Dockboards & Plates
Your loading dock needs to be efficient as well as safe. Docks can be a dangerous place, especially when forklifts are in use on uneven grades. The risk for injury increases dramatically.
Dock boards, as well as yard ramps, bridge the gap between elevations to help stabilize forklifts and keep your employees safe. With a dock board or a yard ramp, you’ll enjoy a more productive, more efficient and safer work environment.
Copperloy produces a huge array of dock boards and plates with different capacities, features and specifications. Did you know that a dock board can be a ramp as well? Even if there isn’t a height difference at the dock, dock boards are still ramps and vital to safe material handling. We offer dock boards as well as plates in both aluminum and steel, with multiple curb options.
Custom Dock Solutions
Have a unique loading dock need? Even if your warehouse design is unique, our engineering team can help with a custom solution. There’s no challenge too difficult, and no specification or circumstance too unique—we can develop the perfect solution, tailor made for your real-world application in three easy steps.
1. Initial Call – When we get your initial call, we’ll gather the details for your specific application, including any necessary measurements, such as dock height, weight of your equipment, width requirements and any restrictions.
2. Engineering Department – Our team of talented engineers reviews your specifications and a meeting with the production manager provides you with the time it will take to fabricate your custom solution.
3. Final Design and Pricing – Next, we reach out to local material providers to obtain current pricing. A design is drawn for approval, and cost determined. We send the quote to you for review.
Our engineering team has supplied a number of custom solutions, including a two-piece ramp design for a company in Macedonia, Ohio, which manufactures industrial wire and cable. Copperloy was able to design the ramp to handle the large weight capacities of trucks, plus the cable or wire being hauled. The 50-foot-long ramp also allows for trailers with low clearance to drive into their building. Find out more about this custom manufactured dock-to-ground ramp.
And our custom solutions aren’t specific to industrial or warehouse settings. We also designed and built a ramp 99 inches wide for use on a farm in Bowling Green, Ohio. This customer needed a wider-width ramp to load material onto a drop deck trailer. While our standard yard ramps are available in 70 or 84 inch widths, our engineering team was able to determine a way to provide the necessary specifications for the client. Read more about the shipping challenges we overcame for this particular yard ramp solution.
Have a unique material handling or dock ramp need? Copperloy is here to help with your custom design solution.
Set Up Your Dock to Ground Ramp
So you’ve purchased a new dock to ground ramp, congratulations! Now it’s time to make sure you put it to use correctly. Copperloy provides all of our customers with detailed installation instructions and a comprehensive user manual, however, this quick guide can be used as a resource as well.
First, of course, you’ll need to unload your ramp after shipment. Position two lifts, one on each side of the ramp, and have them engage the ramp, clearing it of the carrier and any supports. Have the carrier drive forward and clear the ramp, and the slowly lower the ramp to the ground, placing it atop wood blocks.
You will then be able to position the ramp into place. To set up your dock to ground ramp, you’ll need to first attach its safety chain brackets to the dock face. Then, keep the bumper plates as close to the dock face as possible to prevent movement, and square up the ramp in position on the dock surface. Attach the safety chains to the brackets on the dock face, with as little slack as possible to keep it secure.
It’s basically that easy, you have already successfully set up your facility’s dock to ground ramp.
What’s the difference between a Dockboard and a Dock Plate?
We’re often asked about the differences between our dock boards and dock plates. These items can get confused with one another and it’s our goal to keep customers informed.
Dock boards provide loading and unloading capabilities in heavy-duty applications and bridge any gaps that can be a safety concern. They offer ease when using forklifts and other material handling equipment. Copperloy’s dock boards come in steel, aluminum with bolt on steel curbs, and aluminum with welded curbs. Dock boards can handle capacities up to 20,000 pounds and have sides (or curbs) that prevent run off.
Dock plates are very much like dock boards but don’t have curbs. These are used to bridge a gap from one area to another in material handling operation. However, unlike dock boards, dock plates are a flat piece of metal with a slight bend for easy transition. Dock plates come in either steel or aluminum and can reach capacities up to 17,000 pounds. Interestingly, the extra capacity that dock boards are able to achieve comes from the structural addition of curbs.
How to Choose Between a Dock board and Dock Plate
People often ask about the difference between our dock boards and dock plates, their applications, and which are best for their needs.
Deciding between dock boards and dock plates starts with your capacity needs and application. For heavy-duty applications that need higher capacities and use forklifts, dock boards are the best solution. However, if you’re not using these for heavy-duty loading and unloading, then a flat dock plate that offers easy transition from one place to another is the more economical choice.
When it comes to deciding on a dock plate over a dockboard, keep in mind that dock plates do offer many advantages. One benefit is that a dock-board’s curb can get in the way. For example, if you have you have extra high-unitized loads where fork trucks cannot lift loads above the height of side curbs, dock plates are a better option. They are also great for irregular or sharp turns, where, again, a curb could get in the way.
Copperloy offers custom dock boards and custom dock plates to meet any requirement or unique challenge. Our custom manufacturing and fabrication team can engineer exactly what you need from start to finish! You can read about a custom rail board we did here.
When it comes to safe material handling, Copperloy’s inventory does not end at dock boards and dock plates. We offer customers a wide variety of American-made mobile yard ramps that provide a loading and unloading facility where one isn’t already established. This wide range of equipment includes: mobile yard ramps, dock-to-ground ramps, truck ramps, and forklift ramps.