This ingenious semi truck freight elevator means delivery drivers have to do little turning.

Have you ever walked by the Barclays Center in Brooklyn or just have a passion for transportation and logistics and wondered how they deliver thousands of pounds of freight to service the multi-billion dollar arena?

If you’ve gone to the Barclays Center, you know it’s got a small footprint that fits quite nicely into its New York City Borough.

Once inside, do delivery drivers need the skills of a New York Taxi Cab driver to maneuver in such a small area.

I recently came across a video on Instagram from @LiftDoc which makes it clear the ingenious way they make it relatively easy for semi drivers to get in and out of the Barclays Center.

Check out their video below.

If you’re lucky and take a peek at the Barclays Center in the 400 Block of Dean St, you might see those two massive doors open, large enough for a semi truck with trailer to drive into.

The entrance and exit of the Barclays Center Freight Elevators.

What those massive doors lead into are two side-by-side freight elevators.

In the April 2015 issue of Elevator World (article linked here) they profile the design, specifications, and operation of said two freight elevators, and how they had to get creative to pull it off.

And, if you’re an engineering buff or are an engineering student, Elevator World delves into the nitty-gritty how the engineering firm contracted to design the elevators used manual calculations and visual analysis software to determine the design specifications the elevators needed to be.

Here are the specs of the Freight Elevators courtesy of Elevator World.

Barclays Center Freight Elevator stats.

As the video shows, semi drivers drive into the freight elevators and travel about 2.5 stories (34 feet) below ground level, into the Barclays Center’s main loading dock.

Instead of maneuvering around, drivers drive onto a massive, rotating turntable that turns them the right direction of their assigned loading dock.

” After unloading, the trucks drive back onto the turntable and are rotated so they can drive straight back onto the elevator. Once on the elevator, they are brought back up to street level and can exit directly onto the street safely,” the article explains.

The genius of the turntable means semi drivers have little turning to do. The only turning necessary is making slight adjustments driving onto, out of the turntable, and going back onto Dean St. into Brooklyn.

The turntable reminds me of how they get cable cars to change direction once they reach a turnaround point.

In this case, it’s not the lack of space but the fact that cable cars are, by design, on tracks, that makes turntables the only way they can go back the way they came.

So, the next time you’re at the Barclays Center enjoying a hot dog, you now know a bit of the supply chain engineering design that makes the deliveries of food, and any number of other goods required to keep the arena operational, as easy to deliver as an arena with a much larger footprint.


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