Ramps and bridge plates: it’s the simple things in life

25th August 2016
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Ramps and bridge plates: it’s the simple things in life

Working spaces and loading bays are extremely vital for maintaining the overall productivity of manufacturing or logistics organisations, and this is often over looked. Their scissor lifts, dock levellers and other high tech equipment perform vital tasks and look very impressive, but, as sara LBS’s Jeremy Albin explains, more mundane ramps and bridge plates are equally important.

High technology that is illustrated by the number of people who dream of owning a supercar, is easily seduced by, however the whole time knowing that in most cases a mass produced family car is a better option. The same tenet applies to loading bay technology.

sara LBS is recognised as one of the UK’s premier companies for the supply of loading bay equipment such as scissor lifts, dock levellers, shelters, automatic doors and curtains. These are highly sophisticated engineering solutions that are often custom-designed to individual installations and they are vital to efficient loading operations.

However, a look on the company’s web site reveals that they also supply ramps, bridge plates and accessories. The fact that sara LBS offers these items tells us that they are every bit as important in a hardworking loading bay. Further their design, quality and reliability must be up to the company’s high standards before they can be endorsed with the sara LBS brand.

You may think that a ramp is a ramp is a ramp, but that is not necessarily true. sara LBS works closely with its customers to design and supply high quality loading ramps and bridge plates. With many years of engineering experience across different industries sara LBS is able to find the best solution to meet the specific demands of any application.

For instance, sara LBS ramps come in a number of standard sizes, but the company can also make them to any length and the width can be increased to suit the specific requirements of particular applications. In fact sara LBS’s designers regularly develop bespoke ramps for individual customers.

All ramps are manufactured to British and European standards, including a 100% safety factor, and are certified accordingly. They are usually made from aluminium for corrosion free reliability and easy handling due to their low weight. Strength and rigidity are provided through the design geometry.

A set of ramps is vital in a loading bay for several reasons. The first is that, in the event of a power failure, lifts and other driven equipment cannot be used, but loading and unloading must continue. It is also possible that a powered lift may have been damaged or has to be taken out of service for routine inspection and maintenance; again ramps allow operations to continue.

Bridge plates come in an infinite number of different forms and varieties. As their name suggest the aluminium or steel plates allow you to bridge from one point to another and/or from one level to another. Typically they could provide a gentle ramp that would allow a fork lift or pallet truck to move onto and egress from the bed of a scissor lift or the floor of a shipping container; in such a case sara LBS would have ensured that they are designed to cope with the maximum likely load, plus a generous safety margin.

Another common duty is to provide a bridge over a pipe or cable running across the floor. Typically this is a temporary situation, but sometimes the pipe or cable, and their ramps, will be a permanent fixture. They can also be used to bridge trenches and as gangway ramps, pit covers, kerb ramps and, increasingly, to allow wheelchair access from one level to another.

sara LBS can also provide bridge plates and ramps in a number of industrial strength polymers, for situations where noise needs to be kept low, or where an industrial appearance is not desirable.

A modern loading bay is likely to be full of eye-catching equipment like electro-hydraulic lifting platforms and inflatable shelters that automatically deploy when a vehicle is ready to be loaded or unloaded. But in order for them to guarantee the round the clock performance required in modern industry, lift bays also need the strength in depth of rather mundane looking, manually deployed lifts and ramps. sara LBS recognises this as a fundamental requirement for modern logistics, hence its commitment to providing best in class products to ensure fully equipped loading bays.

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