A major international sportswear manufacturer with a global presence has improved the loading bay capabilities of a UK warehouse, using a cost-effective platform module, designed and manufactured by Thorworld Industries.
After recently acquiring new warehouse premises, the leading brand sought to improve the building’s existing loading bay facility, without the disruption or permanence of traditional concrete raised or dug out loading bays. After researching both the permanent and non-permanent solutions available, the company found that a steel platform module scheme designed and manufactured by Thorworld, had the potential to offer an ideal solution.
According to Ian Langan, technical director at Thorworld Industries, “It’s not unusual for warehouses to lack dedicated loading bays, however if the right access is in place, there are numerous options for transforming an ‘open doorway’ or level loading area into an effective, and safe loading bay area.”
The sportsbrand’s warehouse had the logistical scope for such improvements to be made, and the company could see that efficiency and safety could be enhanced by installing a modular steel solution. Ian gives more background to the project, by explaining that the client wanted to avoid the expense and disruption of either ‘building up’ a concrete platform to the height required to access lorry trailers, or alternatively, ‘digging down’ to create foundations for a recessed loading bay.
“Both these permanent solutions involve significant disruption and cost in terms of planning and civil engineering,” Ian says, “factors which are not always feasible, especially if a building is rented or has planning permission restrictions.”
He goes on to explain how the company expressed interest in Thorworld fitting new, safe and effective insulated roller shutter doors, along with an internal platform, coated with Bimagrip antislip, to facilitate access from inside. The platform would offer a sizeable working area, large enough to accommodate the safe use of fork lifts and powered pallet trucks, and would include dock shelters, traffic lights and dock lights, as well as safe operative access via steps with side platforms. Three hinged barriers were fitted to the rear of the platform to allow goods to be added and removed from ground level with a fork lift truck. Both hinged and telescopic lip dock levellers were provided to maximise the range of vehicles that could use the loading bays.
After agreeing all the necessary requirements, Thorworld designed a platform that could be positioned flush to the warehouse’s two shutter doors, at trailer height, so lorries could reverse up to the doors and fork lifts or pallet trucks could load or unload containers, supported and enabled by the apparatus.
Commenting on how the sportsbrand initially found Thorworld, Ian suggests that an internet search, a method the majority of Thorworld’s customers now use to source bespoke loading bay solutions, was their first port of call.
“Now more than ever, new clients are contacting us having first seen an example or existing installation of a Thorworld loading solution on our website,” explains Ian.
Thorworld’s team of skilled engineers offer all the technical expertise necessary to oversee the design, installation and subsequent maintenance of an effective loading bay module. Combinations of systems comprising ramps, platforms and dock levellers can be seamlessly constructed to deliver a bespoke, semi-permanent solution, capable of fulfilling all the requirements of a dedicated concrete loading bay.
“These systems, when used in conjunction with insulated doors and shelters, perform exactly as a permanent fixture would, and can also provide significant operational and energy savings by minimising the heat transfer between clients’ warehouses and outdoor environments.
“When all these key features combine, it’s simple to see why the equipment is perceived as such a viable alternative to a concrete loading bay. It’s an optimum solution; cost effective, non-permanent, highly effective and most of all, safe.”