Loading dock apron space is the area required to maneuver and position trailers into place at the loading dock. Planning the loading dock apron space requires recognizing the amount of trailer movement and the amount of room it takes to achieve that movement. The key factors of consideration are traffic flow, total vehicle length and extra length safety factor.
A simple guideline for determining apron space is to take the sum of the longest possible combination of truck and trailer lengths and multiply this dimension by two and add a safety factor of 5'0" to 10'0". (I.e. a truck with an overall length of 70'0" requires a minimum apron space of 150'0").
Remember to always use the longest combination of truck and trailer length dimensions.
Keep in mind that trailer jockey trucks should not be used to determine loading dock apron space, unless used exclusively, because they require substantially less room to maneuver than that of a standard over the road truck.
If the apron space is to be surfaced with asphalt, a concrete landing strip must be poured. In warm temperatures, the concrete landing strip will prevent the trailer's landing gear from sinking into the asphalt when spotted.
A gravel-covered loading dock apron should be avoided because it creates uneven and unsafe dock conditions.