Al Ameen Engineering in Dubai, UAE had fabricated many dock levelers over the years. Some of the customers provide wrong information on dock height and required heights which lead to costly mistakes. Here is brief list of things you must know to make right kind of dock leveler.
1, Select the Right Length
It is important to have smooth transition from the forklift to the truck, different height differences require different dock lengths. The greater the distance between dock height and the trailer bed height, the longer the dock levelers should be for easy transition. These days trailer heights are increasing and with the increase in height the length of the dock levelers are increasing.
Short forklift ramps can be extremely dangerous and can limit the capabilities of the forklift which can cause several problems like inadequate amount of lip on the trailer bed can cause wear and tear on forklifts which can cause slower operations and equipment hangup on the crown - the point where the forklift and trailer meet.
2, Electric or Gas Powered Forklift?
Electric forklift have lower grade capacity or gradeability as they are lower compared to gas powered forklifts. Electric forklifts have maximum grade capability of 10% and gas powered can go up to 15% (please check this with the manufacturer specifications). If you have pneumatic tyres then it can loose additional height while loading when compared to solid rubber tyres.
3, Get the Right Width
Getting the right width is important as it can cause interference with the forklift when it enters the dock, greater and wider dock levelers offer greater access for below the dock operations with minimal wall interference, Wider dock also gives the forklift to move around and better turn radius though wider docks can be heavy. We have 2m, 2.5 m and 3m width dock levelers where we have installed many in and around Dubai and UAE.
4, Get the Capacity of Forklift
Depending on the frequency, weight and speed of the forklift you use you will have to get custom made dock leveler for your needs.
Frequency - By frequency we mean how many times will you use dock leveler to load and unload which can affect the longevity of your dock leveler.
Gross Weight - By gross weight we mean heaviest capacity a forklift can carry including the attachments plus the weight of the forklift including the driver. Here is the breakdown of the forklift capacity.
Angle/Slope or Capacity of Leveler - When you have steep angle, if the forklift enters on high speed it can affect the longevity of the leveler, high steep can cause high impact on the leveler thus reducing the lift of the leveler as compared to when it is low inclined. Similarly of a dock leveler has been built with high capacity, it can take in high wear and tear and make it stronger.
5, Safety Features on Dock Leveler
Some of the features you have to consider is the contingencies while loading and unloading. Here are some of the features you need to ask when you consider getting a dock leveler.
Free-fall Protection - If there is a load on the dock leveler and the trailer pulls away from the dock, there is heavy load on the platform, the leveler may drop which can endanger the personnel and the cargo. A free-fall system in place can prevent the fall like velocity safety fuse found in hydraulic systems and supporting legs found in mechanical models.
Vehicle Restraints - Many accidents are caused when the trailer makes unexpected departure from the dock.To prevent this from happening it is advisable to use vehicle restraints which should not be considered as replacement for built-in leveler free fall safety system.
6, Check out the Maintenance Costs
Next important factor you will have to consider is the maintenance of the dock, both hydraulic and mechanical have pros and cons for the maintenance. Hydraulic levelers typically require less maintenance than others due to the design of the levelers and can be pricier in the beginning but it pays off as it has lowest lifetime ownership costs. Ask your prospective vendor about the maintenance requirements of the dock levelers you are going to purchase.
At Al Ameen Engineering we have accumulated lots of experience in fabricating the right kind of forklift ramp for your needs which will not only increase productivity and speed of loading/unloading but also ensures safety of your workers which boosts worker morale thus increasing output and reducing costs. This post is the second of the "how to choose forklift ramp" series with the focus on your forklift. This post would be beneficial if you are planning to buy a new forklift or if you already have a forklift, this will help to customize the ramp. Here are 4 things to look for in forklift or mention them to forklift manufacturer.
i, Electric/Gasoline/Diesel Forklift - There are different types of forklifts required for different purposes. For Food, Paper and other manufacturing industries electric forklifts are preferred as they would not pollute or contaminate the goods. The gasoline/diesel on other hand are used mainly outdoors where there is free flow of air and usually carry heavier goods or cargoes compared to electric ones. It is imperative that you mention what kind of forklift you have.
ii, Gradeability/Max. Gradeability - Gradeability is a the highest grade a vehicle can ascend while maintaining a particular speed is termed that vehicle's "gradeability" (source: wikipedia). It is imperative to know this as it determines what maximum angle/grade a forklift can climb and maintain constant speed. Gradeabilty of electric forklifts are usually lower compared to gas forklifts which shows electric forklifts requires more distance or slope to climb to a height. Max gradeability shows what is the maximum angle a forklift can climb without maintaining constant speed. This is important information ramp manufacturers need to make custom ramps with easy slope to climb. Providing wrong grade information can cause problems while climbing so make sure right information is provided.
iii, Wheel Base - It is the distance between the center of front and rear wheels. If the wheels are closer one can steer easily in small radius, if it is farther one has to take longer to steer around and needs more slope distance to cover and enter the container or level off area. Shorter wheelbase can climb on steep slope.
iv, Vehicle underclearance - It is distance between the ground and the lowermost part of the forklift. More distance it has the forklift can climb steep slopes. Diesel and Petrol forklifts normally has higher underclearances compared to electric forklifts. There are two things one has to look for undeclerances - mast underclearance and frame underclearance. Provide the underclearances of the forklift when they are fully loaded with the maximum weight it can carry. Check out the manufacturer's specification sheet for more information on this and make sure you provide max load clearance. Note that if your forklift has inflatable rubber tires then it sinks more when loaded as when it has solid rubber tires.
v, L-Shaped Loading - Do you need L-shaped Loading? (Click here)
Pre Engineered Buildings are extremely quick and efficient buildings which replaced traditional building which were made with concrete and asbestos which require more time, money and labor. They have a simple design, are light weight & easy to construct. Delivery takes an average of 6 to 8 weeks. Thus, both costs & time of erection are minimized.
The erection process is easy, fast, step by step and easy to fabricate.Outstanding architectural design can be achieved at low cost. PEBs are flexible and modular and lend themselves easily to future expansion.
Pre engineered building consists of following components:
· Structural Systems
· Secondary Systems
STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS :Structural systems are the main load carrying and support members of a pre- engineered building.
SECONDARY MEMBERS: Secondary members are load carrying members suitable to ensure the stability of the building against forces in any direction. They primarily include purlins and girts, eave strut, cable bracing and open steel web joists.
CLADDING: The steel substrate is hot dipped galvanized zinc or hot dipped zinc / aluminum coated. The surface of the metal coatings is then given a series of pre treatments to ensure that they are completely clean.
Going to business meetings in Dubai and other emirates in UAE, when I mention we do steel fabrication, people get curious and ask what is steel fabrication. Here is brief description on the topic.
Steel fabrication is an interesting process. There are two ways in which steel fabrication takes place. First is raw material approach which is also called integrated route and the other one is electric arc furnace(EAF) method of steel fabrication. In first method materials are heated up ,melted down and mixed into steels. In other method recycled steel is put into a furnace and melted down. Once mixed with some other materials, steel is the end product.
Choosing right boat trailer is very daunting task as you have to know and be aware of wide range of features before you get to select a boat trailer for yourself. If you are buying a trailer first time or bought a new boat reading this section will help you understand key features you need for different boat designs and how to buy them with confidence.
1, Boat Trailer Styles - There are two types of boat trailers: bunk-style and roller-style. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on a boater’s particular needs.
i, Bunk Trailers- They are the most simple type of trailers which are simply constructed and have few parts to maintain. The disadvantage is due to damage which can be caused by salt water on brakes, hubs, springs, running gear, and other components of the trailer. The bunk trailer use keel type rollers to center and support the boat on the trailer. Keel type rollers cause uneven support which can cause paint to get scraped with keel type friction rollers. This type of trailer is launched when there is low tide.
ii Roller Trailers - These trailer are very expensive and costly to maintain because of the design and the make. the design was made to reduce friction and easily move between. This protects the boat from damage when it is launched and stored in the trailer. This type of trailer is highly functional as it can be launched and retrieved even in high tides and does not require to submerge the axle of the boat.One of he extra cost goes to heavy duty winches which is required to store and retrieve the trailers.
2, Boat Trailer Materials - The boat trailer materials are constructed from three types of materials. The materials we use to fabricate boat trailer are aluminum or mild Steel I beam trailer, C channel and tubular box frame. Any of the above mentioned items are used to fabricate trailers.
i, Aluminum/M.S I-beam trailer - These type of trailers are very light weight as they are made of aluminum and they have great strength to weight ratio but compared to tubular design offers less insulation as the electrical wires are exposed. These type of trailer materials cannot be used in the bunk type of trailers due to exposure of electrical wires and components. Conduits are recommended to protect wear and tear of electrical wires in the aluminum trailer. The positives are it is light weight which can save fuel and prevent corrosion as it is made of aluminum. We at Al Ameen rarely make boat trailers with tubular steel.
ii, Tubular box frame trailer - Steel tubes are preferred for two reasons they are lighter compared to other trailers and can store electrical wire which can protect the wires and brake lines as they can be stored inside the tubes of the frame. These type of trailers are very useful for bunk style trailers which are usually submerged in water.
iii, C-channel Boat Trailers - These C-channel boat trailers are less expensive compared to other types as they made of steel which is comparatively cheaper but as aluminum requires extra steps to protect the electrical components from exposure to the water.
The other main factors which are very important to determine a boat trailer are length of the boat, boat capacity or weight and waterline width of the boat.
3, Boat Length - There should be extra grace measurement of 2-3 feet longer than it has to carry. the swim platform is usually not taken into consideration when determining the overall length of the trailer. Any extra addendum to the trailer like winch and pulpit, these extra dimensions must be taken into measurement and consideration while calculating the length. It is better to measure along center line of your boat from the bow-eye to transom, to determine bow eye to transform maximum and minimum.
4, Boat Capacity - To calculate the boat capacity/weight or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), it is important to know and calculate the total capacity of the boat which includes the engine, full fuel, full water tank (also known as wet weight) and the weight of the personal items (food, accessories etc.). It is recommended to use 10% of boat, motor, and liquid weights for personal gear. Selecting a trailer with the next highest capacity rating is important for stability of the trailer. If you find that weight of th eboat is more than 3500 pounds it would be very advisable to invest in double axle (tandem) than single axle trailers.
5, Boat Waterline width - Measuring just the length is not enough, it is important to also know the areas of hull support and rollers make it much easier for loading and offloading the ramp with a gentle slope. make sure to ask width of the boat and add additional lengths if you add anything extra in the boat.
6, Boat trailer brakes -The laws vary from region to region but if your boat weighs more than 1500 pounds, it is highy recommended to get brakes on the trailers. In UAE it is mandatory to have brakes on trailers above 1500 pounds for safety and stability reasons. Most countries refer boat weights as Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) to determine the requirements of brake. It is highly recommended to have brakes on the trailer for safety reasons.
7, Boat trailer tailgates - Some provinces require trailer tailgates to signal other drivers in the road which are waterproof and corrosion resistant. In many of the countries it is optional to have lights and directions on the trailers.
Did you plan to fabricate a new or modify existing forklift ramp? If you are installing hydraulic landing jacks then read this post as it can save you lots of money before you make mistake in buying one. Though this guide is not comprehensive it is good enough for you to understand your needs before welding a hydraulic cylinder jack to your fabricated ramp. So what do you have to know?
a, Single Phase or Three Phase
Do you have single or three phase electric installation in the place where you will place your yard ramp? If you are ordering electric powered hydraulic systems then you have to read this section. Single phase powers most of the non-commercial and industrial outlets. Triple phase is used mainly in industrial firms which require high powered output on some machines. Ask your engineers or technicians and know this before hand before ordering custom steel fabricated ramps.
In UAE the motors with 50Hz are used whereas in neighboring Saudi Arabia 60Hz is used. Ask the frequency of the pump motors of your power pack to know what you are getting.
c, Manual Lever or Control Panel
Manually lever is same as mechanical which has almost all the components same as the electric powered only difference is control panel unit. Lever unit costs about -$1000 to $1500 less (Dhs 3000-4000) and advantage of lever powered is that it can be used anywhere as it is not electric powered. Electric powered system is powered and you have to know if it is powered by single or triple phase. In the control panel other than up and down there should be optional emergency button.
We at Al Ameen Engineering love to support artists and passionate scientists in the region by providing subsidies and probono advice on the projects they are working. Of the many clients/artists we had one of them stands out is Marzouk Babour who is a Phd scientist and we have been doing business with him for the past 4 years. He had started 4 startups some of them failed while he has been holding onto others. One of the project he has been working over the years is wind turbine which he claims can reduce electricity bills up to 40%. We have fabricated wind turbine for him with alumnium and steel and now he is ready to exhibit it in Ireland. There is lot of wind in Ireland and his project has won the bid to install the turbines in Ireland. Check out the website - Future Energy here http://futureenergyusa.com/ where they have various projects in sustainable energy. They are the pioneers for vertical wind turbine systems and we have fabricated one of the turbines for them which can produce 36 kw per day. Supporting tomorrow's research is one of the best investments we can make and it has to be in all the corporate social responsibility to complete the tasks.
We at Al Ameen Engineering Dubai always love to think out of the box and love to spend 20% of our time experimenting with different ways we can help improve the community around us. In March we received a request to make the following art from art exhibition located in Dubai. As we are in an industry that relies on volume, art is something totally opposite to what we do as it has less volume and tedious element incorporated in sophisticated design. The manager Shahnawaz convinced the GM "Why not we try something different and out of the box, who knows we may learn something new from this."
The artists wanted something unique, a stainless steel bar bent right angles in the end. This should be affixed to a wall which the stainless steel rod must pass through and be screwed at the rear end of the wall. After brainstorming with the engineers, they recommended to try to bend the stainless steel pipe and do stainless steel fabrication to the ends. Bending a hollow stainless steel pipe is very tedious task which can break the rod. Sand was filled inside the rod and then bent right angles to prevent the collapse of the rod within. After that flanges were made so the rod could be screwed in the rear end. When we delivered the material we got to met some artists and loved what they were doing for the community for almost nothing in return. This encounter opened ourselves to serendipity which is lacking in the industry. Irrespective this experience grew us.
There are three general categories for consideration with respect to "Good" trailer design: Strength, Stability, and Versatility (or function). A utility trailer has a flat bed with sides that carries all sorts of “stuff”. There are a lot of basics that make the trailer pull well, and carry the required “stuff” as needed for years.
Trailer strength is the first aspect of good trailer design. In utility trailer strength is important because they are frequently loaded or overloaded. The utility trailer must be sufficiently strong so that it can serve well no matter what the requirement. Some factors relating to trailer strength are given below:
· Load capacity
· Construction(the way it is built)
· Basic trailer layout
The maximum load for which the trailer is designed to carry will determine much about the strength of the trailer. It will also determine how strong the trailer should be. Trailer strength should be judged with respect to its intended capacity.
There has been huge boom going on in construction sector in Africa, due to lack of local companies who can meet the service and quality in Africa, companies and governments in Africa look and hire foreign contractors to take and execute their work. We have done lots of projects for African companies which includes staircases, heavy tank, trailers, fences, steel structures etc. The countries range from Djibouti, Angola, Egypt, Botswana and other African cities. Some of the southern countries we have had hard time to get quote for shipping as it is hard to get reliable estimate from local African countries.