DOCK PROTECTION GUIDE – Call Us: (248) 840-7040

Freyer’s Experience

Various factors comprise the loading dock system and contribute to the efficient transfer of goods and materials. Dock bumpers, dock leveler, Dock lights, Dock height,, wheel chicks and door seals or shelters should all be considered when designing a dock system. Contact us, and we will be happy to help you create the most cost effective bumper system available

Dock Bumper Placements

Most dock bumper installations should have vertical and horizontal coverage of the dock area for complete dock, truck and cargo protection. For example, protection for an 8’ bay is usually best accomplished with two vertical bumpers and one horizontal bumper of standard length. Our optional overlapping arrangements provide continuous protection and minimize installation costs. An additional row guarantees protection for vehicles of various heights.

When dock seals or shelters are used, extra-lengths, one-piece bumpers will completely seal trucks to the dock protecting cargo and employees from the elements.

Bumper Heights

Freyer’s standard bumper heights are 6”, 10” or 12”. The height can be increased by expanding the angle length and “stacking” bumper pads between them to create vertical units – 20”, 24” and 36”.

The primary application for the 6” unit is on lip docks where the dock slab projects beyond the foundation with an impact face of less than 10” high.

The 10” unit is widely used for standard height docks that accommodate standard or approximately equal-height trucks.

The heavier constructed 12” unit provides greater area and a cube of rubber with a stronger steel frame (three connecting rods).

The 20”, 24”, or 36” vertical heights provide extended depth protection for varying truck heights (Fig. 1) or the lower steel members of trailer bodies. Consider them for docks that accommodate panel and peddle trucks as well as over-the-road trailers.

Vertical units are particularly applicable with truck leveling devices that raise the entire truck to dock level. Combined with horizontal units, (Fig. 3 & 4), vertical units prevent a loaded trailer from prying off the shorter bumper as the truck bed rises while being unloaded (Fig. 2).

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For Open Docks

For open docks with no predetermined truck spots, combination installations provide maximum protection (Fig. 3). If 36” horizontal length units are used, maximum spacing should be 24” between units – 5’ on centers (Fig. 6).


For an angled truck approach, spacing should be reduced to prevent a truck corner from contacting the Dock between units. If continuous Bumper protection is needed, overlapping installations on common anchor bolts are recommended and cut anchor bolt costs by 50% (Fig. 5).


Overlapping reduces the spacing between each bumper to 4”, and is applicable to any Freyer laminated bumper model. Overlapping angles on adjacent bumpers cuts installation costs and increases the protected area. To order, specify the standard model for the first Bumper at left, and “OL”construction on successive bumpers. Special-length bumpers to fill out dock spaces are also available. For open docks or wide bays, extra-length, one-piece bumpers can also be used for maximum coverage and appearance (Fig. 7).


For 8’, 9’ or 10’ Bays

For 8’, 9’ or 10’ bays a variety of combinations exist. We recommend a combination of standard and vertical bumper designs (Fig. 3 & 4) for dock protection

For Refrigerated Doors.

(with or without dock shelters)

Refrigerated doors require 4-1/2” or 6” thick, extra-length, one-piece Bumpers to completely seal the truck to the dock or shelter. The same applies to doors sealed to maintain warm temperatures. With shelters, the rubber surface of the bumper must extend under the vertical members of the shelter pad to complete the all-around seal (Fig. 7).

For Portable Dock Plates

A 36” unit mounted in the center of the dock will automatically allow for dock plate insertion, even if a truck is spotted against the bumpers of the dock. With 3” angles on all bumpers, a 6” space is provided between units for the legs of the dock plate. Continue to fill the width of the bay with standard or vertical units as needed.

For Adjustable Dock Boards

If using 14” lengths, the height should be minimum 12”, (Figs. 8a, 8b). Most Dock boards handle 4-1/2” or 6” thick bumpers and will not impair lip penetration into the truck.

If using horizontal bumpers, use similar to 24” units but with steel plate replacing the inboard angle. Fig. 9 shows damage from “short spacing”. Fig. 10 shows “lateral safety zone” impact absorption advantage provided by longer bumpers.


Bumper Installation

Install bumpers (Fig. 11) 1” to 2” below dock level. Use ¾” or 5/8” lag bolts or sleeve anchors; minimum length 3” and use corresponding shield if required. Use ¾” “J” bolts with a minimum length of 8” with 1-1/4” projection.