Trailer restraints are a great tool for promoting safety and protecting workers at a loading dock. With anything that carries a critical role at your facility, a critical eye to detail and attention must be applied. This includes wear and tear on a trailer restraint, which can compromise the effectiveness over time potentially leading to accidents and damage to equipment.
When performing preventive maintenance or evaluating your loading dock, there are signs to look for when determining if you need to replace your restraint.
Compromised Integrity or Damage
The most obvious sign is visible damage to the restraint system. This can include the track or housing, hook, or wiring components including the control panel. Check for bent or broken components, severe rust, or signs of structural weakness. Even minor damage can compromise the restraint's ability to secure a trailer.
One red flag of a poorly performing restraint is inconsistent truck engagement. This can include trouble operating, positioning, locking into place, or staying engaged. Secure trailer engagement and disengagement should occur every time the restraint is operated.
Frequent Repairs and Maintenance
If you find that your loading dock restraint is in need of constant repairs beyond normal scheduled maintenance, it may be a sign of age and compromised components. More repairs may be coming, and it may be more cost-effective in the long run to have it replaced. Frequent breakdowns and maintenance can lead to operational downtime and increased expenses, making an upgrade a practical choice.
Advancements in loading dock safety technology are continually evolving. If your restraint system is outdated and lacks modern safety features, it's a sign that it might be time for an upgrade. New technology like myQ by LiftMaster/Systems allows for maintenance tracking, activation history, and more with advanced sensors for added safety and ease of use. LED communication lights and advanced controls are also commonly found on newer vehicle restraint systems.
A well functioning dock restraint is a critical feature of a well performing loading dock where safety is a priority. When evaluating your equipment, action should be taken if any of the above signs are recognized on a restraint. Replacing a damaged or worn dock restraint can prevent accidents and promote a safer working environment. Maintaining a well functioning restraint prioritizes safety at your dock and improves overall efficiency of operations. Call us today at 855-951-4499 for a tune-up and to assess your dock restraint performance.