Distribution Facility Invests in New Warehouse with Over 110 Docks
A regional distributor turned to long-time partner DH Pace for dock doors and equipment on a new facility.
In the early 1970’s a local family grocery store partnered with DH Pace to provide maintenance on the doors at their retail locations, as well as their frozen food and grocery warehouse. Over time, the family business grew and expanded into other markets outside the local region. Such growth made it necessary to expand their warehouse.
In the late 1980’s, the existing relationship between the distributor and DH Pace made it a natural fit to partner again to install new dock levelers and dock seals for their frozen foods and dry warehouse expansion. In that project, DH Pace provided dock levelers and dock seals for the newly added loading docks. DH Pace continued to provide maintenance for the docks at the distributor’s facilities.
Over the span of nearly thirty years, the distributor continued to expand their operations and eventually outgrew their warehouse capacity again. This time, they decided they needed a new warehouse and distribution facility in order to best serve their customers and the expanded regional communities in which they operate. At nearly $2 million in dock and door equipment alone, the new warehouse project was one of the largest buildings in the region. The project scope included over 110 dock positions.
Once again, the grocer partnered with DH Pace to provide a variety of products and installation. The storied history the companies shared made it a comfortable fit for such a large and involved construction project. Safety and low total cost of ownership were major themes in selecting the materials for this project. All told, the project consisted of procuring and installing the following materials:
- More than 115 impactable sectional doors
- Over 110 master control panels with stanchions
- Over 110 energy-saving LED dock lights
- Over 110 heavy-duty pleated dock seal enclosures with reinforced framing
- Over 110 trailer restraint systems
- Almost 60 hydraulic dock levelers
- 55 Vertical storing dock levelers
- Nearly 30 insulated sectional steel commercial doors in truck service and non-food areas
- 8 High-volume low-speed (HVLS) fans
- 6 High speed fabric doors
- 3 Commercial rolling steel fire doors
Since the facility served as the distribution point for both dry grocery items and frozen goods, it was imperative to evaluate the conditions for each type of loading area and select products optimized for each use. For dry grocery items, standard dock levelers were a good fit. For the frozen goods, specialized dock levelers for a freezer or cooler environments were required.
DH Pace also provided trailer restraints for each dock position. These dock restraints keep trailers from unintentionally moving away from the dock position. They also included master control panels with an integrated communications light package. Similar to a stoplight system, the communications lights have indicators in both the inside and the outside of the dock. The indicator turns green outside the dock to let the driver know it’s safe to depart while the interior indicator displays red to signal to dock workers that the trailer is not secured and therefore unsafe to attempt to enter the dock. The distributor had been using similar dock restraints with integrated communications and specified that they be included in the new facility as well.
Dock safety was paramount in this project. The DH Pace team considered all the details necessary for safe use of the docks and related equipment. Long term, this represents a large savings of money in potential health insurance costs and worker’s compensation claims. Overall, attention to safety increased morale in the dock. Good, positive morale and safe equipment lends itself to more productive employees who take care of good equipment that helps to keep them safe.
Sealing the docks was another key requirement. Keeping the inside environment sealed off from the outside environment, temperature changes and potential insects. The pleated dock enclosures also represent enormous efficiency savings over time. The specific dock enclosures also make the sealed environments safe from insects, light or gaps which are obstacles to overcome for positive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections.
Knowing that dock doors withstand abuse over time from continued use, the distributor wanted to make a solid investment. DH Pace recommended impactable sectional dock doors built to withstand impact and break away from the tracks without damaging the door. The high insulation value of the dock doors also contribute to energy efficiency.
The project also called for several high speed fabric doors separating areas of the warehouse, such as from wet rooms to dry storage or from temperature-controlled areas to areas with ambient temperatures. In addition to productivity improvement, the doors help control energy loss. The high speed doors save on maintenance costs in that they are designed for continuous operation. There are traditional rolling steel doors and conventional insulated sectional doors in the facility as well. To capitalize on efficiency and provide a comfortable working environment, DH Pace also installed high speed low volume (HSLV) fans to recirculate the air in the area.
DH Pace helped the distributor specify, acquire and install a diverse amount of building equipment for their new warehouse facility. By fully understanding the nuances of the customer’s needs, the Pace team delivered on all counts. Focusing on the customer’s low cost of ownership and safety requirements, combined with superior product knowledge, resulted in the best possible investment for the distributor.