Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why Your Loading Dock Needs Dock Lights

Employee safety is one of the most important aspects of any industrial operation, warehouse, manufacturing plant or distribution center, but it's not the only reason that your loading dock should have dock lights.  Loading dock lights provide multiple benefits that help increase the efficiency of your business while simultaneously creating a safer work environment. 

Safety Benefits of Installing Loading Dock Lights 

The most obvious reason for providing dock lights for your crew is their personal safety.  Dock lights illuminate the area, making it easier for workers to see where they're going, spot gaps between the truck and dock and avoid other potential dangers.  Fumbling around in the dark isn't fun regardless of what you're doing, but throw in a hundred palettes, a two-ton forklift and thousands of pounds of equipment and that mild discomfort turns into a potentially deadly situation. 

While you might think that the delivery truck's interior lights should be enough to get the job done, many trucks don't have interior lighting and even if they do, they might not always be operational.  Having loading dock lights prevents your workers from having to struggle to unload goods with one hand, the other holding a flashlight.  

Alternatively, they can work in teams with one worker holding the flashlight, but then you are losing out in productivity and essentially paying two men to do one job.  In other words, it is simply not cost-effective to neglect loading dock light installation. 

Cost and Time Benefits of Loading Dock Lights

This brings us directly to the financial reasons for installing lights on your loading dock.  The quicker your crew can get the trucks loaded and unloaded, the higher turn-around rate your business will have.  Further, if you don't have a dedicated dock crew, spending less time during the loading and unloading process allows your employees to get back to their other tasks. 

By making it easier to see inside the trucks and on (and around) the loading dock, you make the entire operation run more efficiently.  As any good facility manager can tell you, increased efficiency and productivity in any aspect of an operation only results in lower overhead and higher profitability.  Essentially, loading dock lights are an investment in your returns. 

Versatility of Loading Dock Lights

For those of you who are worried about the dock lights getting in the way, loading dock lights now come in a wide assortment of models and types.  You don't have to have fixed dock lights anymore, a worry of some dock managers who have a wide array of delivery types and sizes.  If you need options and the ability to accommodate all types of deliveries, loading dock lights rise up to your need for versatility. 

Dock lights on extendable/retractable metal arms can be stored safely on the wall and extend to the job as needed.  This not only allows you to keep the dock lights out of the way when you don't need them, but also gives your workers the ability to get light exactly where they need it. 

Further, dock lights also serve another purpose, acting as a communications instrument between your loading crew and the delivery truck driver.  When the loading dock lights are on, the driver will know that the crew is back there working and won't accidentally pull away from the dock, causing potential injury as well as damage to goods.  

When it's all said and done, there are absolutely no downsides to loading dock lights.  They pay for themselves in time by eliminating costly on-site injuries and loss of goods due to damage, all while increasing your operation's efficiency. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

When Your Automatic Garage Door Won’t Open

While garage doors are generally one of the more reliable devices in a home, they can certainly try a homeowner's patience when they fail to function properly – especially in a driving rainstorm. If yours stops working reliably, here is a quick rundown on what to check:

Replace the Batteries in the Remote.  A small oversight but one that happens often in small electronic devices is to forget to change the batteries on a regular basis. It is more of a nuisance than a problem with the remote control for the garage. Just keep a few extra batteries in the fridge and you can solve your garage door “problem” in less than five minutes.

Reset the Fuse Box.  Most garage doors are not directly wired so the unit's electrical plug will often become loose due to the constant shaking of the door. This in turn can cause the circuit breaker to “trip.” Take quick look inside the fuse box, locate any problem and then flip the tripped switch back to the correct position to immediately solve your problem.

Examine the Release Line.  The release line of a garage door is intended to allow the homeowner to open the door in case of power loss or to safely work on the unit. Unfortunately, it is also an “attractive nuisance” for children. By simply grabbing the line and pulling it down, your teenager can disconnect the door from the opening mechanism. To fix – simply push up the little catch at the top of the line and run the unit through one cycle.

Clean the Electric Eye.  With all the activity that goes on in a garage, there is inevitably a mass of debris or other items that tend to accumulate around the bottom of the garage door near its electric eye. In addition, the eye can often be knocked out of position by a wayward bike tire, thrown basketball or some other activity. In every case, it is simply a matter of unblocking the eye and making sure that it is communicating with its partner to resolve the issue.

Look for Broken Wires.  Similarly, the intense activity that occurs in most garages can easily cut or dislodge the many small wires that are required to properly activate and power a modern automatic garage door. Without a doubt, it is difficult for the average homeowner to know what to look for. In many cases, this is a job for an experienced garage door technician.

Inspect the Springs.  Every garage door uses a spring of one kind or another to counterbalance the weight of the door. Some are located along the top of the door while others travel from the door along the outside of the door track. In either case, these items eventually fail and motor is simply unable to open the door. Repairing this problem is tricky and can be quite dangerous. If you do not know exactly what you are doing, please follow the next suggestion.

Call A Professional.  Unfortunately, garage doors do fail after years of use. When this happens, a homeowner has no choice but to call a professional and have the unit replaced. The cost is relatively insignificant when one considers the security and the convenience that an automatic garage door provides.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Choosing the Right Personnel Door for Your Business

Choosing the right personnel door for your property or business often boils down to a few factors. If the door is exposed to the outside elements on one side, for instance, that might dictate a hollow-metal personnel door whereas a personnel door intended for an office might call for a glass door with a discrete aluminum frame. 

It's important to consider how much traffic the door will get from customers as well as the door's durability and energy efficiency. Let's take a look at some common personnel door styles and the ideal use for each. 

Revolving Door 

Revolving doors are great for energy efficiency since customers can pass in and out of your facility without letting in too much cold air or releasing too much heat from your building. A revolving door would, therefore, work well in colder climates in which a lot of customers or personnel were coming and going. 

Although revolving doors are affordable, property managers shouldn't worry too much about the cost since they'll get paid back and then some considering the years of energy efficiency ahead. Many revolving doors even have sweeps on the bottom and weather stripping to give you even more energy efficiency from October to March.  

If you regularly experience a high volume of customers or peaks throughout the day, then a revolving door is a solid choice. You can have upwards of a thousand people going in and out every hour after installing a revolving door. These doors also look great and provide you with extra security via deadbolt locks. 

Blast-Resistant Door 

Blast-resistant doors are the ideal way to balance practicality, style and long-term durability. These doors are frequently used in financial institutions and government facilities.
The most common frame for this type of door is steel or aluminum, and with a blast-resistant door you're getting an extremely robust cut of glass encased in a strong frame that can battle the elements and then some. 

For these reasons, blast-resistant doors are perfect for outdoor use or when you need a little more protection than a traditional door.

Interior Wood Door 

If you're looking for a personnel door that's only going to see indoor use, then an interior door is an excellent way to spruce up an office space. Interior wood doors are heavily customizable and come in a variety of materials and stains. 

Installing an interior wood door is often relatively simple with the help of a qualified professional. Another great feature of interior wood doors is their discreteness - you and your customers can come and go without disturbing any of the day's work. 

Hollow-Metal Door 

In the same way that interior woods doors are often used indoors, hollow-metal doors are typically used in cases where one side is exposed to the outdoors. Hollow-metal doors, in other words, are incredibly durable because of their straightforward, utilitarian design. 

There are usually very few upkeep costs with owning a hollow-metal door, and these doors often provide a lot of privacy since they fit in so snugly with your door's preexisting frame and hinge. In short, a hollow-metal door is an affordable and incredible robust option for a personnel door that will last for years to come. 

Choosing the Right Door 

Finding the right personnel door often comes down to the type of facility that you oversee. If you experience high traffic and energy efficiency is a concern, then a revolving door might be a good option whereas an interior wood door might work better in an upscale office environment. Although all of the options above are durable, your particular use will dictate your decision.