Dock boards and dock plates or dock boards and dock plates if you choose, are still the equipment of choice for millions of transits per day by all types of equipment.
One of the most frequent explanations I hear our customer service team giving is what is the difference between a dock board and a dock plate.
A dock plate is a flat piece of metal, either steel or aluminum, that will typically have one bend in it. Something in the range of 9 to 11 degrees. That allows both ends of the plate to keep contact with the floor and truck bed. There will normally be a pair of locking legs who’s length will be mated to the length of the plate to prevent movement as loads are moved back and forth. Add a bevel edge to the leading and trailing edge and you have a smooth transition for your equipment. Dock plates should never be used for any powered equipment. Forklift trucks, power pallet jacks and walkie stackers should be used with a dock board.
A dock board has the same features of the plate with the addition of side curbs. The curbs add an amazing amount of strength to the design and that translates into handling of the heavier loads imposed by powered equipment. Additionally, there are locking options available in boards that truely customize the board for a particular operation. See Bluff Manufacturing’s “C” Board. Not only is there a big capacity jump from a plate to a board but there is also the runoff protection afforded by the curbs.
If you wish to be expert in the material handling field….this is a foundational bit of knowledge.