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Side Load Dock Well - Picture with Definition

Last Updated Feb. 17, 2022

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front view image of side loading truck well added to a grade level warehouse facility | Warehouse Finder

side view image of side loading truck well added to a grade level warehouse facility | Warehouse FinderA side load dock well allows for dock-high loading access to containers in a truck court with very limited depth off of a grade level warehouse. This is a reasonable solution for warehouses without a standard truck loading area. Simply put, the truck pulls in parallel with the side of the warehouse and backs into the dock well - a sloped and paved hole in the driveway - to the point where the back of the container is even with the dock. In this case, the dock height is 4 feet from the bottom of the truck well. The truck backs up to a covered platform where cargo is offloaded and can be taken into the grade level building without going up or down. A similar side configuration for a grade level building involves installing an elevated dock. The disadvantage of an elevated dock in conjunction with a grade-level building is that the cargo will need to be taken up or down a separate ramp between the dock and the building. In the attached photos, there is an awning attached to the building and covering to dock area. Installing an awning helps to protect fork lifts and materials being loaded/unloaded. This well is fair in design as it is wide enought to facilitate trucks needing to back up to the dock and looks to possibly be able to handle 2 containers at one time. The only apparent drawbacks are that the well is fairly short, which increases the slope of the container, and the fact that water collects in the dock - which should really be dealt with. The slope CAN cause issues for heavy freight loading/unloading.

If you’ve ended up with a grade level building, and you find that you need at least some dock-high loading capability, have a look at our article on How to Use a Grade Level Facility for Dock-High Loading.

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