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Blog posts from Marshall Cromer, "The Forklift Boss". Follow us for information on forklift safety, strategic advice from our team's service experts, and upcoming technologies shaping the future of material handling!

Sep 28, 2022

How to Winterize Your Warehouse Docks Before the Cold Weather Hits

The weather's just beginning to cool off. Time for end-of-year preparations to begin!

Preventative maintenance done now means fewer risks for accidents or violations later. The holiday rush only magnifies those risks, so a little preparation now means a lot of smooth operations later.

Here's one preparation Cromer recommends—winterize your warehouse doors.


4 Reasons to Winterize Your Warehouse

Even if you winterized last year, or the year before, it pays to take another look. Why? You gain 4 advantages right away:


1. Reduce Winter Power Costs

How much energy does your warehouse need to heat it over winter? Do you want to add 15-20% more to the already-high cost? Of course not.

But that's what happens when you have gaps in your door seals.

Properly-sealed doors save you money on heating. Nothing new, but now's the time to verify.


2. Preserve Worker Safety During the Holiday Rush (and Afterward)

The last thing any of us wants is ice build-up on the floor near a dock. It practically guarantees workers slipping—or a forklift!

Gaps in seals or brushes allow cold air & water to make their way inside, creating slippery spots.


3. Keep Bugs Out

The bugs are coming! They'll come indoors to escape the cold soon.

If door seals or brushes have holes in them—even little ones—they'll rush on inside, crawling over your products, contaminating areas nobody wants contaminated.


4. Avoid FDA Penalties

We all know the FDA conducts regular checks on warehouses, especially facilities distributing critical items like food, water, and medical supplies.

FDA inspectors check docks using the "light test" –

  1. Turn off the lights
  2. Stand by the docks
  3. Look to see if any light comes through the door seals or brushes
  4. Fine your company for any light that shows through the door, at $300 per door


Warehouse Door Seals and Brushes


How to Winterize Docks & Doors

Winterizing only takes two major steps: Run tests on your docks & doors, and then patch or replace the parts that need replacing.


STEP 1: TESTING

  1. Check all dock seals & brushes. Use three tests: the Hand Test, the Light Test, and Visual Inspections.

    • HAND TEST
      • Two-part: First, pass your hand around the door to feel for drafts
      • Next, grasp the door seal & run your fingers through the brushes. If you feel any cracking in the seal rubber, or missing areas in the brushes, it's time to replace them.

    • LIGHT TEST
      • Do the same test the FDA does—just without the steep fines!

    • VISUAL INSPECTIONS
      • You're looking for any signs of wear/damage:
        • Cracks in the seals
        • Holes
        • Severe fraying in the brush ends
        • Gaps between the seal & door
        • Torn or missing weather stripping

          Tip: Ask your team if anyone's seen damage on the docks already. If it's there, chances are someone's seen it.

  2. Check all doors, indoor & outdoor. Verify all doors operate correctly, and have been recently lubricated. If you don't see any lubrication in recent service history, have a technician lubricate.

  3. Walk all ramps, looking for any soft spots or cracked rubber.


STEP 2: REPAIR/REPLACEMENT

  1. If you do find damage or gaps, replace the seal/bumper/brush. Serious damage to the doors themselves may mean replacing the door as well.

  2. Rerun the tests in Step 1 after any replacements.


Plan Ahead for Cold Weather and Save on Operations Costs

Don't have time to run tests like these? Cromer's Warehouse Systems Division can handle all of these for you.

Our dock & door specialists can come onsite and conduct the tests, source any needed replacement materials, and take care of installation and repair. Before the winter weather hits.

Contact your local Cromer's Warehouse Systems Division to start.

Northern California: 800.870.5438
Central/Southern California: 800.464.3225
Las Vegas/Southern Nevada: 702.207.4700

Until next month!

Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
Cromer Material Handling



Deal of the Month

ELECTRIC GOLF CARTS – ONLY $6,300 EACH

For our September Deal of the Month, we have a trio of golf carts! These are 2016 Club Car Precedent models.

2016 Club Car Golf Carts for Sale

Each golf cart is a 2-seater, with new batteries, and a charger included. All tuned up and ready to go at our Fresno location. They're perfect for dashing across parking lots and ferrying people where they need to be!

Pick up one of these golf carts at: Only $6,300 each.

To order your golf cart, call Cromer at 800.974.5438 and ask for the September Deal of the Month.