About "Dockplates" & "Dockboards":
Dock plates and dock boards provide a ramp and a floor transition from the
loading dock to the truck bed when loading, or unloading trucks.
Dock-plates are lighter, and are used with non-powered equipment such as
pallet jacks, platform trucks, hand trucks, etc. Dock boards are
basically dock plates with reinforcing side-rails ("curbs") added.
Dock-boards are much stronger, and are used with powered equipment such as
forklifts, or powered pallet trucks. Choosing the correct model
board or plate is essential for safety, productivity, and durability.
No dock board or dock plate is suitable for use with stackers, reach-trucks,
and other low-profile or top-heavy equipment.
Material Construction: Most dock plates or dock
boards are made with either aluminum or steel. Good quality aluminum
boards are generally more expensive, much lighter, and much easier to
handle. The capacity of standard aluminum dock board varies from
7,000 to 15,000 lbs. Steel is more economical, heavier (and more
costly to ship), and is usually handled with a forklift. The most
common type of steel dock board has a capacity of 15,000 lbs, but other
steel boards can handle up to 40,000 lbs. Still another type of
construction combines aluminum, and steel by using aluminum plate and
bolted-on steel curbs (in place of welded-on aluminum curbs).
Add the weight of the heaviest equipment used (such as forklift, pallet
jack, platform truck, etc) plus the maximum load carried, to determine your
maximum load. Choose a dock board, or dock plate that exceeds your
maximum load. Some manufacturers recommend choosing a higher capacity
rating for severe service such as in 24 hour operations, or when using
3-wheeled forklifts. Regardless of your operations, a higher capacity
board or plate will be stronger & more durable, while overloading can be
For manual material handling equipment, we recommend that the width be at least 8" wider than
the overall width of the load and equipment. For example a dock plate
for hand-operated pallet jacks carrying 40" wide pallets should be at least 48" wide.
For powered operations, we recommend the width to be at least 16" wider than
the overall width of the load, or equipment. The additional dock board
width is required for safe maneuverability, and because the safety curbs on
dock boards take up approx. 6-8" of usable space. A 60" wide board is the
minimum recommended width for dock boards used with most forklifts carrying
The proper length is determined by the maximum height difference between the
loading dock floor and the truck
floor. Each dock board, and
dock plate includes a "maximum height range", or a "maximum height differential". A longer board (or plate) can
accommodate a greater range of dock height differences. The length of
the board also determines the length of the safety legs that hold it in
Exceeding the recommended height range produces an unsafe incline angle, and
may cause the safety legs to become dislodged, thereby causing a potential
Most manufacturers offer dock boards and dock plates in over
100 different sizes and styles. The wide variety of sizes and styles,
along with the volatility in raw material prices, and the cost of handling
these large bulky items means that very few distributors keep product in
stock. Even dock board manufacturers only maintain a limited stock.
Instead, manufacturers keep a small number of popular sizes in stock, and
quickly produce and ship other sizes directly to their distributor's
customer (usually in 5-7 days), via motor freight.
Our popular models of dock boards and dock plates usually ship within 48
hrs., and they are available for immediate on-line purchasing. As with all
www.USCARGOTOOLS.com, the prices include ("free"
shipping), so you will immediately see your final, delivered cost (NY &
NJ, add tax).
Purchasing other models: Please
contact us if you wish to purchase a size or style that is not featured
on the website. In
addition to our
on-line specials, we offer the full line of boards &
plates from quality manufacturers such as B & P, Bluff, and Vestil
Manufacturing. For additional help choosing a dock board or dock
plate, or to view other models that are available for purchasing off-line,
please download this printable brochure:
US Cargo Tools specializes in professional
material handling equipment for shipping, receiving, trucking, distribution,
and route delivery operations. The website features
scales, pallet jacks, platform trucks, hand trucks, warehouse trucks, dock
other equipment for the freight handling and logistics industries. All "Cargotools"
are designed, manufactured, and proven to withstand the daily
rigors of the industrial supply chain. We are located in Central New
Jersey (NJ), midway between New York NY, & Philadelphia PA.