How to Buy a Dock Plate or Dock Board
Before you buy a dock plate or a dock board for your warehouse dock, you will need to define your needs. Here are the Pros and Cons of dock plates and dock boards.
Dock Plates are usually aluminum and are built for one purpose. Dock plates are used to transport people manually carrying loads or hand carts from the dock to the trailer. Dock plates are never to be used to as a bridge for powered equipment. Dock plates are usually inexpensive and light enough for a person to move without the assistance of powered equipment.
– Light and easy to move
– Quick bridge between dock and trailer
– Built out of light material with usually has a shorter life
– Not built for powered equipment to cross
– Most do not lock to dock or trailer with pins
Dock boards look like plates but are built for forklifts or pallet jacks carrying heavy loads. Dock boards are structurally built with curbs on the sides for strength and assistance keeping forklifts on track. Dock boards are available in aluminum but steel is the most common and recommended material for this type of application. Most boards have a chain or lifting hoops to move the dock board because they are too heavy to life without the help of a forklift. Many dock boards also use pins to lock in place to both the trailer and dock. It is important to spec out a dock board correctly, the length, width and capacity are all play an important role. It is recommended that the end user measures the application before using any dock equipment. Dock boards are a great tool for a slow application, for more efficient dock loading and unloading see edge of dock levelers and pit levelers.
– Built to handle heavy loads with forklifts and pallet jacks
– Option to lock to trailer and dock
– Curbs to keep operator on track
– Easy to move with forklift assistance
– Relatively inexpensive
– Most are heavy and impossible to move without forklift
– Slow placement and removal between shipping/receiving
– Must be inspected on a regular basis for cracks and wear
– Must be used in correct application both length, width and capacity are very important