Standard Dock Height
Standard dock height in the United States is 48″ for LTL applications. This applies to most all freight loading docks. Standard dock height is averaged to equal the truck bed average height for most all freight carriers.
Dock levelers can operate up to 12″ above and below the installed dock height. As a result, this allows a 48″ high dock to operate as low as 36″, and as high as 60″.
Many companies deviate dock heights according to their needs. For example, a company that only services a straight truck may install a 42″ dock. Likewise, one that only services container trucks may install a 54″ dock.
To transition goods from the trailer to the loading dock, you want to be as level as possible. To clarify, that is why the LTL dock height is 48″, because semi-trailer bed heights range from 44″ – 52″. Splitting the difference gives us a 48″ dock height. As a result, the loading dock has the ability to service lower and higher truck beds (36″ – 60″). However, it is important to mention that Edge of Dock Levelers and Dock Lifts do not apply to this theory.