How to Prepare for Unloading Containers from a Truck

Labor Loop’s teams are always prepared for challenges that any task imposes. While the majority of our lumper assignments involve removing freight at a loading dock, we are also ready to perform when unloading containers from a truck, among other scenarios. Caution, safety, and a compliance-oriented mindset are our primary considerations. Here we discuss the best approaches to use to maximize safety, efficiency, and speed when the containers are positioned on a flatbed. 

To begin, once our team is given the greenlight by operations’ management, we’ll consider the best approach. Our go-bag will have some of these tools, the rest will be supplied by the client.

Let’s find out what must-have elements you should have to successfully unload a container:

  • Industrial boots and gloves
  • Battery-operated lighting
  • Sloping ramp/dock boards
  • Forklifts/conveyor belts/hand truck, pallet jack, drum jacks or drum dollies
  • Shifted load supplies to restack pallets as needed.

When unloading containers from a truck, a portable yard ramp with a high weight capacity that can be moved into place for loading or unloading of a trailer is, hands down, the best tool for this job. The ideal option would be a sloping ramp that levels off at the top so that the forklift will be horizontal with the back of the flatbed, depending on the size of the cargo, a conveyor belt.

Once the ramp is in place, cue the forklift. However, there is a lip between the ground and the floor of the container. To ensure safe container access, our teams will use a dock board. These are tools that we use when unloading containers at the loading dock. The key here is that they make for smooth transit of goods from the container and must have the capacity to support both the forklift, operator, and freight being removed from the container. Additional considerations when unloading containers from a truck, are that some pallet jacks are too wide for standard delivery ramps. When this occurs, a custom ramp is required or the pallets must be dismantled inside the container and removed piecemeal by forklift or hand truck. 

While semi truck trailers will have a pneumatic lift at the back to allow the contents of the trailer to be loaded and unloaded, this is not possible when the containers are loaded on the back of a flatbed. Here, our team will use a conveyor or will bring the cargo down manually onto a pallet on the ground. Labor Loop’s teams are seasoned lumper pros who adapt quickly to any freight unloading task, no matter what the scenario. 

Depend on Labor Loop to provide the right personnel on-demand for safe, swift, efficient freight unloading services to maintain your supply chain schedule. To learn more, contact us today.