Workshop space with dock level access only?
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    630
    Likes (Received)
    859

    Question Workshop space with dock level access only?

    Hey guys!
    The time has come and I'm starting to look for a new workshop space. I need more room, and I'm currently in a building that is slowly turning into office space so I'm getting more and more noise complaints, total pain in the @ss.

    I have found one unit that I really like, it's in an area that's an easy commute from home, and has lots of useful vendors right around it, but the only large door in the unit is a dock level door rather than a ground level door...

    Is this a huge issue? What's it like loading machinery through a dock level access? I imagine you could unload them from the truck in the parking lot, put them up on the edge of the dock with a forklift and then skate them into place, but I have never done this and I don't want to put myself through more pain than I need to.

    I might be able to convince the landlord to put a ground level access in next to the office entrance on the other side of the building, but that might also be more trouble than he wants to go to...

    Thanks in advance!
    -Aaron

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Cartersville, Ga
    Posts
    204
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    48
    Likes (Received)
    104

    Default

    Material is going to be a problem. Most metal vendors deliver on flat beds that need to be side unloaded, so you'll need to get your forklift outside.

  3. Likes aarongough liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    630
    Likes (Received)
    859

    Default

    All my material is small stuff, most of it comes in through couriers like UPS in small packages (under 30lbs), shouldn't be an issue with materials.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    California, Central Coast
    Posts
    3,171
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2126
    Likes (Received)
    1232

    Default

    You could get a loading ramp to drive in and out of the existing door. Portable loading dock: 30000 Lb Portable Loading Dock Miscellaneous Industrial - Other Lot #6134 | Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

  6. Likes aarongough, Comatose liked this post
  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,312
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    422
    Likes (Received)
    1667

    Default

    Last mill I brought in, they put it in the door and skated it in place. Pretty much SOP for machinery, I don't see the dock height being a big deal if you don't routinely use the forklift outside.

    You will probably have a neighbor that could help you out on occasion when you get something that needs unloaded, and often there is a dock-height option on deliveries of large items (other than material). At least in the States it's that way.

    It wouldn't work for what I do, but if the space fits your needs I'd say go for it.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    630
    Likes (Received)
    859

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    You could get a loading ramp to drive in and out of the existing door. Portable loading dock: 30000 Lb Portable Loading Dock Miscellaneous Industrial - Other Lot #6134 | Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
    Yeah I was wondering about that, maybe even pour a concrete ramp with some sort of plastic under it separating it from the pad so it could be broken up later if needed... Didn't know the ramps were sold as an off the shelf item though, I will look into it!

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    630
    Likes (Received)
    859

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    Last mill I brought in, they put it in the door and skated it in place. Pretty much SOP for machinery, I don't see the dock height being a big deal if you don't routinely use the forklift outside.

    You will probably have a neighbor that could help you out on occasion when you get something that needs unloaded, and often there is a dock-height option on deliveries of large items (other than material). At least in the States it's that way.

    It wouldn't work for what I do, but if the space fits your needs I'd say go for it.
    Yeah whenever I get deliveries of larger stuff I currently always have to pay extra for lift-gate service as they expect me to have a loading dock, but that very rarely happens. Apart from machinery literally everything else I buy in the course of the year goes through a single door easily enough. No need for a forklift as of yet, and don't anticipate one in the future...

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    California, Central Coast
    Posts
    3,171
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2126
    Likes (Received)
    1232

    Default

    Usually they are used on flat ground to get to dock height. Also cheap or free if someone has left one behind when moving out of a yard. I see them on CL down here one a year or so.

  11. Likes aarongough liked this post
  12. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    13,417
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2159
    Likes (Received)
    3342

    Default

    A local machine/fab shop with dock doors only was rented to be a body shop. The landlord made it work by creating an asphalt ramp to one door.

  13. Likes aarongough liked this post
  14. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Great Lakes USA
    Posts
    209
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    21
    Likes (Received)
    31

    Default

    My advice would be to not go with a dock door only, based only on personal experience. I had a dock only for a year, and it was frustrating. When that lease was up I said never again to a dock only.

    Something on my truck needs fixing, I’ll drive it in on a Sunday to do some work. Old family canoe needed some patching and sanding, same thing. Found a great kitchen table for the house, needed to clear out space first, drove it in and set it down for an afternoon. Bought a new grinder, rented a drop deck trailer and drove in and set it down no lift truck or riggers required, etc.

    You might not use your shop for “Sunday projects,” but I do it. I’m very lucky now to have a dock and a bay door.

    If you can figure out a way to make it drive up, then sure go for it. But make aure a) the landlord ia cool with it and b) that you have the purchase/solid plan in place.

  15. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    2,491
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1842

    Default

    Hi Aaron:
    I moved recently to a new space that has dock level access too, and mine has a steep ramp as well.
    I ended up building a temporary porch to fork lift the machines onto and then pulled them in with a pallet truck.
    It was a royal pain, but the new space is so damned nice I did it anyway!
    Bringing heavy stuff up and down the ramp is interesting when it's snowy...I just brought in 550 lb of steel for a mold build, and I had to break down the pallet and hump the individual blocks in with a handcar.
    Attached are some pictures.

    So the short version, if it's a nice enough space you can make it work: I am the living proof!
    Mine is sooo sweeeet now, I have no regrets, especially since my commute is less than half of what it was.
    I say go for it!!

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2018-04-15-12.23.35.jpg   2018-10-28-13.19.49.jpg   2019-01-09-16.17.15.jpg   2019-01-09-16.18.44.jpg   my-new-commute.jpg  


  16. Likes cnctoolcat, aarongough, mountie liked this post
  17. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    People's Republic
    Posts
    2,924
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    212
    Likes (Received)
    2039

    Default

    A loading dock is a problem?


    I say no

    I rented my current space which had only a dock, on purpose. I have since expanded and have a drive in bay

    So, it is a problem for things are not work related, get a garage

    You are on the phone, a truck appears, the material gets unloaded, you scribble on the pad, never stop talking.

    Perfect

    Machines come on a truck

    what height is the truck?


    Dock height

  18. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    brooklyn, ny
    Posts
    179
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    28

    Default

    I agree that the dock-only situation can be completely fine. Having a shop in the city means a lot of buildings are dock height only. I've had my shop in 3 of them so far! My last space was ground level which meant I had to own and maintain a forklift to unload a truck once a month. Not the worst problem to have but now that I'm back in a dock height building (on the 7th floor in fact) I can just roll everything out of a truck and into the elevator. I sold the forklift after I got everything moved in.

    If you are ordering 1000lbs of sawn blanks tell your supplier to put the skid at the back of the truck and roll it off. If you are buying 1000lb bundles of 12' bars every week then you might not be so happy with a dock height space.

    Moving machines in was a piece of cake. Riggers backed up their tilt bed, adjusted it to dock height and drove the 9000lb VMC right off the truck and onto the dock with a forklift. Took 5 minutes. Everything else was on a 53' semi, only needed a pallet jack and dock plate to roll it all off the truck. I will say that this only works when your dock is "dock height" i.e. ~48". One of my buildings had a nonstandard dock about 38" highwhich sucked. If it's 4" lower than your truck you are going to need a huge dock plate. If it's 8" lower your pallet jack will be useless. For smaller trucks, I've backed up rentals onto piles of cribbing to get them 12" higher to match up with the dock.

    I recommend measuring the dock to know what you're getting into.

    It does suck that I can't easily get my motorcycle inside but you can't have everything. The sunlight up on the 7th floor can't be beat though!

  19. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    1,095
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    132
    Likes (Received)
    400

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aarongough View Post
    No need for a forklift as of yet, and don't anticipate one in the future...
    i can't imagine not having a forklift. now that i've gotten older my scissor lift is a big plus too - my elevator.

  20. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    630
    Likes (Received)
    859

    Default

    Thanks for the input guys! Sounds like having dock-only access won't be an issue which is great! The unit looks very promising otherwise, so I'm excited to do a detailed inspection of it on Friday! Fingers crossed!

  21. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    630
    Likes (Received)
    859

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post
    Hi Aaron:
    I moved recently to a new space that has dock level access too, and mine has a steep ramp as well.
    I ended up building a temporary porch to fork lift the machines onto and then pulled them in with a pallet truck.
    It was a royal pain, but the new space is so damned nice I did it anyway!
    Bringing heavy stuff up and down the ramp is interesting when it's snowy...I just brought in 550 lb of steel for a mold build, and I had to break down the pallet and hump the individual blocks in with a handcar.
    Attached are some pictures.

    So the short version, if it's a nice enough space you can make it work: I am the living proof!
    Mine is sooo sweeeet now, I have no regrets, especially since my commute is less than half of what it was.
    I say go for it!!

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining
    New shop is looking awesome Marcus! Looking forward to seeing it finished!

  22. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,812
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    271
    Likes (Received)
    1352

    Default

    I have one of these at my R&D shop which only has two dock height doors. Portable Aluminum Yard Ramp System with 6" Safety Guard Rails | Discount Ramps

    It's extremely solid and I can take it with me easily when I leave. A bit of a workout assembling it, though.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •