Restraint systems are meant to prevent accidents from occurring during loading and offloading. They are meant to ascertain that the trailers remain connected to the loading dock by ensuring that the truck is held firmly in place. These systems come in a wide variety of configurations and it's important to know the best one to use so as to maintain safety. The first step is knowing the major categories of these systems. Here are the major four.

Manual vertical barrier

These are the least costly of restraints. They are normally activated by pulling a metal barrier device and bringing it together with the truck's rear impact guard (RIG). This way, the truck is prevented from moving forward and causing accidents when docked.

These restraints protect the trucks against trailer creep which occurs when the truck moves further from the dock and causes the leveller to slip off the truck. It also guards against premature departure.

Automatic vertical barrier

This kind of system is almost similar to the manual kind. The difference comes in its operation. Automatic vertical barrier restraints use an electrical or hydraulic system which then locks the barrier with the RIG. The operator here only clicks a button.

These systems are really easy to use and require very little maintenance. They can also be used in a wide range of settings from low to high traffic operations. Automatic vertical barrier restraints guard against trailer uptrending (occurs when excess weight at the rear or back causes the trailer to pitch forward or pop).

Automatic rotating hook

These restraints are suitable in preventing all kinds of trailer separation. They work by keeping the trailer fixed using a hook that revolves and covers the RIG tightly. These restraints not only prevent the RIG from moving, but they also prevent its rotation.

Rotating hook restraints are robust and very durable. They are also very easy to operate and can have varying heights to cater for different vehicles.

Automatic wheel restraint

These kind of restraints are the most flexible because they don't depend on the RIG. The other restraints are normally disadvantaged when the truck has no RIG or the rear configurations don't enable their RIGs to be locked. They are also effective against all the trailer separation problems.

Wheel restraints can be used on all vehicles because they lock the rear wheels. These systems are also able to adjust to different sizes and can therefore be used on a wide number of vehicles.

For more information and options, talk with professional trailer companies, like Sureweld, or companies that specialise in restraint systems.