GRANT MADILL, HALLS TRANSPORT’S GM OF OPERATIONS, EXPLAINS THE BENEFITS OF USING KELLY VERTICAL DOCK LEVELLERS
Kelley Vertical Levellers Give Halls Transport Platform For Growth
The dock equipment enables Halls Transport to get the most out of their new Christchurch site. Unlike standard dock levellers, which are installed in a deep concrete pit, vertical dock levellers are installed along the edge of a continuous shelf that runs the full length of the loading dock. The shelf configuration simplifies architectural design and construction and is the easiest application to clean and maintain, which is a benefit Halls embraced fully. “We use verticals,” says Grant Madill, “because by eliminating the pit, keeping the dock area clean is easy”.
Having vertical levellers in their facility offers Halls more energy efficiency and temperature control. Unlike traditional pit-mounted levellers, which often allow air to escape through the gaps around the perimeter of the leveller, a vertical leveller blocks air loss by enabling the dock door to be completely closed and sealed against the warehouse floor.
The levellers can allow trailer doors to swing into the facility, eliminating the need to open the doors before backing into position, and thus eliminating the risk of temperature fluctuation
that results in spoilage.
In the specification phase of the facility, vertical levellers from a different manufacturer were looked at and a major mistake was seen because they embed the conduit under the concrete floor, leaving it exposed on the pit shelf and susceptible to damage as well as making it very difficult to keep the dock area clean and clear of debris.
The Kelley levellers, on the other hand, have a much cleaner installation, which Halls appreciates, given their emphasis on cleanliness. Halls likes the ability to mound the Kelly hydraulic pump and motor on a custom stanchion to the side of each leveller, creating a clean and streamlined setup. The hoses and conduit for the pump are run under the concrete, providing them with unobstructed access to the area around the leveller of easy cleaning.
Management throughout the supply chain is keenly concerned about cleanliness, which as Grant puts it, “is very important for us”. He feels keeping the dock clean impacts the ability to deliver a safe product to the table and comply with food regulations. The tidy environment demonstrates to visiting customers that Halls embraces new technologies especially with definte advantages to the Hall’s operation and supply chain in general.
The levellers keep up with the pace of operation at Halls. Along with the cylinder that powers platform deployment, a separate hydraulic cylinder controls lip positioning on the leveller for more efficient operation.
Moreover, according to Grant, “The levellers appear to be a whole lot stronger that what we had been using before, especially the beefier size of the shaft on the hydraulic units that deploy the
During the peak times of the year, Halls fill up all of their dock positions with traffic, so each and every one of their levellers must be ready and able to operate during the two-shift
operation. The strong construction of the Kelley Vertical Leveller ensures that the dock position is always available.
To protect their dock equipment, the dock doorway includes an electric eye sensor. If the door is closed, the leveller will not operate, preventing damage to the door. The Kelley leveller also has a fused-disconnect on the control box should power need to be disconnected quickly.
Throughout its years in the foodservice business, Halls Transport has had an appetite for growth. Paying special attention to their dock equipment has enabled them to be not only a larger company, but a smarter one.