Loading Dock Boards and Dock Plates

Dock boards (dock boards) and dock plates (dock plates) are very different and often called by the wrong name. Learn the difference between both of them:

Dock boards vs Dock plates

Aluminum Dockplate by Koke, Inc.

Dock Plates are rectangles of steel or aluminum with some type of locking leg and either a hand hole or handles to manually move them.

They offer the lightest and most cost-effective answer to your loading and unloading problem.

We offer:
- Steel dockplates
- Aluminum dockplates



Dock Boards are like plates but with the addition of structural components above the plate (curbs) and sometimes with rail boards.

These are ideal for ride-on equipment such as forklifts and other vehicle traffic.

We offer:
- Steel dockboards
- Aluminum dockboards


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Aluminum vs Steel Dock boards and Dock plates

→ Aluminum dock plates and dock boards are considerably lighter than steel. Ideal for light capacity applications.
→ Aluminum is ideal when sparking is a concern.
→ Aluminum does not rust to the same extent that steel does making it an excellent choice for corrosive environments
→ Steel is a better alternative for higher capacity applications.
→ Steel is much more durable with a longer life span.
→ Steel boards tend to be less expensive.


Dockplate and Dockboard Selection Guide

To determine the proper length and width of your dockplate or dockboard Koke, Inc. suggest considering the following: 

1. Length:

To determine the proper length of a dockplate or dockboard, two items are required:

1.1 The Height Differential

Height of the highest trailer (TH) minus the dock height (DH) equals the height differential (H).
TH _______ - DH ______ = H ______

Dockboard and Dockplate Selection Guide Lenght FormulaPhoto credit: Koke, Inc.

Height Differential Length Required
2" 24
3" 30
3.5" 36
4" 42
5" 48
7" 60


Height Differential for Electric Forklifts Height Differential for Propane & Gas Forklifts Length Required
3.5" 5" 36
4" 6" 42
5" 7" 48
6" 8" 54
7" 9" 60
8.5" 12" 72
9" 13" 78
10" 14" 84
10.5" 14.5" 90
11" 15" 96


1.2 Type of Loading Equipment being used

Forklift, pallet truck, hand truck, etc. 


2. Width:

Koke, Inc. recommends a dockboard or dockplate width of at least 12” wider than the overall width of the equipment or pallet used. Wider boards or plates increase maneuverability.


3. Capacity:

- Dockplates: WEIGHT of maximum load and equipment = MINIMUM capacity required.
- Dockboards (with curbs): CAPACITY of the highest capacity vehicle to be
used X 3 = MINIMUM capacity required.

For 3 wheel forklifts, Koke Inc ONLY recommends steel dockboards


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Don't see what you're looking for? Give us a call. Our staff is ready to answer any question that you may have.

We also install, repair and service loading dock equipment and commercial overhead doors in New Jersey and New York City area. 

We service Northern New Jersey (Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Union, Essex, Morris, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer and Somerset county/counties), Manhattan, New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, and Rockland.

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Goya Foods Project - Loading Dock Equipment and Commercial Doors

Contact Us:

Phone: 973-471-4060
Fax: 973-471-6707
Email: info@loadingdock.com 
24-Hour Emergency Service Available for Existing Customers

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Call: 973-471-4060
20 Meta Lane

Lodi, NJ 07644

* NEW YORK Field Office
Call: 212-868-3667
512 West 168th Street

Suite 101
New York, NY 10032

Opening Hours: 
Monday - Sunday: 24 Hours 


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