Loading bay wheel guides are long physical barriers used to guide HGV drivers in loading bays. Their design provides a visual aid to drivers and helps them to line up correctly and safely at loading docks. The loading bay guides can also reduce the risk of trucks impacting with each other or nearby assets.
Loading bay wheel guides are generally installed on either side of the lane leading up to the dock entrance or doorway. Aligning them along the truck parking bay will help drivers to line up correctly with the dock and keep trailers straight.
Having loading bay guides in place will help with reducing damage to nearby assets, infrastructure and equipment. They can also reduce the risk of harm to employees working at the bays, boosting loading bay protection.
Combine loading bay wheel guides with truck wheel stops to bring trucks to a stop safely and effectively in truck parking bays. Loading bay buffers can also prevent damage to walls, pillars or columns when installed.
Loading bay wheel guides are highly necesary to safety at loading docks. They will -
- Allow trucks to line up evenly - once lined up evenly it will make it easier for warehouse staff to load or unload goods.
- Reducing the risk of collisions - having a tough buffer in place will reduce the risk of collisions
- Help avoid expensive damage to nearby assets - if collisions can be avoided it will help save on expensive repair or replacment of assets
- Protect loading bay employees from injury - trucks that may be parked at odd angles or not in the right manner may put warehouse staff at risk
- Help to create an even seal against loading dock doors or platforms - parking trucks as straight as possible will help the drivers to line up against the loading docks and lock any taillifts in place securely
When choosing loading bay wheel guides it is recommended to go with steel over concrete for the following reasons
- Steel is much more durable than concrete - steel designs tend to last longer outdoors and can be powder coated to preserve bright colours
- Easier to install - steel truck guides can be bolted down with ease, where it takes much longer to install concrete options.
- More cost-effective - steel guides can be installed at a much lower cost compared to concrete. Also, steel is much easier to repair or replace in the instance of damage.
- Better visibility - steel guides can be powder coated to increase their overall visibility to truck drivers.
Steel wheel guides are the best option for any standard loading bay. Steel guides are usually single pieces for easier installation into the ground. Also, they are much easier to repair or replace if damaged, as opposed to concrete guides.
Truck wheel stops are also essential for loading bays. While the HGV wheel guides will direct the driver, truck wheel stops will help to bring the vehicle to a halt at the end of the parking bay.
Dock bumpers and loading bay buffers are also ideal for protecting walls and walkways. By putting a buffer between the truck and buildings it can help to reduce impact damage. Additional lighting or reflective material around the dock can also help the driver to see the loading bay and where to stop the truck.
Before installing wheel guides it is crucial to carry out a risk assessment of the area. When checking the area be sure to note:
- How the area is laid out - how the loading bay is laid out may determine where the wheel guides will go. Having long stretches before docks or bays may mean that more wheel guides are required.
- What kinds of vehicles are being used in the area - the size of the vehicles in the area is crucial to what kind of product you need on site. While some lightweight options are suitable for most trucks, other heavy-duty all-steel options may be best for articulated lorries.
- The frequency of traffic - how frequent the traffic is in the area also means that other products like bollards or markers may be needed. Highly visible bollards can be used alongside the wheel guides to give a further boost to driver visibility in the area.
There are several types of wheel guides that are suitable to use in loading bays.
- Straight wheel guides - a straight wheel guide pair provides the most simple guiding option in loading bays. The straight barriers form a direct line with the loading bay lane or dock.
- Cranked wheel guides - these guides use splayed ends to act as an aid to the driver and provide an easy entry into the lane or loading bay.
- Low-profile guides - low profile wheel guides are used where vehicles have a lower wheel diameter. This is ideal where trailers and double-decker trailers are used.
- Flexible wheel guides - flexible guides will bend on impact should it happen. This gives the driver more warning when pushing against the guide and reduces the overall risk of damage to the truck and the guides themselves.