Dock Locks And Vehicle RestraintsThe loading area between the truck and the warehouse is one of the most hazardous areas for forklift operators and warehouse employees. Thousands of workers are injured or killed each year due to trailer creep, premature truck departures and sloppy placement. 

It’s a sad fact that safety measures aren’t considered until
after a serious accident occurs. Many loading dock accidents can be prevented with a simple dock lock, also known as a vehicle restraint. A dock lock is inexpensive protection against a worst-case scenario, such as a forklift falling off the dock. It takes up very little space, and you may be able to get a discount on your insurance for being proactive about loading dock safety.


Vehicle Restraints: Lock & Load Vs. A Truck Lock

The most popular types of loading dock vehicle restraints are a Lock & Load, which mounts cantilever-style to the dock face, and the Truck Lock.  The Truck Lock  can accommodate a greater number of styles and sizes of trailers and containers, but it involves a more complex installation process. A third option, the Lock-Up, can be used if the trailer (or inter-modal container chassis) has an obstruction at the rear impact guard (RIG). Basically, the Lock-Up uses a vertical arm, where the Lock-N-Load utilizes a hook.


Lock & Load Dock Lock

The Lock & Load secures the truck trailer to the loading dock by engaging the RIG with a large, rotating hook attached to the building. Once the truck has backed into position, a spring-loaded, structural steel housing automatically positions the dock lock after making contact with the trailer.  A dock employee pushes a button to activate the hook, and the restraint adjusts automatically with trailer float motion to ensure alignment. When engaged, the dock lock will restrain the truck – up to a pullout force of 38,000 lbs.


Truck Lock

The Truck Lock holds trucks and trailers in place using a high-visibility barrier-style ram bar. The bar prevents accidental separation during loading and unloading and can withstand a pullout force of 30,000 lbs.

Truck Locks are available in cast-in style and flange style and attach to  the concrete drive, not the dock wall, to prevent damage to the building . Bolt-in, also known as flange-style housing is designed to be relocated to a different position on the dock if needed, whereas a cast-in housing unit is meant to stay in one place.

TMH offers complete dock safety solutions including dock locks, dock levelers and edge of docks. For example, a vehicle restraint can be used in conjunction with a dock leveler and controlled by one panel – ensuring ease of use and complete compatibility between the leveler and restraint. Let us know how we can help make your loading dock safer and more efficient. Contact us online, or by phone.

East Bay – Livermore (510) 473-8151
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Further Reading
Dock Levelers vs. Edge of Docks 
Warehouse Dock Systems from TMH 
Conducting a Warehouse Safety Audit: Checklist and Tips 
Forklift Safety Guide