Welcome back to our series on warehouse and storage equipment. Last week, we began talking about loading dock equipment. But since loading dock equipment is so large and fantastic, we decided to split it into two parts.
To read part 1, click here. Otherwise, if you’re ready to hear about dock boards, dock plates, and dock levelers, read on!
Back a truck up to a loading dock as close as you can and there will probably still be some space left into between. Moving a pallet jack or forklift across that is neither wise nor possible in some cases. You need something to bridge the gap!
The starting place would be a dock plate. Dock plates are light enough to move by hand but strong enough to support your jacks and carts. They also come in a variety of lengths and widths. If you need something to simply bridge that space between so you can walk across, this is your answer.
If you need something for, say, a fork lift, you might want to go a bit bigger.
Dock boards are actually very similar to dock plates in look and use. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to confuse the two. But make no mistake, these are not the same. Dock boards are heavier with structural support added to the top (and sometimes the bottom as well). With a dock board, you don’t have to worry about driving a fork lift over it.
All of our dock boards are 60 inches in width but come in a variety of lengths.
Whatever size you choose, dock boards are quite versatile. If you’re looking for convenience though, there’s one more option you have.
Why carry a big heavy dock board around when you can have one installed in your loading dock?
Dock levelers attach to the end of your loading dock and make a bridge that leads from the truck to the dock itself. Edge-of-dock levelers are mechanically operated, making things easy for you. They are able to cover a height differential of 5 ft. which works for many people.
If you need a bit more work room, there is the pit mounted leveler. Though it may require a little bit of concrete work, these levelers can handle a difference of 12 feet! And like the other levelers, they are mechanically operated, doing all the hard work for you.
Now that you know all the options available for your loading dock operations, the only thing left to do is decide what you need. You may end up needing a combination of equipment. It never hurts to be prepared.