The loading dock is the gateway for products in and out of any cold storage facility. A traditional loading dock requires truck drivers to break the security seal and open the truck doors before finishing backing in and docking. If this process isn’t completed in a timely manner, it could damage temperature-sensitive products. It also creates opportunities for theft, tampering and drive approach accidents.
The gold standard for any industry that depends on a strong cold chain is to implement a “drive-through” application at the loading dock. In addition to securing the cold chain, this loading dock solution can prevent product from being tampered with or stolen and helps maintain cold chain integrity, environmental control and security.
A drive-through set-up requires more than just one product; it entails a system of equipment that works together. The core component is a load house which is a modular housing system that combined with a dock shelter, a dock door and a dock leveller forms a stand-alone docking system that can be attached to the building. This allows the trailer to back all the way into the loading dock before the security seals are broken and trailer doors can be opened into the load house – meaning loads are never exposed to outside weather or contaminants and people are kept out of harm’s way on the drive approach.
The other key to a drive-through application is creating a complete environmental seal between the back end of the semi-trailer and the inside of the loading dock. This can be done with loading dock shelters specifically designed for drive-through docks.
Through special design features, these shelters provide tight sealing against trailer sides, across the full width of the trailer top and at the corners, without interfering with trailer doors being opened and closed the trailer has been parked at the dock and secured.
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Image: Placing a load house in front of a building is the key for a drive through-operation and saves costly interior space on the inside.