Dock Watch systems developed to prevent accidents at distribution warehouses - Continued

Shephard's Industrial Training Systems, Inc., did work for a mining company that had a failure at one of its docks. "They asked me to find a device that would warn them if a trailer creeps," Shephard says.

After he'd been searching the marketplace for such a gadget without success, Shephard decided to develop a new monitoring system and formed Dock Watch LLC. With a patent pending, eight Dock Watch units have already been purchased and Shephard is looking to penetrate the thriving logistics market in Memphis. This year, he hopes to sell 1,200-1,500 units ranging from $595-$975 depending on the model, which would translate into $714,000-$1.46 million in gross revenues. "Our first target market is Memphis," he says. "In this distribution hub, there are hundreds of loading docks."

Shepherd's Dock Watch system is designed to prevent accidents that occur when the trailer creeps away from the dock as a forklift operator is about to drive onto an industrial truck's trailer or into its container. Oftentimes, the dynamic motion of the lift truck on the trailer creates thrust, Shephard explains.

The transportation and distribution sector has one of the highest nonfatal injury rates, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. With an average of seven such injuries per 100 workers in 2005, the sector accounted for 7% of all private industry cases, but it made up only 4% of the work force.

With an employee shortage in transportation and warehousing, companies are improving working conditions to retain workers and attract new ones. With employees' safety a major concern, Dock Watch has a potentially large market.
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Dock Watch: An innovative trailer to dock monitoring system.  Identifies trailer creep and trailer early departure.  Alerts an operator and truck driver of unsafe conditions.  Dock Watch helps in preventing loading dock incidents and accidents.  New construction: warehouse, distribution center or manufacturing facility.  Improve employee safety at new and existing loading docks by installing a Dock Watch Monitoring System.


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