6 Dock Leveler Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

If your dock leveler is making a weird noise or if the lip won’t extend fully, you need to have it serviced. Lead time for a new dock leveler can be several weeks and even months in some cases, so it’s critical to address and repair dock leveler issues before they turn into problems that can’t be repaired.

Read on to learn about:

  • Six dock leveler problems you shouldn’t ignore
  • Dock leveler troubleshooting
  • How often do dock levelers need service?
  • When to repair vs. replace a dock leveler

Loading Dock Leveler Troubleshooting and Repair

Dock Leveler Troubleshooting

Here are some of the most common dock leveler issues:

My dock leveler is making strange noises
The underlying issue depends on the dock leveler type, but the solution is the same: have a professional dock repair person inspect and service your dock leveler.

  • Mechanical dock leveler — the springs may need adjustment, or the lip assembly may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Hydraulic dock leveler — strange noises are usually caused by an issue with the hydraulic pump; the unit may be low on hydraulic oil.
  • Air-powered dock leveler — if you’re hearing strange noises, that’s usually an issue with the motor.

The lip won’t come out/ stay down
There may not be enough tension on the springs, or the lip assembly may be damaged or broken. Have an experienced technician inspect and service your equipment.

Common Loading Dock Leveler Repair Questions

When do I need to call a repair technician?

  1. The lip is bent or cracked
  2. The lip will not fully extend
  3. The dock is above or below floor level
  4. The loading dock is rusting 
  5. The beam welds are damaged
  6. The dock leveler is making strange noises

Important note: all too often, we are called in to replace a dock leveler that was damaged in a collision and never repaired. The collision causes internal damage that gets worse and worse until the equipment is unfixable.

One of the best ways to extend the life of your dock leveler is to have it inspected by a technician following a collision and make whatever repairs are needed, no matter how minor they may seem. This will save you thousands of dollars down the road.

How often should I have my dock leveler serviced?
The recommended maintenance interval is every 90 days for a single shift operation and monthly for a multi-shift operation. We offer free, professional loading dock inspections and can provide maintenance on a monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual basis, depending on your operational needs. 

What is your dock leveler inspection process?

  • Inspect and clean debris from the dock pit
  • Inspect and clean the deck, deck assembly and lip
  • Inspect the toe guards
  • Inspect the weather seals
  • Tighten all nuts and bolts
  • Inspect all structure and welds
  • Inspect the maintenance stand
  • Inspect the rear hinge
  • Inspect, clean and lubricate front lip hinge assembly
  • Inspect the bumpers 
  • Inspect operation of dock leveler

Dock Leveler Repair in Northern California

A high-quality loading dock leveler can last as long as the building it’s attached to if properly maintained, cycled correctly and operated within its weight rating. If your dock leveler is making a strange noise or the lip won’t come out, don’t wait for the problem to go away (it won’t). When a leveler is placed out of service right away and professionally repaired, there’s an excellent chance it can be fixed and with no long-term problems. 

Schedule a free, loading dock leveler inspection online here.

Total Industries now offers loading dock repair service in the Bay Area, greater Sacramento and the Central Valley, including the following counties: 

Contra Costa
San Joaquin


Bay Area – Livermore (510) 379-5210
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Further Reading
Can Your Business Operate Without a Dock Leveler for 2-3 Months?
Dock Levelers Vs. Edge-of-Dock Levelers 
Dock Levelers – Straightforward Answers to Common Questions