Because of their design, foam compression dock seals can restrict forklift access to the trailer. This happens as foam and fabric from the dock seal side pads enter the trailer opening when they are compressed by the trailer. Dock seals, by design, however, typically take up less space on the outside of the dock, so if space is an issue then this may be the route that makes sense.
Like dock shelters, some dock seals perform better than others. Top-of-the-line dock seals are built with special features that protect against specific sources of damage, including trailer pressure and friction, burns from trailer marker lights, as well as head pad sag and pop-off.
To give you a clearer picture of how dock seals and shelters compare on a number of factors, see the chart below.
Ultimately, what’s important when choosing between a dock shelter or dock seal is determining the right solution that will help you to eliminate gaps at the dock in the most efficient way possible. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
Talk with a trained professional to analyze your loading dock to give you the individual recommendation based on your specs, needs and restrictions.
Gandhi Automations provide information on the different types of Dock Shelters and Dock Seals that they offer to give you an idea of what you should be looking for.