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 – While aluminum is softer than steel, Aluminum dock boards are quite often popular for low to medium volume dock loading applications. Because steel is much more durable, Steel Dock Boards easily carry higher capacities and are well suited for heavy-duty loading dock applications.
ANSI Standard – remember ONLY BLUFF builds dock boards and dock plates that conform to the ANSI standard… read ANSI story.