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The Loading Pit

loading dock pit

To reduce the difference in height between the yard and the truck floor, two options are possible:

  • Raise the dock floor up to the level of the truck floor
  • Create a depressed driveway approach.

For more information on How to design a loading bay download our brochure:

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The construction of the loading pit may cause some construction challenges due to unfavourable soil conditions or the ground water level.
A steep decline can create problems because when a lorry is not horizontal during loading or unloading operations, the following problems may occur:

  • Loads on trollies can roll-out when the truck’s doors are opened
  • Difficult to load and inload on an incline
  • Internal handling equipment is under increased pressure
  • Rainwater from the vehicle accumulates in the pit
  • Dock bumpers under extreme pressure
  • Damage to the overhead door and building
loading dock pit dimensions

Flat Lane

loading dock pit

A flat lane of 16-18 metres may be the solution directly at the front of the dock before the slope begins. A drainage channel is necessary to allow drainage of rainwater. In this situation the vehicle is parked straight which allowing for smooth and simplified loading and unloading.

A good loading pit is straight and has a maximum gradient of 10%


The height difference between the straight lane and the road should be bridged with a gradient percentage of a maximum of 10%. When this incline is larger than 10%, problems can arise as trucks drive in and out. In extreme circumstances, a truck cabin and trailer may even hit each other.

Do I Need a Loading Pit?

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