Design your loading bay to avoid on-site bottlenecks. Effectively designed road layouts enable vehicles to travel quickly and safely with a minimum of manoeuvring and eliminating congestion. Efficient traffic management, including strict control over the directional flow of traffic, will also contribute greatly to safe and smooth vehicle movement and speed-up the expedition process.
For instance, in countries where trucks are driven on the left, a clockwise system around a warehouse makes it easier for drivers. For countries where you drive on the right handside the reverse is true: anti-clockwise. This system of traffic regulation ensures that drivers’ blind spots are eliminated when reversing into position.
When designing a loading bay it is essential to take into account the different vehicle dimensions. In most European countries, a truck with a trailer length of 18 metres is permitted. If you do not have accurate information concerning truck dimensions, please check.
The parking and manoeuvring space in front of the dock should be twice the length of the longest vehicle plus and extra two metres, for example
a 18 metre long trailer requires a space of 38 metres. Furthermore, the minimum space between the truck and the dock wall should be 1.4 metres.
The road itself can be made of concrete, asphalt, concrete plates, paving or other stone slabs. Whilst concrete can be costly initially, it is very durable and can endure the weight of heavy vehicles and trailers and thus can be a good investment in the long-term. Wheel guides contribute to the added protection of the distrubution centre road surfaces.
Good results have also been achieved utilising concrete driving plates providing these are placed on a well stabilised foundation.When constructing a loading bay, it is advisable to incorporate personnel doors to allow drivers to enter the warehouse easily and safely.
In countries with sub-zero winter conditions, snow and ice must be removed promptly from the parking and manoeuvring areas to reduce the risk of accidents. As well as maintaining a ready supply of salt, it may be advisable to consider underground heating within the bay.
Many different systems are available and technical advances mean that this can be an effective and cost efficient solution.