Aluminum Dock Plates vs Dock Boards

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Our aluminum line of dock boards and plates are a customer favorite and perfect for businesses with light dock usage. While slightly more expensive than their steel alternatives, there’s a few reasons why our aluminum dock equipment may be the best choice for your business:

Why Use Aluminum Dock Plates & Boards?

Aluminum Dock PlateThere are three main reasons why businesses choose aluminum dock plates and dock boards over steel: they’re lightweight, easily storable, and rust-free.

Because aluminum is a lightweight metal, aluminum dock plates and boards are easily transportable by delivery trucks, enabling the driver to be better prepared and therefore more efficient.

Their lightweight nature also lends them to be ideal for facilities with limited space. Instead having your dock board occupy a portion of your floor, you can easily pick up an aluminum dock board and lean it against a wall or rack it—something you can’t do easily with steel.

Lastly, aluminum doesn’t contain iron or steel so it won’t rust, making it the perfect material for those transporting frozen foods, and moister content like food markets. It’s also beneficial for applications exposed to weather, as the aluminum will not corrode due to rain or snow.

When to Use an Aluminum Dock Plate vs an Aluminum Dock Board

As a general rule of thumb, aluminum dock plates are best for low volume docks and lighter loads, while aluminum dock boards are best for medium volume docks and heavier loads.

Aluminum dock plates are designed for pallet trucks and non-powered equipment like hand carts and are available in 2,000lb and 4,000lb capabilities. Aluminum dock boards are designed to support heavier equipment like forklifts, with special side curbs to help prevent run off. We carry these in 10,000lb and 15,000lb capabilities.

When to Replace Your Aluminum Dock Plates & Boards

Because aluminum is a lighter, softer alloy, it’s life expectancy is not as long as steel. There’s several areas you should monitor to know when your dock board needs to be replaced, but with aluminum in particular you want to keep an eye on the tread plate and shape.

The tread plate, or diamond plate, provides excellent traction and anti-slip properties to the surface of your dock board. Over time, the diamond treads can wear down, creating a slipping hazard.

As aluminum is a flexible metal, your dock board will flex when driven over, and overtime this activity can cause misshaping, so you should check periodically for cracks, stress fractures, and warping.

Call Us To See if Aluminum is Right For You!

Don’t know if aluminum is the right material for your dock plate or dock board? Our knowledgeable reps can help you out! We’ll ask you targeted questions about your business’s operations so we can determine the right dock board material and size that fits your needs! Call us at 800-535-5303 to get started!

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