The major difference between used dock plates and use dock boards is capacity. They are similar in design and look except that dock plates have no guide rails and dock boards do, and both types have skid-resistant surfaces to ensure safety. Other permanent dock equipment includes dock levelers and lifts, which are generally secured permanently at each dock opening.
Used dock plates also do not contain guide rails, which is typical because they are only supporting foot traffic, warehouse carts, or pallet jacks (manual and electric). Usually the sides of a used dock plate have brightly colored tape or spray to prevent injury due to run-off.
Used dock plates are typically made out of aluminum, but heavier duty models are made of steel, and they allow for lighter loads. Hand carts and pallet jacks are used with this style, but forklifts and other lift equipment is too heavy. The capacity ranges from around 1,500 to 5,500 lbs., and they contain a 10 degree bend to allow it to be flush with the dock and the truck during loading and unloading.
Used dock boards are made of steel and have side rails to prevent pallet jacks and forklifts from falling off. Their decking is made of diamond pattern flooring to prevent lift equipment wheels from sliding when traveling on an incline. Capacities range from 5,000 lbs to 30,000 lbs, which is significantly higher.