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Ideal power packs for dock levelling systems ben lee

Lorries and other transportation vehicles are the backbone of the logistics industry – without large scale transport it is impossible to move goods around the supply chain and to their final destination.  Lorries take items from suppliers and distributors to other companies who sell or deliver the goods to the customer, and transportation is required for this stage of the process as well.  In order to effect swift and efficient loading these vehicles reverse up to a loading dock, which is built up from ground level to provide a loading area that is more in line with the height of the lorry bed.  A platform at the back of the lorry bridges the gap between the vehicle and the warehouse and this is where hydraulics come in to play.


There are two types of platform that lorries can have, a swing lip or a telescopic lip.  The swing lip style is the one most people are familiar with – the platform lowers down through 90°, from its upright position at the rear of the vehicle to meet the loading dock.  Although it is called a swing lip it does not swing down dramatically, instead hydraulic rams lower it gently down, combatting the effects of gravity.  When loading is finished the same hydraulic system raises the swing lip platform back into position.  The telescopic lip platform is hidden under the bed of the lorry and extends out horizontally to meet the loading dock.  Double height lorries (those which have two floors inside the trailer) use a hydraulically operated lift to meet the ground, raise to the level of the lower floor and further on to the top floor.  They must be capable of carrying a heavy load, like a motorcycle or other vehicles that need to be transported.


Both systems rely on a hydraulic system that effects motion in more than one direction.  Swing lip platforms are raised and lowered in a controlled manner, using hydraulic rams that operate in two directions.  There is one ram on either side of the platform and these can usually be operated together or individually, to enable the operator to get the panel into position on uneven ground.  Telescopic lip platforms are more complex, as the platform needs to be moveable across the horizontal and vertical axes.  Hydraulic rams move the platform out from underneath the lorry and move it back in, once loading is complete.  Another hydraulic circuit effects vertical motion of the platform once it is deployed; loading docks are not a uniform height and when you factor in the change in height of the lorry bed, depending on the amount of goods inside, we see that a larger range of motion is needed.


240v power packs are most commonly used in lorry loading platforms, as they offer an ideal amount of power to run the hydraulic system that must move a heavy platform.  The hydraulic rams that move the platforms (of either type) run off this power pack, which is capable of powering one movement system for swing lip platforms, and two for telescopic lip platforms.  Our 24v DC power pack can also output 1.8kW of power, which is ideal for most lorry lift systems.   


In applications where the lift will be in operation frequently during a short space of time, it is important to use a hydraulic power pack that will not overheat, as this can impact on productivity.  In heavy duty applications a fan cooled motor means the system will not overheat while in use. The smaller power packs we build have thermal protection built in, to prevent overheating and subsequent damage to the components.  We have a good range of mini hydraulic power packs perfect for these applications, so take a look at our range today and see which is the best fit for your needs.

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