Kirk Safeguards Loading Docks with Salvo Solution

Kirk Safeguards Loading Docks with Salvo Solution

New Gladhand Lock Design Offers Increased Compatibility with Wide Range of Intermodal Logistics Chassis


North Canton, Ohio – Kirk Key Interlock Company introduced a new gladhand lock, as part of their Salvo Loading Dock Safety product range, that will allow the safety system to expand upon the types of trailers they can secure at the loading dock.

­­The interlocking gladhand, which secures a trailer’s air brakes, features a robust weather resistant design and protective molded rubber sleeve, ideal for the warehouse environment. The lock fits all semi-trailer types and now offers intermodal container chassis compatibility, expanding the range of safe loading operations at a facility.

“One of our large Salvo customers came to us with the need to safely unload/load a large fleet of ocean container chassis with recessed gladhand couplings at the loading dock. Our previous gladhand design fit most but not all the recessed coupling positions on intermodal chassis. As a company that is always striving to innovate and meet our customers’ needs, we adapted the design and developed a tough new product that allows for all trailer types and containers to be safely unloaded/loaded at the loading dock.”

– Pierre Balson, Kirk Key Interlock Vice President of Sales

Ergonomics and usability were at the forefront of the design process. The gladhand offers a stainless steel and aluminum design, protective molded rubber grip and triggers to improve the ease of use. Extensive testing such as drop tests, harsh weather exposure and customer trials were successfully completed and signed off prior to the release. All tests and trials concluded with exceptional feedback and the product has already been installed in several customer sites.

The Salvo Gladhand (SGL) is a component in the Salvo Loading Dock Safety System. The Salvo Loading Dock Safety System protects personnel and equipment at the loading dock by preventing unscheduled drive-aways during loading/unloading by interlocking the trailer’s air brakes with the dock door.

To learn more about Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems, visit or email Salvo Director, Dan Skiba, at




Every year in the US there are thousands of drive-away events at the loading dock that often result in serious injuries and even death. Making sure that workers are protected at the loading dock is a key part of a facilities safety strategy.

Kirk Key Interlock Company believes everyone has the right to be safe at work. Kirk provides sequenced process safety solutions to the logistics and energy industries. Our logistics solution, Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems, prevent drive-aways during loading/unloading by interlocking the trailer’s air brakes with the dock door, ensuring that the trailer cannot depart until loading/unloading is completed and the dock door is closed.

Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems protect loading dock personnel and ensure they return home safely at the end of their shift.

Avoiding Detention Costs Through Automatic Data Capture

Avoiding Detention Costs Through Automatic Data Capture

Defining Detention

Detention is the result of a shipper or receiver exceeding the allotted time window to load/unload a truck. In the US, the typical detention time is between 1 and 2 hours.  If a carrier enters detention, there is a fee associated called a detention fee. This fee is a per hour cost typically between $25-$100.

A detention fee is used to offset the cost of the truck being detained at the shipper or receiver’s facility. If they are detained it prevents them from arriving at their next appointment on time and can even prevent them from picking up their next load all together – cutting into their profits.

False Claims Result in High Costs

Detention fees make sense if a facility truly did hold up a driver. For example, a forklift could have required maintenance while they were loading the trailer or the facility overscheduled trailers that needed to be unloaded. However, what if the fault lied in the driver? Perhaps the driver went to get a bite to eat or fell asleep in the lobby while the truck was being loaded/unloaded and didn’t return until detention began, resulting in a detention fee – a fee that is the facility’s responsibility to pay for.

Unfortunately, when scenarios like this happen, facilities lack the proof to dispute any claims. Often, they are faced with high costs associated with detention fees due to the lack of data around their loading dock. A large food manufacturer stated that they spend $75,000 per year on detention costs at one of their smaller sites that has only 11 loading docks. They are not alone; the US reports detention fees and related charges cost the industry over $1 billion dollars annually. 1

Avoiding Fees and Disputing Claims

When facilities use software programs that capture data automatically, fees associated with false detention claims can be avoided. Many of these software platforms capture data in real time and have a historical reporting feature. One particular product, Salvo InSite has a historic traceability report that features a load cycle timeline detailing the exact time the truck was ready to leave, providing facilities with the proof to dispute any false claims made against them for detention fees.

For example, imagine that you are a logistics manager who has just received a phone call from a company that claims their driver was kept on site longer than your agreed detention period. What you need is traceability of what happened at the dock to dispute the claim. The Salvo InSite Traceability Reports provide you with a log of all load cycles that have occurred at your site, along with a detailed timeline that breaks down the time at the loading dock. By filtering the report using date and alarm type, it is simple to find the load that is disputed.

In this scenario, the truck arrived at the dock and was loaded in a reasonable time, however once loading was completed and the dock door was closed, the driver did not depart for 75 minutes which took you beyond the 2-hour agreed detention time. With this new information you can dispute the claim as you have the recorded truth of what actually happened at the dock.


In conclusion, detention fees and claims can result in high costs for facilities. However, there is a way to avoid and dispute these claims through automatic data capture around the loading dock. The Salvo InSite platform can provide detailed data around the loading dock, allowing facilities to dispute any false claims using historic traceability reports. These reporting features and automatic data collection capabilities can end up saving companies millions in detentions fees and associated costs.

To learn more about Salvo InSite and to hear from one of our Salvo team members, please complete the form on our Salvo InSite webpage.

KIRK Creates Simple 5 Step Guide on How to Use IoT to Set Efficiency Goals for the Loading Dock

KIRK Creates Simple 5 Step Guide on How to Use IoT to Set Efficiency Goals for the Loading Dock

The Internet of things (IoT) finds application in several industries including warehousing & logistics. Yet, the use of IoT at the loading dock remains limited.

A lack of data around loading dock activities and operations make it difficult to manage the loading dock environment and often signifies recurrent delays and significant monetary losses for a warehouse. It is vital that any business now consider IoT as part of their loading dock strategy and set effective KPIs to optimize performance to enable a business to stay ahead of the competition.

We have produced a simple 5-step guide on how to use IoT to set efficiency goals for your loading dock. A preview of the guide can be viewed below:

The rise of IOT in the warehousing and logistics Industry

The Internet of Things (IOT) refers to a network of connected smart devices extracting information from which businesses can get useful insights. This increased volume of available data has unlocked the potential for businesses to manage and optimize a wider range of operations, minimizing costs and improving profitability. IOT is a rapidly growing trend in all industries as part of Industry 4.0 and its adoption is only predicted to continue to expand.

In the warehousing and logistics industry, pressures from increasing globalization including foreign competition and the need for ever faster operations has meant the industry has been an early mover on this innovative technology. Applications for IOT in this industry are already embraced, be it in the way warehouses inventory is tracked or how forklifts movements are monitored. IOT is allowing sites to raise the bar on performance to levels that were unattainable in the past, making sure they can compete in the global market.

The limited use of IOT at the loading dock

One area of the industry where IOT has been underutilized is the loading dock, where its use remains limited and opportunities for improvements are large. A warehouse loading dock serves as the main point of entrance or exit for products that are loaded or unloaded from vehicles, an activity strongly connected with a warehouse’s bottom line and profitability. A lack of data around such time-consuming and essential loading dock activities and operations makes it difficult to manage the loading dock area and often signifies recurrent delays and significant monetary losses for a warehouse. It is vital that any business now consider IOT as part of their loading dock strategy and set effective KPIs to optimize performance to enable a business to stay ahead of the competition.

Simple 5-step guide on how to use IOT to set measurable efficiency goals for your loading docks

In the following section, we will show you how to use IOT to set measurable efficiency goals for your loading docks in 5 simple steps.


To access the complete guide, click  here.

Maximizing Loading Dock Capacity and the Benefits that Follow

Maximizing Loading Dock Capacity and the Benefits that Follow

Pressure to Increase Throughput

Manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution facilities around the world are faced with the constant pressure to increase production and throughput to meet consumers growing demand for goods. Some facilities do this in a variety of ways such as introducing automated equipment into their manufacturing processes to reduce the amount of time to produce goods. Others redesign the layout of their working environments to optimize space and some even consider adding on to their existing buildings to accommodate the manufacturing or storage of additional goods. These are all viable solutions, but they are costly.

The Loading Dock is a Valuable Asset

The loading dock is an environment often overlooked when operation mangers are tasked with increasing throughput. Loading docks are a key part of the supply chain and are a valuable asset and should be seen as one. Loading docks are what make a site continue to operate day after day, receiving and shipping goods – impacting profits.

An inefficient loading dock impacts the amount of goods able to be received or shipped out of a facility, resulting in low facility throughput. Optimizing efficiencies in this environment will allow for increased throughput and maximized loading dock capacity.

 Benefits of Maximized Capacity at the Loading Dock

Ensuring your loading docks are operating at maximum capacity will not only increase your facilities throughput but also provide several other benefits to your site such as performance optimization, increased understanding, safe working practices, and reduced costs.

Performance Optimization

Ensuring your facility is operating at maximized capacity ensures that site performance is optimized. Through the identification of inefficiencies and bottlenecks  affecting your loading docks, the necessary changes can be made to optimize performance. Some examples of this include utilizing all your loading docks instead  of only a select few and giving dock schedulers full visibility of which loading docks are in use or available – minimizing the risk of incorrect dock assignment.

Increased Understanding

An increased understanding of your loading dock capacity will allow for any results from changes made in dock operations to be tracked. In addition, planning dock activities will become easier as you will now be aware of your limits. Increased understanding of your loading dock will also make the facility aware if they  do truly need to invest funds to expand their facility, add additional loading docks, or introduce automated technologies in other areas of the plant.

Safe Working Practices

To ensure your facility maximizes their loading dock capacity, it is critical the docks are operating in a safe manner. In the US, more than 25% of all industrial  accidents occur at the loading dock while resulting in 270,000 injuries and 819 deaths. Additionally, for every accident there are about 600 near misses  (EHSToday). A safe loading dock environment increases efficiencies as it reduces the risk of downtime resulting from injury or a near miss.

Reduced Cost

It is simple, not operating at maximum capacity is costly, extremely costly. Accidents coupled with inefficiencies and avoidable fines cost the US warehouse   industry well over $80 billion per year. Detention fees, lack of data, poor dock utilization and manual data entry are serious problems that are affecting facilities.    These issues often make it difficult to plan dock activities, hamper site performance, decrease load capacity and result in inaccurate data and high costs.

It is important to understand, measure and operate at your facility’s maximum capacity. Doing this will result in reduce costs, saving you millions of dollars  annually and increasing profits.

 A Solution to Maximize Loading Dock Capacity

Maximizing the capacity of the loading dock environment could be the key to success your facility is missing.  Fortunately, Kirk Key Interlock Company provides a solution that allows for facilities to achieve this.

Salvo InSite is a digital add on to Kirk’s existing Salvo Loading Dock Safety System. The digital platform provides real time dock status, performance analytics, and traceability reports through a web-based software application.

With Salvo InSite, facilities can optimize performance by identifying inefficiencies and bottlenecks in loading dock operations through automatic data capture and visualization – allowing loading dock capacity to be monitored 24/7. Results can be tracked by gaining a greater understanding of how operational changes are affecting loading dock performance through dashboards, historical reports and live KPI’s. With Salvo InSite, safety at the dock can be managed through site usage reports, ensuring that the loading dock safety system is being used correctly. The digital solution also reduces the costs and effort associated with manual data entry, analysis, detention fees and claims, through automatic data capture and historic traceability capabilities.

With Kirk’s Salvo Logistic Solutions facilities can make informed decisions to maximize performance, load capacity, and throughput at their facility while keeping personnel safe.

For more information about Salvo Logistic Solutions, click here.

We’ve created a simple how-to guide on how to set efficiency goals at your loading dock through 5 simple steps. You can read the how-to-guide here.

Kirk to Exhibit at ProMatDX

Product Demonstration of Salvo InSite to Take Place

Kirk to Exhibit at ProMatDX

Join Kirk at ProMatDX April 12th – 16th.

ProMatDX is a digital exhibition designed to power up manufacturing and supply chain professionals with critical access to the latest solutions and technologies that will take your supply chain to the next level of success.

The event will showcase new innovations through sponsored showcase pages and product demos featuring new technologies. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend sponsored product demos, keynote speaker sessions, seminars, and a variety of educational sessions.

Kirk Key Interlock is exhibiting at the event and will be holding a product demonstration of our new Salvo InSite platform that attendees can sign up for.

Salvo InSite is a digital add on to our existing Salvo Loading Dock System, that provides real time dock status, performance analytics, and traceability reports through a web-based software application.

Click here to register for FREE and sign up to attend our product demo taking place on April 13th at 10:30 am CT.



Kirk Digitizes Existing Salvo Loading Dock Safety System

New Salvo InSite Platform Transforms Loading Docks Through Data Analytics

North Canton, Ohio – Kirk Key Interlock Company introduced their first digital product, Salvo InSite, as part of their Salvo Logistic Solutions product range.

The Salvo InSite platform digitizes Kirk’s Salvo Loading Dock Safety System, currently in use at tens of thousands of docks around the world. The new development launches Kirk into the digital product arena with a web-based software application that allows the company to provide optimized productivity as well as safety to the loading dock environment.

Benefits for Customers

The value of the product lies in the data it provides and the ability to see into an environment that was blurred by inaccurate, time consuming and expensive processes. With Salvo InSite, facilities can now optimize performance by identifying inefficiencies and bottlenecks in loading dock operations through automatic data capture and visualization. Results can be tracked by gaining a greater understanding of how operational changes are affecting loading dock performance through dashboards, historical reports and live KPI’s. With Salvo InSite, safety at the dock can now be managed through site usage reports, ensuring that the loading dock safety system is being used correctly. The digital solution is also reducing the costs and effort associated with manual data entry, analysis, detention fees and claims, through automatic data capture and historic traceability capabilities. With these features’ facilities can make informed decisions, ensuring maximized productivity at the loading dock is achieved while keeping personnel safe.

“Our strong relationships with our Salvo Loading Dock Safety customers, allowed us to gain insight into other problems at the loading dock. We became aware of the lack of data available in this environment and found that detention fees, poor dock utilization and manual data entry are serious problems that are affecting facilities. These issues often make it difficult to plan dock activities, hamper site performance, and result in inaccurate data and high costs. Our goal in developing this solution is to transform loading docks into a safe, efficient and data centric environment.”

 – David Hughes, Global Sales Director

 The Technical Details

The web-based platform is an add on to the Salvo Loading Dock Safety System that has been sold worldwide for over 15 years. The digital solution collects dock activity data from an IOT module installed in the Salvo control panel. The IOT module works on cellular technology allowing for an infrastructure free network or requiring access to site Wi-Fi. The plug and play module approach means a quick and simple set up, reducing any downtime associated with installation. Data is captured 24 hours a day and sent to the cloud where it is stored securely on a protected cloud database. The collected data can then be viewed through a simple web interface providing the user real time dock status, performance analytics and traceability reports from any browser worldwide. The Salvo InSite platform is in use at several test sites and has received positive feedback as well as proved its value in providing accurate data to a previously blurred environment.

To watch the Salvo InSite video, click here.

To learn more about Salvo InSite or to schedule a virtual product demo, click here.

Where Trapped Key Solutions Win in Safety!

History of Trapped Key Interlocking 

Trapped key interlocking has been keeping people safe from hazardous energy and environments for over 100 years. A trapped key interlock safety solution ensures that a pre-determined sequence of operations is followed each time and cannot be circumvented or short cut. The transfer of uniquely coded keys ensures that personnel remain safe throughout the process and eliminates human error.

The concept of trapped key interlocking (TKI) dates back to 1893 when French inventor Paul Bouré created engagement locking devices to ensure safe track switching operations. Two years later, Trayvou manufactured interlocking devices for the manufacturing and railway industry. In 1922, an Englishman by the name of James Harry Castell designed the first interlocking system to protect the people and assets during the electrification of London. In the United States, Ralph Levering Kirk was the first to pioneer the use of key interlocking on circuit breakers and switches in early 1930’s.

Where Trapped Key Solutions Win 

Trapped Key Interlock solutions provide a fixed mounted safety solution, customized to the user’s specific application needs, equipment, and processes.  Interlocks are designed to withstand harsh environments and heavy applications where alternative solutions such as safety switching and sensing technology may not perform consistently; and in hazardous situations, failure of a safety solution is not an option!

Trapped key interlocking systems are mounted directly to equipment, gating, and access doors and does not require field wiring or cabling around machinery, assets, or equipment. In many cases, equipment power will be isolated via a key switch mounted on a control panel or isolation unit, keeping all the electrical wiring well away from the hazardous areas. KIRK’s trapped key interlocking products are built to the highest quality, and are extremely robust, being able to withstand harsh conditions such as high temperatures, adverse weather, debris, and even wash down areas. They require little maintenance and are proven to work in challenging environments.

While trapped key interlocking was originally introduced in railway track switching applications, the technology of trapped key systems has continued to develop and is now utilized in many applications across all sectors. From machine guarding safety in industrial applications, operations and maintenance of switchgear, both HV and MV/LV, and even in logistics and warehousing preventing accidents during loading/unloading activities, trapped key interlocking solution can be found.

How a Trapped Key Solution Works

A trapped key interlocking solution consists of 3 defined actions: isolating hazardous energy, transferring or exchanging sequenced keys, and accessing the protected area or equipment.  Interlocks are designed specifically with these action in mind to ensure the comprehensive solutions operates effectively.

An isolation interlock is typically the initiating interlock and ensures the isolation of power.  Once the equipment is de-energized, the interlock key is turned, engaging the bolt, blocking the power switch, and releasing the key.  The interlock is now a physical barrier to preventing the equipment from being re-energized.

Now that power has been isolated, the released key can be taken to a transfer or exchange interlocks where there the access keys are trapped awaiting the introduction of the initiating key from the isolation interlock.  Once the initiating key has been inserted and turned in the transfer block, the access key(s) are now released, and the initiating key is trapped.

The access key(s) can now be taken to the access points and inserted into the access interlock(s). Personnel can safely enter the area with peace of mind that the power has been fully isolated and cannot be re-energized until the trapped key solution is followed in reverse.  The video below demonstrates a simple scheme for safely accessing a restricted area.


Trapped key interlocking systems have been keeping people safe at work for over 100 years. Advancements in technology, the need for real-time data, and remote management is changing the way businesses look to improve on their efficiencies and productivity. We are working to incorporate these technologies into our trapped key solutions with Smart Key Management Systems and Warehouse Insight Systems.  Trapped key safety solutions will remain relevant and often may be the best safety solution especially when it comes to harsh environments and heavy applications where the need to withstand adverse conditions is required.

For more information, contact

The Impact of Coronavirus on the Logistics Industry

The Impact of Coronavirus on the Logistics Industry

Changes for logistics & warehouses due to coronavirus 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on all sectors globally. The logistics industry has proved critical at this time but has also been affected by the circumstances created by COVID-19, undergoing significant changes and facing several challenges.

There has been an enormous need for effective and immediate logistics services due to increased e-commerce activities resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Since January 2020, existing customers have been purchasing online more frequently, while new customers – mostly people coming from older age groups or rural areas have made an online purchase for the first time. Evidence of the growth e-commerce is facing is the fact that the market capitalization has increased by more than 25% since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. Moreover, the Chinese e-commerce sector, which accounted for less than 20% of sales on the market, has also significantly risen.

In addition, supermarkets and grocery retailers specifically have been largely expanding their e-commerce capabilities using home delivery services to cope with the increased customer demand for food and grocery. In fact, between the January 31st and March 20th 2020, the food and grocery market grew by more than 4%. However, to fulfil this customer demand, putting further logistics in place has been a necessity.

Increased risk due to increased activity

This rapid increase of e-commerce has affected the landscape of logistics and warehousing in several ways. As the number of deliveries rises, so does the volume of loading dock operations. With logistics firms facing even higher than usual pressures to ensure on time deliveries of goods and services, the risk of accidents at loading docks (such as accidental drive-aways) also increases. Dock inactivity, the loss of assets, staff, time and loading dock capacity resulting from an accident are only a few of the numerous impacts that could affect a business.

During the colder seasons, truck drivers will be wanting to stay in waiting rooms, but with social distancing in place due to coronavirus restrictions, maintaining social distancing might not always be possible and result in some drivers staying in their vehicles. This decreases the risk of truck drivers contracting or spreading coronavirus, but in some situations might not be best practice and could increase risk of drive-aways. Some companies are even reducing the number of staff on site and using advanced technologies such as remote forklift truck driving, although that can come with additional risks to be considered.


The best way to ensure continued safe operation of the loading dock during this period of increased activity is to have a simple, reliable solution that ensures the safety of the warehouse staff and drivers with minimal operational disruption.

One such available safety solution is the Salvo Loading Dock Safety System. The system’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it interlocks the vehicle’s air brakes with the dock door. Loading/unloading of goods can take place safely, and the risk of accidental drive-aways is mitigated. Moreover, Salvo is very easy to use as personnel need to follow a few simple steps to operate the dock, making the solution easy for all to understand.

Drivers in the vehicle do not pose a risk with Salvo because the air brakes are locked out. Dispatch managers can ensure that accidental drive-aways are prevented and loading/unloading processes take place safely and with minimum disruptions.

The increased risks arising from covid-19 can be mitigated with the appropriate safety solutions in place, allowing for loading docks to operate safely with increased throughput.

Get in touch with our Salvo Director, Dan Skiba, at to learn more about the Salvo Loading Dock Safety Solution.

Data Center UPS Systems with TKI Solutions

Data Center UPS Systems with TKI Solutions

Continuous, uninterrupted power is critical to our infrastructure. Everything we do is dependent on power, and in today’s COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing our lives impacted in more ways. Increased online businesses, home offices, and online schooling depend on power and connectivity to outside data centers and servers.  When the potential for power outages, interruptions, or inconsistencies in power occur, it is important that our critical facilities, utilities, and data centers have an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) System and bypass in place to mitigate loss of power.  UPS Systems will protect your facility, hospital, equipment, and/or data from damage, loss of information, and even loss of life.

During a loss of power situation, UPS systems become your facilities temporary power source until load can seamlessly transfer to the back-up power generator.  Having a UPS system in your facility is one thing, but regular maintenance and testing on the UPS system is just as critical.  Regular testing and maintenance must be completed to be confident that when the system is needed, it will function properly.  During both the maintenance and operations of a UPS system, protecting workers and contractors from hazardous energy is imperative.  Implementing a trapped key interlock safety solution into these processes will guarantee the maintenance on the UPS system is properly and safely managed each time.


In a data center, routine maintenance on UPS systems is scheduled.  Maintenance to the system can include but is not limited to load bank testing of the generator to emulate the generator running in back-up mode during a power outage.  During this maintenance process, the generator must be disconnected from the facility power.  KIRK Scheme 39, from the KIRK Scheme book, is an example of a typical UPS bypass system process when implemented safely with a trapped key interlock solution.

When the UPS system does not require maintenance, however service to the utility generator or backup generator is necessary, a similar trapped key interlock solution can be implemented on the Maintenance Bypass System (MBS) to ensure the system has been safely isolated.  This requires the system to isolate power from the facility and safely access the breaker cabinet that is connected to the alternate power source; ie utility generator.

When designing UPS system for a data center facility, it is important to determine the Tier Standard for the facility.  The Tier Standard defines critical components of a data center and provides an uptime metric based on the critical need of the data center operations.  A Tier 1 facility is classed as a non-critical facility and may implement a simple UPS system if any at all.  On the other end of the tier standard is a tier 4 facility, which is classed as the highest level of critical need.  A Tier 4 facility must have a minimum of 96 hours of power outage protection in times of need.  In either situation, a trapped key interlock safety solution will ensure the safety of employees and equipment when performing critical maintenance and when putting UPS systems into operation during a dire power situation.



Whether you are implementing a trapped key interlock safety solution for a tier 1 facility or the most critical tier 4 facility, it is imperative to protect your personnel and equipment.  Designed and customized for each unique situation, a trapped key interlock solution will eliminate human error and ensure the safety of all involved.

KIRK has been delivering safety solutions for electrical systems since 1932.  Working closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) has enabled KIRK to produce interlocks designed specifically for use on the leading manufacturer’s breakers, isolators, and disconnects.  KIRK’s comprehensive product offering of energy isolation and safe access interlock products for UPS applications ensures the right solution can be implemented for any level of critical power.  Mounting provisions often supplied by OEMs enable the interlocks to be easily incorporated however, if a unique mounting provision is required, KIRK’s Applied Engineering Services team can design a customized interlock or provision to meet the requirements.

To discuss any UPS or bypass application requirements, please contact our team of technical experts:

How an Interlock Solution Can Ensure Safe Gangway Loading

How an Interlock Solution Can Ensure Safe Gangway Loading

Tankers and the Industries they Serve

Industries such as oil & gas, food & beverage, chemical, and agriculture require goods to be transported by tanker truck. Commonly, these vehicles carry granular or liquid goods like fuel, flour, sugar or plastics. These types of goods require specialized procedures to unload and load their goods.

Loading/Unloading Process

When a tanker truck has reached its destination, it enters the unloading/ loading area of a facility where hoses and or pumps are connected to the tank to unload or load the goods. It is common that tanker personnel will need to gain access to the top of the tank to allow for ventilation or attach hoses/pumps to begin the loading/unloading process. Many facilities have permanent or semi-permanent elevated loading platforms or gangway systems that allow authorized tanker personnel to safely access the top of the tanks.


While gangway platforms offer personnel ease of access, they also pose some risk.  Property damage can occur when a tanker believes that the loading or unloading process is complete and begins to pull away from the loading site as its hoses/pumps are still connected. As a result, the gangway and other equipment could become damaged.

Not only is equipment and property damaged when the tanker pulls away from the gangway, but personnel is also at risk for injury or even death. The OSHA 1910.28 standard requires fall protection devices such as a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall protection systems to be in use if an employee could fall more than 4 feet or more from an opening. While most gangways or loading platforms meet this standard by using guardrails, accidents can still occur.

In addition, it is common for tanker trucks to carry flammable or corrosive liquids which makes the safe loading/unloading of this material imperative for both the personnel and facility. OSHA states, “Truck or rail tank car loading or the unloading of flammable/combustible liquids is one of the most hazardous operations likely to be undertaken at any manufacturing or storage facility.”


To mitigate these risks, the tanker truck needs to be prevented from departing from the gangway before loading or unloading is complete. The Salvo Loading Dock Safety System is a robust solution that prevents early departures from occurring. The system forces a sequential process to be followed that ensures the tankers are locked out before personnel can access the gangway to begin their loading/ unloading procedure.

The tankers air brakes are first locked out by using a uniquely coded glad-hand. When the glad-hand is applied the key can then be removed and taken to the manual door lock. The manual door lock is typically mounted on a post where personnel would access the gangway. The door lock would contain a short bolt and long chain that restricts access to the gangway until the Salvo key has been inserted into the door lock and the bolt has been removed, granting access to the gangway. When the loading process is complete and the gangway has been retracted back to its original stored position, the bolt is reinserted into the door lock, releasing the key. The key can then be taken to the glad-hand where it is reinserted and the glad-hand can be removed. The Salvo Loading System prevents early departures and ensures personnel are safe.

 Contact Us

For more information on the Salvo Loading System, visit or contact Dan Skiba, Director-Salvo at