Warehouse managers have to be all-around generalists, knowing a little bit about a lot of things. One of their most important areas of responsibility is likely to be the loading dock – the hub of warehouse activities, where vehicles, goods and personnel converge.

If you’ve been managing a warehouse for a while, you may know all these loading dock terms. But if you’re not sure of the proper terms for some things on the dock, study up on these and do your own research and learn some more.

Communication Lights

Flashing lights that tell drivers and warehouses personnel that loading or unloading is in progress or when it’s completed.

Dock Bumper

Typically made of rubber, these prevent damage to loading dock equipment, vehicles, trailers and warehouse walls.

Dock Shelter

These flexible enclosures allow trailers to enter into a loading dock while the fabric forms a barrier around the rear of the trailer. Shelters fit more loosely around the trailer than seals so are likely to last longer.

Height Differential

This is the difference between the dock height and the highest truck height.

High Speed Doors

Industrial dock doors that are useful for climate control and for minimizing maintenance. They may be roll-up or sectional.

Loading Dock Leveler

A steel bridge between the warehouse building and the truck bed. The dock won’t match the height of every truck, so gaps can result. Dock levelers close these gaps.

Overhead Doors

Sectional doors that move on tracks when opening or closing. They include insulated panels.

Vehicle Creep

This results from the back-and-forth rocking motion when a truck moves during loading or unloading. This creep can cause employees to fall when they step out into open air where they thought there was solid surface. A vehicle or trailer restraint can lock the trailer in place to prevent back-and-forth motions.

Of course there are many more terms to be familiar with, but these will get you started.