Category Archives: Loading Dock Equipment

Loading Dock Equipment provides efficient truck cargo loading and unloading at the dock.

Dock Signal Lights Red & Green

Safety Dock Traffic Control Light - BDTS series
Safety Dock Traffic Control Light

Preventing Loading Dock Accidents with the Stop and Go Dock Light

What is the easiest and most economical way to reduce traffic accidents at the loading dock door?

Dock signal lights are an inexpensive option to installing truck restraints while still adding to overall dock safety. Most truck restraints have optional traffic signal dock lights on the inside and outside of the dock door. These lights have become very prevalent over the last two decades and are often installed on most large distribution centers (DCs) at the dock door loading zone.

Traffic Signal Light Operation

The standard operation for dock signal lights is that when the inside light is red, the outside light is green. When the outside light switches to red, the inside light switches to green—they are always the opposite of each other. When the traffic light inside is red, it signals dock workers to stay away from the loading dock door area, and the outside green light lets the truck driver know it’s okay to back up to the dock.

Once the truck is parked and the trailer is securely docked, the lights switch so that the outside light is red and the inside is green. Now that the inside light is green, it signals the loading dock personnel to enter the trailer for loading and unloading procedures. The outside red dock signal light informs the driver that he or she should not pull away with the trailer.

Most traffic dock light systems come with two outside driver warning signs and one inside driver warning sign. The two outside signs read, “CAUTION: ENTER OR DEPART ON GREEN LIGHT ONLY.” One sign is right reading and one is reverse reading to allow the truck driver to read it in the rear-view or side mirrors. The inside sign reads, “ENTER ON GREEN LIGHT ONLY.”

Traffic Dock Light Bracket

Safety Traffic Dock Light Bracket - BTDL series
Safety Traffic Dock Light Bracket

After a long and careful study, it has been shown that the outside traffic signal dock light should be mounted on a special bracket instead of directly on the side of the dock door seal wood back frame. Mounting it on the dock door seal wooden back frame can shorten the life of the wood by damaging the wood as well as allowing moisture and possible freeze expansion. In addition, it weakens the back structure of the wood. The bracket should support the traffic light housing by being mounted to the door jamb frame prior to dock door seal installation.

Types of Dock Signal Lights

Loading Dock Traffic Lights - BSG series
Loading Dock Traffic Lights

There are two primary types of traffic dock light housings available on the current market: steel and polypropylene. Steel units are more favorable on larger distribution centers with a good deal of traffic. The plastic housing is more economical for buildings with fewer dock doors and a smaller budget.

There are also two types of lights available: incandescent and LED. Incandescent lights have a lower initial price, but LED lights last longer, offsetting the higher initial cost by reducing the need to replace as well as lowering energy costs for busy loading dock areas.

In conclusion, it is a safe business practice to install dock signal lights at your loading dock. Contact your insurance representative to ask the underwriter if you qualify for an insurance premium reduction when you have traffic dock lights red & green installed.