Loading Dock Bumpers

Loading Dock Bumpers protect the dock from the impact force of backing trucks/trailers, that can cause structural damage to the loading dock, dock equipment and building. The impact force of an approaching truck/trailer can generate up 45,359kg of impact force. Irrespective to the location of your dock, be it a back dock, or side dock, your facility needs protection. The impact resilience and strength of dock bumpers can aid in preventing damage from occurring. Blue Giant provides several styles of dock bumper designs, and a general guideline of factors to consider when applying dock bumpers for your application needs.

Factors That Affect Dock Bumper Selection;

A) Dock Height B) Dock Approach C) Truck Bed Heights To Be Serviced D) Truck/Trailer Traffic Volume Per Shift – Light (1-3), Moderate (4-8) or Heavy (over 8 trucks) E) Dock Equipment To Be Used (Dock Leveller or Portable Plate).

Dock Bumpers

Blue Giant dock bumpers are available in “molded” and “laminated” styles, with an optional steel face plate available, depending on the specific model.

Dock Bumper Thickness

Blue Giant dock bumpers are available in three (3) standard thickness of 4″, 4.5″ and 5.5″, depending on the specific model. Dock bumper thickness of 4″ – 4.5″ is suitable for most standard application, to effectively protect the dock from the impact forces of backing trucks/trailers. For moderate to heavy traffic applications a 5.5″ thick dock bumper provides greater impact absorption ability. Caution should be taken when increasing bumper projection beyond standard which can reduce the loading dock levellers lip projection onto the bed of the truck/trailer.

Note: If greater bumper projection is required consider Cantilevered Docks and Pit Projections or bumper build-outs of proper strength and construction, while maintaining proper dock leveller lip projection upon the bed of the truck/trailer. Replacement cost of standard style dock bumpers vs. extra-thick dock bumpers can be a dramatic life-time cost savings

Dock Bumper Height

Blue Giant dock bumpers are available in several heights, 10″, 13″, 18″, 20″ and 30″, depending on the specific style and model. Docks servicing air-ride-trailers should consider the vertical height of the loading dock bumper closely, for the maximum raised and lower height for air-ride-trailers arriving at the dock. When air is released from suspension system, of an air-ride-trailer, the bed can plunge downward causing the trailer to loose contact with the loading dock bumpers. The result can cause the trailer to become a “giant pry-bar” which can damage the dock and short vertical height dock bumpers.

Raised bumper brackets should be consider when a truck/trailer bed height is higher than dock height. Applying raised bumper brackets can prevent damage to the dock equipment and structural damage to the building wall.

Optional Steel Face Plates

Steel face plate bumpers are used for high frequency/heavy impact applications, where yard jockey trucks are used for trailer positioning and/or when air-ride-trailers are encountered. A steel face plate on your loading dock bumper, offers protection against unusual wear, provides smooth transition for trailer travel during loading/unloading and greater life for your dock bumpers – which can reduce the frequency and cost of replacing dock bumpers in the future.

Portable Dock Plate Applications

When portable dock plates are considered, dock bumper spacing must allow for the dock plate’s vertical support legs to fit between the chosen bumper spacing. With the truck/trailer spotted solid against the dock bumpers, the 4″ to 5.5″ bumper projection will allow for the insertion of the portable dock plate support legs.

Note: Confirm dock plate’s vertical support legs spacing with client and/or dock plate manufacturer.

Bumper Mounting

There are multiple ways to mount dock bumpers to the loading dock. The drawings below show several examples of installed dock bumpers; first example shows dock bumpers mounted to an open dock application and second example shows multiple details on dock bumper mounting for recessed dock levelers.

Bumper Installation

Dock bumpers can be affixed by several means of anchoring to a well constructed loading dock, as noted below;

A) Lag bolts or sleeve anchors with minimum 4″ length. B) Welded – plug weld, stitch weld and/or continuous weld (all welds to be cleaned and receive touch-up paint, as required). C) Cast in anchors (anchor projection from dock face requirement to be suited to bumper(s) selected).