Dock Bumper Selection Guide

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Select Porter Industrial Supply’s Experience

Various factors comprise the loading dock system and contribute to the efficient transfer of goods and materials. Dock bumpers, dock levelers, dock lights, dock height, wheel chocks, and door seals or shelters should all be considered when designing a dock system. Contact us, and we will be happy to help you create the most cost-effective bumper system available.

Dock Bumper Arrangements

Most dock bumper installations should have vertical and horizontal coverage of the dock area for complete dock, truck and cargo protection.

For example, protection for an 8´ bay is usually best accomplished with two vertical bumpers and one horizontal bumper of standard length.

Our optional overlapping arrangements provide continuous protection and minimize installation costs. An additional row guarantees protection for vehicles of various heights.

When dock seals or shelters are used, extralength, one-piece bumpers will completely seal trucks to the dock protecting cargo and employees from the elements.

Bumper Heights

Durable’s standard bumper heights are 6˝, 10˝, or 12˝. The height can be increased by expanding the angle length and “stacking” bumper pads between them to create vertical units—20˝, 24˝, and 36˝.

The primary application for the 6˝ unit is on lip docks where the dock slab projects beyond the foundation with an impact face of less than 10˝ high.

The 10˝ unit is widely used for standard height docks that accommodate standard, or approximately equal-height trucks.

The heavier constructed 12˝ unit provides greater area and cube of rubber with a stronger steel frame (three connecting rods).

The 20”, 24”, or 36” vertical heights provide extended depth protection for varying truck heights (Fig. 1) for the lower steel members of trailer bodies. Consider them for docks that accommodate panel and peddle trucks as well as over-the-road trailers.

Vertical units are particularly applicable with truck leveling devices that raise the entire truck to dock level. Combined with horizontal units, (Figs. 3 & 4), vertical units prevent a loaded trailer from prying off the shorter bumpers as the truck bed rises while being unloaded (Fig. 2).

For Open Docks

For open docks with no predetermined
truck spots, combination installations provide
maximum protection (Fig. 3).

If 36˝ horizontal length units are
used, maximum spacing should be 24˝
between units—5´ on centers (Fig. 6).

For an angled truck approach, spacing
should be reduced to prevent a truck
corner from contacting the dock
between units.

If continuous bumper protection is
needed, overlapping installations on
common anchor bolts are recommended
and reduce anchor bolt costs by 50%
(Fig. 5).

Overlapping reduces the spacing
between each bumper to 4˝, and is applicable
to any Durable laminated bumper

Overlapping angles on adjacent
bumpers cuts installation costs and
increases the protected area. To order,
specify standard model for first
bumper at left, and “OL” construction
on successive bumpers. Special-length
bumpers to fill out dock spaces are
also available.

For open docks or wide bays, extralength,
one-piece bumpers can also be
used for maximum coverage and
appearance (Fig. 7).

For 8´, 9´, or 10´ Bays

For 8´, 9´, or 10´ bays a variety of
combinations exist. We recommend a
combination of standard and vertical
bumper designs (Fig. 3 & 4) for dock

For Refrigerated Doors
(with or without dock shelters)

Refrigerated doors require 4-1/2˝ or
6˝ thick, extra-length, one-piece bumpers
to completely seal the truck to the dock or

The same applies to doors sealed to
maintain warm temperatures. With shelters,
the rubber surface of the bumper
must extend under the vertical members
of the shelter pad to complete the allaround
seal (Fig. 7).

For Portable Dock Plates

A 36˝ unit mounted in the center of the
dock will automatically allow for dock plate
insertion, even if a truck is spotted against
the bumpers at the dock. With 3˝ angles
on all bumpers, a 6˝ space is provided
between units for the legs of the dock plate.

Continue to fill the width of the bay with
standard or vertical units as needed.

For Adjustable Dock Boards

If using 14˝ lengths, height should be
minimum 12˝, (Figs. 8a, 8b). Most dock
boards handle 4-1/2˝ or 6˝ thick
bumpers and will not impair lip penetration
into the truck.

If using horizontal bumpers, use
similar to 24˝ units but with steel plate
replacing the inboard angle. Fig. 9
shows damage from “short spacing”.

Fig. 10 shows “lateral safety zone”
impact absorption advantage provided
by longer bumpers.

Bumper Installation

Install bumpers (Fig. 11) 1˝ to 2˝ below
dock level. Use 3/4˝ or 5/8˝ lag bolts or
sleeve anchors; minimum length 3˝ and use
corresponding shield if required. Use 3/4˝
“J” bolts with a minimum length of 8˝ with
1-1/4˝ projection.