Guide to Choosing the Right Used Dock Plates and Used Dock Boards

June 21, 2017 0

Used dock plates and used dock boards are differentiated by their capacity. Dock boards have guide rails but dock plates do not have. Nonetheless, they are similar in design. They both have a skid-resistant surface to ensure safety. Other loading docks equipment includes dock levelers, dock seals, and lifts.

Used Dock Plates

Used dock plates are made of aluminum while some are made of steel for lighter loads. Pallet jacks and hand carts are used for lighter loads while forklifts are used for heavy loads. The capacity of used dock plates can range from 1,500 lbs. to 5,500 lbs. A forklift contains a 10-degree bend that helps in leveling with the truck and dock during loading and offloading. Unlike used dock boards, used dock plates do not have guide rails as they only support pallet jacks, warehouse carts, and foot traffic. However, a used dock plate has brightly colored tapes or spray on its sides to prevent injury during run-off.

Used Dock Boards

They are made of steel and with guide rails to prevent forklifts and pallet jacks from falling off. Their capacity is significantly higher than used dock plates. It ranges from 5,000 lbs. to 30,000 lbs. Their decking floor is made of a diamond pattern to ensure that equipment wheels do not slide while traveling on an incline.

Factors to consider when choosing the right dock equipment


The most important factor to consider when choosing the best loading dock equipment is the capacity. Firstly, consider whether the lift equipment will be used to offload product out of the truck. If so, you require a dock board as it has a higher capacity and side guard rails. For you to decide the capacity of dock board required, consider the maximum capacity of the lift equipment and its weight. Therefore, if your forklift weighs 10,000 lbs. and has a 6,000 lbs. capacity, use a dock board that holds at least 16,000 lbs. The experts at Wilcox Door Service Inc. may be able to provide more insights if you require additional information.


For manual operations, the used dock board or used dock plate should be at least 8” inch wider than the overall width of the load. The width should be at least 16” inch wider than the overall load for the powered operations.


The height of a docking board or plate is determined by the height difference between the floor of the truck and loading dock. Since forklifts have a maximum height differential, a longer dock plate or board can accommodate different height differences.

Used dock plates and dock boards are efficient loading dock equipment with no moving parts to maintain. Both the used and new dock equipment functions exactly the same. The difference worth considering is the cost of purchase. A new dock board or plate can cost between $300 and $800 while a used one can cost as little as $175.

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