Dock boards and dock plates are very different and often called by the wrong name.
Dock Plates are rectangles of steel or aluminum with some type of locking leg and either hand hole or handles to move them. Plates are NEVER for power equipment. They are ideal for handtruck and pallet jack traffic … manually moved. They offer the lightest and most cost effective answer to your loading / unloading problem.
Dock Boards are like plates but with the addition of structural components above the plate (curbs) and sometimes on the underside as is the case with rail boards. There are different types of locking devices from fixed legs to drop pins or locking rings.Dock Boards are for forklift and other vehicle traffic. They are best specified by an expert who can take all aspects of your application into consideration. With the correct dock board you can expect SAFETY – LONGEVITY – PRODUCTIVITY.
Aluminum vs Steel Dock Equipment
Dock Plates – A lot of time aluminum makes sense because of the lighter capacity and the need to manually move the dock plate.
Dock Boards – Aluminum dock boards are the best choice for certain applications which take advantage of aluminum properties. For the same rated capacity, the boards are considerably lighter than steel Also, aluminum is ideal for applications where sparking is a concern. Additionally, aluminum does not rust to the same extent that steel does making it an excellent choice for corrosive environments. Steel Dock Boards are the better alternative for higher capacity applications. Steel is much more durable with a longer life span. Also, for the same capacity, steel boards tend to be less expensive.
ANSI Standard – remember ONLY BLUFF tests its dock boards and dock plates to ensure they perform in accordance with the ANSI standard… read the ANSI story.
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