Can a dock be this easy?
The proof is in the “putting.”
Here’s our secret.
Pick Up A Section
There simply is no other pier system that allows for a more unobtrusive storage of a given length of dock. Each frame stacks less than 5 inches tall. When it comes time to put your dock in, you can step right into the middle of the stack, lift the top section up and step out of the stack with your next-to-install frame. Remember, the stack is shorter on the way out. Of course at some point you may, if you have a longer dock, have opted to make your stack too tall to employ this method – until the stack is shorter. But chances are you’ve had a whole winter to come to terms with how to deal with your fall decision to build the tower of Pier d’Nort. Don’t worry, after a few years you’ll have figured out how to best store your dock at your location so you can live with yourself in the spring. The dock will be there for a very long time, so there’s no hurry. And you’ll find hints on the “Care and Storage” page.
Carry It Out
Each frame/section weighs between 65 & 70 lbs depending on the length of the legs (you’ll learn in these pages that each pair of legs is custom cut [but still adjustable] for each and every frame for your particular location).
The ergonomic handles are 18 inches apart and make carrying each section easier than carrying two gas cans (and less smelly).
The folded legs lower the center of gravity so the frame is remarkably non-tippy. We all hate that when the center of gravity is too high, of course.
Those legs are made from 2 inch diameter by 1/8 inch thick aluminum tubing. They slide within a leg sleeve that’s bigger and thicker than that. Footpads are 1/4 inch thick.
Unfold The Legs
Far from just gimmicky, the robust folding leg mechanism provides for: compact storage, unparalleled stability, and a lower center of gravity for easy carrying, all in one integrated design. No tools are needed to fold or unfold the legs, they snap-lock into place where they will stay until you fold them up again in the fall. Nylon and stainless steel washers provide for long lasting smooth operation. We use industrial grade locktite on all pivoting bolts. They won’t loosen with time. Tension is maintained by the nylon washers and by compression of the main spar members. Joints are impervious to sand, dirt, and water. Don’t put any kind of acid in there though.
The patented collapsing scissor braces are fully 1/4 inch thick aluminum bar. The lateral bracing (not shown in this photo) also folds up with the leg , and the leg stays adjusted between seasons.
Tip Down and Engage
Hooking one dock section up to another is as simple as it gets. In fact it’s even simpler than that. Okay, that’s not possible… but it’s also not possible to hook them together wrong.
Once the two sections are engaged as shown below, you can even let go of the section and take a rest before throwing it in. There may even come a time when you’ve forgotten to unfold the legs before hooking the two sections up. If that occurs, you can simply unfold the legs from this position. You can even adjust the leg height from here. Or have a cup of coffee.
About now you might be wondering how easy it will be to pull that section back up out of the water in the fall. Well as you will see soon, that’s not the way it’s designed to come out.
Throw It In
If you think putting a dock in can’t actually be fun, just wait until your first time with our pier. As the section rotates around, the patented hooks swivel into place and lock the two sections together automatically. No ropes or winches are necessary, just a shove.
But let’s say you’ve forgotten to unfold the legs. No problem, the dock is designed to be able to swivel far past horizontal without any harm whatsoever. It gets even better. Suppose a twig prevents one of the hooks from swiveling and connecting? Still no problem. Just pull that corner in and hook it manually. What if both hooks don’t engage? No harm there either, but with that kind of luck you’d best avoid installing your pier in a thunderstorm.
Panels are Next
Deck panels are added as the frames are installed. They’re reversible so there’s no confusion about how they go in. The boards are spaced so that you can just get your fingers between them for easy carrying. Once in place the panels will not slide in either direction – a feature many of our customers really like.
Vinyl Deck can be ordered in lighter 2ft x 4ft panels (four per section). Most customers prefer the full size 4ft x 4ft panels since they require fewer trips. When installing, all but the last panel is brought out. That leaves access so that the next aluminum frame can be attached and dropped in.
To see this whole process in action, check out the videos below.
Install an “L”
The T&L mount attaches to the side of the pier with two hand knobs (no tools and no getting in the water). Once tightened it will not let loose. Plus, you can attach the T&L mount almost anywhere along a section of pier. The T&L mount basically duplicates the leg-end of a section of pier so, once the T&L mount is attached, you can add your section of pier to it in much the same way as before.
What if you want to put two (L) sections together side-by-side? Just mount two T&L mounts side-by-side. We make sections with special internal legs that won’t get in the way of each other when two sections are nestled up next to each other.
We also make T&L mounts for our 6 x 6 sections, which makes for a nice platform area while staying within any proposed width restrictions sought by the DNR.
Accessories such as bumpers, benches, stairsteps, corner cutters, flagpole holders, and future clever-as-the-dickens items will employ our Gripper mechanism for attachment to the pier. The Gripper is both easy to attach, and as secure as if it were one with the pier.
An added feature about the Gripper is that it’s designed so you don’t have to strain to hold onto your accessory while tightening the knob.
Wondering if the Gripper might pull out of the grooves? Not to worry. It would have to rip the main spar clean apart, and that would take automobile-like force. How do we know that? Because we had a large tree fall on one of our piers and we’re happy to show you the results. (see “Strength and Durability”)