Custom Dock Solution Designed to Unload 3,500 LB Skids Off A Flatbed Truck

No Pit, No Ramp, No Problem! Safely Unload 3,500 LB Skids With Custom Powered Conveyor

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Industry: Building Goods Distributor in Morrisville, North Carolina

Challenge: Safely moving 16-foot-long, 3,500-pound skids into warehouse

Solution: A chain-driven powered roller conveyor with custom fork truck pocket and added security features

Product: Heavy-Duty Live Roller Conveyor by Hytrol with custom controls

A family-owned construction and building goods distributor in Irmo, South Carolina has been around for more than 65 years and provides their customers with more than 150 years of industry experience. While attending Modex, the material handling show in Atlanta GA, the supply company’s director of process improvement met with Darin Boik, president of AEC, and presented a problem they knew the experts at Advanced Equipment could help solve.

No Pit, No Ramp, and 3,500-Pound Skids

3500 LB Load Skids Unloaded Without Pit Leveler or Ramp. Custom Dock Solution.

They had recently begun leasing a new warehouse space, but had a serious issue: they were receiving 16-foot-long skids of product weighing up to 3,500 pounds, but had no pit or ramp in the building to help them get the flatbed trucks delivering the products into the facility. The facility also used several different sizes of fork trucks, which would need to be taken into account when designing a solution.

Conveyor & Material Handling Specialist Ivar Lonon was brought in to help devise a solution that didn’t involve installing a very expensive 20-foot roll-up door on a leased property (ask Ivar).

Custom Heavy Duty Powered Live Roller Conveyor for Unloading 3500 LB Load Skids Off A Flatbed Truck

Custom Designed Roller Conveyor Solution

Custom Heavy Duty Powered Live Roller Conveyor for Unloading 3500 LB Load Skids Off A Flatbed TruckOriginally, Ivar was asked to provide a quote for a non-powered gravity roller system, but after reviewing the application, Ivar saw a number of control, reliability and, most importantly, safety issues involved in a non-powered system. The force of gravity on a slope with a 3,500 lb load would potentially send the load flying off the end of the conveyor.

Instead, Ivar recommended a chain driven powered roller conveyor from Hytrol, with a few custom additions for added safety. Ivar brought in one of AEC’s controls integration partners, who designed a control system with redundant photo eyes at the discharge of the conveyor.

Control The Load

Emergency Sensor on Dock Door - Safely controlling heavy loads on live roller conveyor.While some conveyor systems use a fixed end stop, this system would ensure that the ultra heavy duty load would stop at the end when needed while allowing other loads to run off the end onto a piece of specialty equipment. Additional photo eyes increases safety by preventing the conveyor from moving the load until the roll-up door is fully open and the fork truck driver has pulled out from under the load.

Finally, a pair of emergency stop switches were installed: one outside the building and one inside.  This would ensure that the 3500 lb. load would always be in their control during the entire transport.

Emergency Stop Button - Added safety to control heavy loads on live roller conveyor.

Increased Efficiency, Increased Safety

Our construction supply client is very pleased with their new, custom-designed method of unloading incoming skids. They were able to invest in capital equipment that can be relocated with the company and saved them thousands of dollars over installing a very large and expensive custom roll-up door that would ultimately have to stay with the leased building if/or when they relocate. Efficiency has increased without sacrificing the safety of employees – an important factor for both the client and Advanced Equipment Company.


Ivar Lonon is a Conveyor & Material Handling Specialist at Advanced Equipment Company. He is responsible for system sales and turnkey integration of material handling systems with over 30 years of experience in systems engineering, project management and systems integration.

To talk to Ivar about finding a solution for your application, you can email him at ivar@aec-carolina.com with any questions or call 704-527-3141. Connect and chat with Ivar on LinkedIn.