Dock boards and dock plates perform crucial loading and unloading duties in your warehouse, but many people don’t know much about them. We are often asked about the difference between the two, and how to determine the size and type. This post will go into more technical detail to help you decide what you need in your facility.

Dock Board and Plate

First of all, the difference between a dock board and dock plate: dock boards have curbs on the edges and have a higher capacity. They are made to be used with forklifts. Dock plates do not have curbs, and are made to be used with pallet jacks or hand trucks. They can handle slightly less capacity. They come in steel or aluminum, with the aluminum obviously being lighter and easier to handle than the steel. However, the steel is going to be the cheaper option.

Dock Height

Next, you need to know some information about the capacity and width of your inventory and equipment. To determine the capacity, you need to know the weight of the maximum amount of inventory, and the weight of the forklift or pallet jack. For the width, the dock board or plate should be around 12-18 inches wider than your widest piece of equipment. On dock boards, the curbs take up about 6 inches of width. You should also note the dock height and the height of the truck that will be unloaded and loaded.

So, now that you have the basics down, you should be able to make a more informed decision when you are choosing a dock board or dock plate. Contact us to see what we have in-stock, or if you have any questions.