How to Calculate Loading Dock Leveler Capacity

Selecting the proper dock leveler capacity for a loading dock leveler can be confusing due to the variables that must be addressed. Dock leveler manufacturers have different terminology to describe capacity such as rated load, dynamic capacity, rollover capacity, etc., which can add to the confusion.

Here is a simple guideline for determining your loading dock leveler capacity requirement.

Step 1. Determine the gross weight of your forklift (if applicable). This can usually be found on the model tag and load capability chart clearly posted on most all forklifts.

Step 2. Determine the the gross weight of your heaviest load (no matter how infrequent).

Step 3. Add these two numbers together, and multiply by 2.5. Take the resulting number and round up to the next available dock leveler capacity. (example below)


Forklift Gross Weight = 11,000 lbs.

Heaviest Load Gross Weight = 6,000 lbs

11,000 lbs. + 6,000 lbs. = 17,000 lbs

17,000 x 2.5 = 42,500 lbs.

Choose a 45,000 lb dock leveler for this application

How to calculate loading dock leveler capacity

 This guideline will work in the majority of applications when the grade is less than 7%, the speed does not exceed 5 mph, the frequency is not more than 8 trucks per door per day, and there are no more than 20 rollover cycles per vehicle.

If you have any questions, or would like more information regarding dock levelers including approval drawings and pricing, please feel free to give me a call at 315-797-9346. Ask for Jon in Sales 🙂