What is the life expectancy of a dock leveler?


Doctor examining a loading dock

In business, it's good to be prepared. 

Being prepared could be the difference between utter disaster and a minor setback. Additionally, being willing and able to have a plan in place can create a sense of calm in the face of a fiasco, and potentially save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the meantime. 

The warehouse and storage industry is no exception to this reality, especially for dock levelers. Knowing what to expect and how to plan is essential to reducing costs and minimizing safety hazards. 

Part of knowing what to expect refers to knowing how long a dock leveler may be used, or in other terms, knowing the life expectancy of a dock leveler.

The life expectancy of a dock leveler can last the life expectancy of the building or warehouse in which it was installed. Nevertheless, this can only come with proper care, maintenance, and timely servicing. 

However, with that, there are a few caveats. 

For a mechanical leveler, while it is the cheapest dock leveler to install, it typically only has a 5-7 year life expectancy. This can be mainly due to (but not solely) the springs on the dock wearing out, the hold downs weakening and failing, or even not properly maintaining the equipment.

For a hydraulic dock leveler, the minimum life expectancy is ten years. After the 10-year mark, they have exceeded their safety net and most likely will need to be replaced. The most common issues are the motors going out or the welds breaking. This is especially true when the dock leveler is used over capacity or past the 10-year mark. 

Note these are what some experts have claimed. We've seen them last much longer. There are a lot of parts you can replace on a loading dock leveler. Proper maintenance and use and not letting the lower-performing employees attack them with a forklift or semi will significantly extend their life. 


Paul Hildebrandt
Owner, Parts Brite

My background is in Electrical and Software Engineering, but since I started PartsBrite.com in 2016, I've focused on everything related to docks.   
My team and I are here to help those looking to repair or replace their dock levelers, bumpers, door, and door lights.

1-855-PartsBrite  |   partsbrite.com  |   paul@partsbrite.com

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