service

  • Dock layout
  • Loading practices
  • Facility design

Restraint Effectiveness Against Trailer Creep

  • Below dock endloads
  • Air-ride trailers

Restraint Effectiveness Against Early Departure

  • Gradual vs. aggressive pullout attempts
  • Effectiveness of different restraint designs

Restraint Effectiveness Against Trailer Tipover

  • Landing gear failure
  • Trailer up-ending
  • Collision with other trucks

Communication

  • System components
  • Safe/unsafe condition alerts

Types of Vehicle Restraints: There are several different types of vehicle restraints. Each style provides a different degree of protection against trailer separation.

RIG Dependent – Restraint attaches onto the trailer’s RIG (rear impact guard or ICC bar) Vertical barrier restraints – Can address trailer creep and early departure.

Rotating hook restraints – Can address trailer creep, early departure, landing gear failure and trailer tipover.

Wheel Dependent – Restraint engages trailer’s rear wheel(s) instead of the RIG. Used often with lift gate trailers.


 

What are the questions to ask when choosing a restraint?

Without the right restraint, you could face steep consequences. The trailer restraint was engaged on the truck’s rear impact guard. The forklift driver felt safe. He wasn’t. As he entered with a load, the trailer bounced on its air suspension. The rear impact guard “hopped” over the restraint barrier, the trailer edged forward, and the forklift tumbled into the gap between dock and trailer.

The young man’s company had seen the futility of wheel chocks and had invested in trailer restraints. But why did this restraint fail to prevent a tragic accident? Because its design did not account for the specific challenges of this company’s loading operations. The lesson is simple: Not all restraints are the same. The wrong one can put you at risk. If you haven’t given up on wheel chocks – you should! – then you need to evaluate restraints with care. You need to ask questions.


 

How often do you service Air-Ride trailers?

At least a third of all trucks have Air-Ride suspensions, in which an air-inflated bladder supports the trailer. As forklifts come and go, the trailer bed height can fluctuate by several centimeters. Your restraint must always keep its grip. A restraint that exerts substantial, consistent pressure against the lower surface of the rear impact guard has the best chance of maintaining safe engagement during rapid bed height movement.


 

What about “aggressive pullout”?

Suppose a trucker really tries to break away. What kind of restraint is most likely to hold? Many factors come into play: the type of restraining barrier, the shape of the rear impact guard, the slope of the dock approach, the strength and durability of the restraint itself. Some restraints hold a lot better than others. In some circumstances, some may not hold at all.


 

Do you load liftgate trailers?

Conventional restraints aren’t designed to hold trucks with hydraulic liftgates, or those with very low frames. If you service such trucks, restraints are available that engage the rear wheels instead of the rear impact guard.


 

Do you service detached trailers?

All restraints can help keep trailers from moving straight out. But trailers spotted on landing gear pose special concerns. Suppose the landing gear collapses. The trailer’s front end drops, the back end lifts up, and the rear impact guard can float right over the restraint barrier. If you want to service spotted trailers safely, you need a restraint that protects in three dimensions – outward, upward, side-ways. Only a restraint with a rotating hook can trap the rear impact guard against all these movements.

There’s still more to think about.
Will the restraint you’re considering let you safely handle below-dock end loads? Will it provide clear communication between truckers and dock attendants? Can its manufacturer show you a long list of repeat users who attest to its performance and long-term durability?

Dock Accidents Are Expensive. People Are Priceless.
Sure, it’s complicated. But remember, every time a forklift enters a truck, your employee’s life is on the line. And so is your business. Don’t leave gaps in your dock safety system. Ask questions, and invest in restraints that guard against all the hazards you might face. Because “safer than wheel chocks” is not safe enough. Talk to an expert.


 

What is a dock seal or shelter?

Dock seals and shelters are fabric structures that surround the top and sides of a loading dock door opening. Dock seals and shelters are designed to be contacted by the trailer as it backs in to the loading dock. Lack or loss of environmental control through an unsealed door can create safety and productivity problems on the loading dock including: employee discomfort, energy loss, theft or security concerns, product damage or contamination, insect infiltration, slippery or dangerous conditions, and loss of temperature control.

Every loading dock sealing situation is unique and to determine your specific needs, examine the following factors: situation, environmental control, access, long life, support and options.


 

How do I choose a dock seal or shelter?

Ulti Group Seals & Shelters Selection Guide
Choosing the right dock seals or shelters can save you money and increase the safety and efficiency of your operation. But there are no “off-the-shelf” solutions. Your situation is unique. So when selecting these products for your facility, consider five key points, represented by the letters S.E.A.L.S. – Situation, Environmental Control, Access, Long Life and Support.

Situation
The types of trucks you serve and the design of your building greatly affect your choice of seals and shelters. The wider the variety of trucks serviced, the more flexibility you must have.

Layout of your dock, inclines or declines of the approach, building wall construction, size of the door opening and position of adjacent structures all affect your choice of seals and shelters. The right selection can help provide years of productive service.

Environmental Control
Protection from the elements, energy loss and safety are important issues when considering the sealing efficiency of your seals and shelters. Temperature control, water infiltration, wind, dirt and debris, slippery conditions, energy loss, insect infiltration, product damage, theft and employee comfort are all factors that you need to address at your loading dock.

Access
While environmental control considerations are important, your choice of seal or shelter design can also affect your ability to access the loads on the trailer – directly impacting your productivity and costs. Limited access can lead to the load impacting the seal or shelter, causing damage and downtime. To ensure proper access, identify the load situations that are most often encountered at your facility.

Long Life
The product features you choose help determine the life of your seals and shelters, and can minimize repair costs. In addition to volume of trailer traffic, consider the other factors that contribute to wear when selecting product features. For example, trends in trailer design such as air-ride systems, cause added wear on you seals or shelters. Armor Pleats with proper spacing, strong fabrics and other options can give you greater durability and more years of productive service.

Support
When you choose Ulti Group seals or shelters, you’re getting the world’s leading brand of Shelters and Seals – Rite Hite. So you can be confident these products are backed by the very best warranties, support, and service in the business. With their worldwide network of highly trained service specialists, you get prompt, professional response for installation, maintenance and follow-up services. Only Ulti Group and Rite Hite offers you all these advantages.