By definition, a Dock Board is a rectangular piece of aluminum or steel with side curbs, that can be used in heavy-duty loading applications involving forklifts or electric pallet jacks. Dock Boards are useful for warehouses where permanent equipment, like a dock leveler, is not a good option. A Dock Board is also handy when an installed dock leveler is out of commission – they can be used over a dock leveler while it’s not in use, saving you money by avoiding downtime during the repair of the leveler. These are available in both aluminum and steel, with several different designs to choose from.
A dock plate, on the other hand, is a rectangular piece of aluminum without side curbs, that is intended for foot traffic, hand trucks, carts or manual pallet jacks. These are not rated for forklift use for two main reasons: 1) Their capacity rating is not equipped for the weight of forklifts and loads, and 2) there are no side curbs to act as runoff protection for a forklift. Dock Plates are widely used in the snack, clothing resale and laundry industries.