Premature Vehicle Departure

Dock safety; the first thing that will generally come to mind is a wheel chock. Wheel chocks are wedge-shaped blocks that can be placed in front of the rear wheels of a trailer to prevent the trailer from moving away from the dock while the trailer is being loaded. It is important to ensure the wheels of continental trailers are chocked and those trailers belonging to third party operators, for which vehicle maintenance standards will not be known.

Trailer creep (also known as trailer walk, or dock walk) occurs when the lateral and vertical forces exerted each time a lift truck enters and exits the trailer cause the trailer to slowly move away from the dock resulting in separation from the dock leveler. Factors that affect trailer creep are the weight and speed of the lift truck and load, the gradient of the ground the trailer is parked on, the condition of the suspension and the air pressures, the type of transition (dock levelers, dock boards) being used, and whether the trailer has been disconnected or if it is still connected to the tractor.

Separation from the loading also occurs when a driver prematurely pulls away while the truck is still being loaded/unloaded. This issue is usually caused through a driver not correctly observing traffic lighting signals on a loading bay which prohibit the movement of the trailer. Also, it is important to ensure drivers are fully trained with regard the Safe System of Work he/she is expected to follow.