Author: Amanda Clark

10 Tips to Improve Your Loading Dock Safety

Loading docks can be dangerous! Did you know that about 25% of all reported warehouse injuries occur on loading docks, and for each incident, hundreds of near misses occur. 1 Some causes of dock injuries include workers falling in gap between trucks and loading docks. Forklifts have also backed off platforms and fallen on operators. With these potential hazards in mind, it’s important to invest in safety measures for your loading docks. Here are 10 tips that will help keep your loading dock area safe:


  1. Confirm that locking devices are used on every vehicle at the loading docks.
Active vehicle restraint for loading docks

These locking devices include trailer restraints or wheel chocks if the vehicle does not have an RIG bar, or the trailer restraint cannot engage with the RIG bar. The most popular types of restraints are the Powerhook because they mount under the dock leveler and out of the elements. It is important to use locking devices because they prevent the truck from moving during loading and unloading. Workers can fall into the gap between the truck and the dock causing serious injury or death. Freight and equipment can also be damaged, further increasing the need for a locking mechanism.

2. Use safety tape or paint to identify walkway barriers, doorways, paring aisles and overhead obstacles.

Dock seal for a loading dock

This might seem like common sense, but it’s important to use brightly colored tape and/or paint to mark off the areas of where trucks are supposed to go, as well as direction for pedestrian traffic. Poorly marked areas can lead to confusion and potential accidents. The color yellow is preferred because it’s the international safety color indicating “warning.”

3. Use padding or guards around sharp corners and dock barricades on open dock edges to protect people from injuries.

Door Protectors in front of loading docks

4. Keep dock areas clean of debris.

Debris under dock leveler

If the area around the dock levelers is cluttered, the levelers might not work as intended, which could cause further accidents.

5. Be sure the dock plates and boards being used are designed for the loads and lift trucks.

Dockplates for Loading Docks

Dock plates and boards help bridge the gap between the loading docks and trucks. But if the load you’re rolling over the dock plate is heavier than the capacity, your dock plates could fail or get worn down over time, creating a potential hazard.

6. Return dock levelers to the stored position after being used below dock.

Docking Equipment installed in new building

When dock levelers are not stored properly in lip keepers, the levelers could potentially go below the dock level when driven on with a fork truck, causing injury.


7. Use dock seals or shelters to keep rain & snow off loading docks, which can create slippery surfaces.

Vermeer Dock Seal with an Active Truck Restraint System

Not only would dock shelters and seals prevent the docks from becoming slippery, but it’s also a more cost effective solution for heating and cooling and they prevent insects and birds from entering the building.


8. Consider investing in other dock safety items such as dock lights, bumpers, rail systems and trailer jacks.

Loading Dock Warning Lights

Dock lights are a great way to communicate with the truck drivers and dock personnel the status of the loading or unloading operation, reducing the amount of accidents. Bumpers, rail systems, and trailer jacks are also great ways to increase safety measures.


9. Work carefully around loading docks.

Worker Falling Off Loading Dock

Be sure not to run around loading docks or jump onto or off of docks. Stay away from dock edges. Also wear sturdy shoes with nonskid soles that are supportive around the foot and ankle. Take care to watch where you’re going on a loading dock.


10. Load and unload materials correctly to prevent injuries.

Forklift loading goods into the back of a truck

Forklifts, dollies and other aids should be used often instead of lifting goods by yourself. You should never try to lift skids or pallets alone. Use good lifting techniques when lifting heavy objects (bend at the knees and keep your back straight so your legs are doing the lifting). Be sure to wear snug-fitting gloves to get a good grip on items when lifting, loading and unloading.

Hopefully these tips have helped give you an idea of how to improve the safety measures around your loading docks. At Barron Equipment & Overhead Doors, we have service technicians that specialize in loading dock equipment and are able to inspect your loading docks to ensure they’re safe and effective. For an estimate, give us a call at 1-800-397-6690 or visit our service request page.

1. LoadDelivered, August 2017.

10 Reasons to Get a New Garage Door

Copy of 10 reasons to get a new garage door

There are lots of hesitations when it comes to purchasing a new garage door and/or opener. You may wonder if now is the right time, or if it’s worth the money. Here are 10 reasons why investing in a new garage door and opener this season would be in your best interest:


1. Curb Appeal

We’ve all been through those neighborhoods where all of the garage doors look the same. We may even live in one of those neighborhoods! Although there’s nothing wrong with monotony, a little curb appeal never hurt anyone. Many people focus on flipping the inside of houses, but the outside is just as important. A new garage door could add a lot of curb appeal to your home. Complement the color scheme of your home for a cohesive look, or opt for bolder colors to make a statement. Add some windows and hardware to create the popular barn door look. The options are endless!


2. Return on Investment

Going hand-in-hand with curb appeal, the better looking your garage door is, the more likely you’ll be able to ask for a higher price when selling your home. Most prospective buyers decide their level of interest based on the house’s exterior. When your house looks good on the outside, it will draw prospective buyers inside. A garage door replacement is one of the top ways to increase home value, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report. An estimated 76.9% of new garage door installation project costs can be recouped upon the resale of a home. This makes replacing your garage door one of the top home improvement projects when it comes to overall return on investment.

Broken Garage door

3. Safety

Upgrading your garage door can keep you safe in a couple of different of ways. For one, it could help prevent injuries, such as your garage door falling on you or your car. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are 30 thousand injuries caused by garage doors every year. With an average weight of 400 lbs per door, it’s important to ensure the safety of you and your family! All garage doors manufactured after 1993 would have a built-in safety reversing mechanism, as well as automatic shut-off systems. That being said, if you have a garage door older than 1993, it’s time to upgrade! If your garage door is newer than 1993, you will want to make sure the safety systems are working properly. Some studies done by the CPSC has shown that even newer safety mechanisms have trouble detecting children. Either way, it’s best to make sure your garage door is safe.

new door on new house

4. Efficiency

A huge trend amongst consumers these days is making sure the products you buy for your home are long-lasting and energy efficient. Because garage doors are the largest entry to the exterior of your home, it can lose the most amount of heat, creating a big problem for energy efficiency. To avoid this problem, make sure to get a garage door that has good insulation. Not only can insulation help with energy efficiency, but it also allows for quieter operation and increased overall door strength and durability.

Wooden door on brick house

5. Lower Utility Bills

Going along with efficiency, if you invest in a new garage door with a higher R-value, you will save money on your heating bills. That’s because the R-value represents the ability to slow the transmission of heat. A higher R-value has a slower transmission of heat, which means less heat escaping your garage in the winter and less heat invading your garage in the summer. Therefore, when it comes to R-values for garage doors, the higher the better!

Deana Wager After

6. Safe Storage

In the Midwest, we see some extreme weather year round. You want to make sure that garage door can protect you and your belongings during times of inclement weather. If the garage door is insecure and becomes compromised, all of your belongings inside of the garage could be at risk to damage. If you have an attached garage, the inside of your home could also be at risk.

gray garage doors from the side

7. Less Maintenance

When you get a new garage door, you’ll be surprised with how little you’ll have to do to maintain it. Metal garage doors are extremely low maintenance and won’t require much attention. Winterizing your door each Fall will be about all you’ll need to do to make sure everything is working properly.


8. Quieter Operation

Nobody likes a noisy garage door! New doors with a higher R-value are quieter than doors that are not insulated. Polyurethane insulation also adheres to the walls of the door and is an excellent sound insulator.

wireless opener features

9. Wireless Smart Home Features

Often times, a new garage door will come with a new opener. High-tech features are now available with newer garage door opener models such as built-in wi-fi. This built in wi-fi allows users to have an app on their mobile device that controls the opener. If you forget to close your garage door, or you’re miles away and a friend or family member needs to get in without a code, you can easily open or close the garage door from you mobile device. You can also receive alerts when your garage door is opened or closed.


10. Security

Lastly, with new technologies available, securing your garage door is now easier than ever. You’ll be able to see when your garage door is open and closed, giving you peace of mind. In addition to constant monitoring, metal garage doors are much tougher for burglars to get into, making your belongings safer.

With all of these reasons, a new garage door just makes sense! Spring is the perfect time to focus on updating the exterior of your home. At Barron Equipment & Overhead Doors, we carry the top lines of garage door models on the market! Stop by our showroom (on Brady Street in Davenport, across from Walnut Center) to see samples of the most popular models on the market. Our team of garage door experts will be able to assist you in finding the perfect garage door for your home. The time is now! See our full line of garage doors on our website.

Local Company, National Capabilities

Why would a company out of Indiana hire a small company out of Iowa to install a modular office in their factory? One word–speed.

International Paper out of Crawfordsville, Indiana needed a large project done in their factory in a very short amount of time. The plan was to take out an old conveyor, put in a new one, and install a modular office, all within 10 days. The contractor hired to do the job does quite a bit of work with our vendor, Porta-King. Porta-King is a company out of Missouri that manufactures portable buildings, shelters, wall partitions and mezzanines. A modular in-plant office was requested for this particular project and Dan Maras, a Midwest Regional Sales Manager for Porta-King, knew just who to call to install the modular office quickly and effectively.

“We have done quite a bit of work with Barron in the past and we knew how fast they are with installing buildings and equipment,” said Dan.


With a 10 day turnaround, this needed to be implemented as quickly as possible. Larry Venden, our Service Manager, loaded up supplies and 3 other guys and took a road trip out to Crawfordsville, about 4 hours from our home office. Within 2 days of arriving on the site, the modular building was complete.

This particular building was unique with its application as a control room. The modular office was built on a raised platform with computer flooring to allow for electrical to get to the building.

No matter when or where, our team is able to install equipment faster and more effectively than the competition. We are thankful to Porta-King for the opportunity to show that even though we’re a small, local, Iowa company, we can perform at a national level.