About to embark on a logistical expansion? There are a few things to know when operating a depot and dock.
Count yourself blessed if you have your own storage space. Warehouses are not cheap to run but they do allow you to handle your own products, ensuring they are kept to the best quality right up to arrival at customers’ homes. But you’re in even better shape if you also own your own delivery service. The trucks you operate are the lifeline from your business to the customer. They bridge the gap and offer you the ability to fulfill orders on your own time instead of waiting for another company. However, those trucks need maintaining and for that, you have a depot.
The depot is where your trucks get updated, repaired and inspected by industry-standard inspectors. If you’re about to embark on this logistical expansion, then there are a few things you need to learn to do when it comes to operating your own depot and dock.
Overextension and drops
The first point of order to operate a loading dock safely is to make sure employees do not overextend and are protected against the drop. Trucks have a high storage bay as their tires are large to withstand the weight. This means there is a decent drop from the platform of the dock to the floor. Red painted ‘no crossing’ lines are essential for the docking bays. There should be channels which employees use to load the trucks. Preferably, one channel per truck, so there’s one way in and one way out. This prevents a free-for-all and maintains order. When you’re loading very heavy pallets, the last thing you want is employees bumping into each other. The channel should be painted in yellow lines to present a hazardous warning.
Maintaining the fleet
The depot is where all the sick angels come to get their medicine. Trucks that are in a little worse for wear shape, should be repaired in your depot. Depots have equipment designed for trucks to be stored safely as well as be refueled. For safety, you should contain oil and fuel spills with oil stop values. If you have an oil spillage you can wash away the oil with water, but the valves will split the oil from the water allowing you to safely recoup the losses and get rid of the wastewater safely. The PVC valve is for smaller spills but the stainless steel version is for industrial needs. The depot should have solid floors so no spills can be absorbed into the soil or grass.
Every week, your depot and loading dock should be in communication with each other about how many trucks are available and what kinds of issues they have. Drivers can inform the depot about repairs that are needed but still use them to load a new batch of orders. To create a smooth flow of trucks coming to the loading dock, the warehouse manager and the fleet manager need to inform each other of demand and the safe-to-run number of trucks.
It’s amazing to have your very own fleet to deliver products to your customers and to your distributing partners. But the maintenance is a high priority to keep these trucks that do thousands of miles a week in good working order.