Dock Safety: Where There's A Wheel, There's A Way

Molson-Coors Brewery and Southern Wine & Spirits of Arizona have had no accidents at their docks since switching to the Power Chock from GRM Safety Inc.

That’s because of the simplicity of its design, according to Jette. “We’ve designed a system that will not break because it has minimal moving parts as opposed to a lot of other types of restraint devices—when they’re engineered with a lot of moving parts, it ends up breaking. We designed it not to break and to be able to withstand constant abuse.”

Molson has actually replaced some of its hydraulic dock locks with the Power Chock. “The hydraulic dock locks have become so expensive to maintain that we just go ahead and replace them with Power Chocks,” says Ropp.

More importantly, however, neither facility has had an accident since installing using the devices. GMR provides basic training for the employees, but Jette says the process is so simple that it’s self explanatory. “Our customers have told us their employees feel safer since they’ve installed the equipment,” he says.

“The best reason to buy them is for safety and we haven’t had an incident on the dock since we installed the Power Chocks,” agrees Ropp.
Plus, the device is easy to operate. “When the driver backs into the door, he’ll step out of his truck, walk back and grab the chock and place it in front of his tire. It’s that simple,” says Benavides. “The chock is spring-loaded so it’s not too heavy for any individual to handle—and it’s not causing damage to anyone’s truck.”

Southern Wine has 17 Power Chocks in use, and Molson has about 40 at its Toronto facility and more than 70 at its Montreal location. Molson, which has some units that are 14 years old, is currently upgrading its Power Chock system in some of its locations, as its needs have changed.

“Every customer that we service is different, with different needs and requirements,” says Jette. “We go in and figure out the best solutions for each facility. We need to adapt to their operation and propose a solution that will fit within the company culture.”

The Power Chock vehicle restraint system line consists of three products: System 1, System 3 and System 5. Each system provides more bells and whistles—depending upon the users needs.

Reaping The Benefits

The advantages of the Power Chock, according to Jette, include:

  • High level of safety—simpler, reliable operations;
  • Universal compatibility—fits 100 percent of vehicles. Not dependent on the UCC bar;
  • Greater restraining force—restrains the wheel instead of the UCC bar;
  • Offers industry’s lowest total cost of ownership;
  • User-friendly—quickly and easily set by the driver in less than 30 seconds;
  • Maximizes productivity—designed to minimize maintenance costs and downtime;
  • Environmentally friendly—does not use toxic fluids, consumes minimal energy;
  • Not affected by extreme weather conditions—first developed in Canada to endure extreme winter conditions.

“During the development stage, we realized that traditional hook restraints and other wheel-based restraint systems made it difficult for snowplow operators to adequately clear loading bays. In speaking with customers we found they needed a product that had high restraining capacity and did not interfere with snow removal equipment. The Power Chock meets both these criteria,” says Jette.

The Power Chock has been designed so that all of its components are able to withstand extreme cold and heavy snowfalls. When not in use, the chock rests 12” above ground. It is installed to the side of the loading dock door so snow is easily cleared away from the building’s foundation wall and the entire loading bay. This makes the area safer for dock workers and truck drivers alike.

One ground plate model accommodates all snow removal methods; plowing operations require the all-direction ground plate model. A thawing agent may be applied to the ground plate to remove any remaining ice or snow providing maximum restraint even during the winter months.

Molson is also using GMR’s Clear to Go SB-Safety Barrier, a barrier which helps to prevent damage to the loading dock door and loading dock drop-offs. Damage can occur if there isn’t a safety barrier that protects the dock door when it’s closed. Then there is the hazard of forklifts falling off the loading dock when the doors are open. Damage to expensive material handling equipment and employee injuries are often the result.

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