When you’re driving down the road, you notice when cars are overloaded or driving with heavy cargo-they ride low to the ground. On semis and large trucks, however, you can’t really tell when they’re full-but mere inches of height can make all the difference when attempting to unload them at a loading dock.
Picture it: Your warehouse door is 5’ off the ground. You’re waiting to offload a truck full of merchandise. The semi pulls in, backs up, and the back of the truck only comes up to 4’8”. Those 4 inches can be difficult to safely bridge for both employees and logistic equipment like forklifts. While some warehouses come equipped with dock lifts or levelers, there’s no guarantee that they will be available for use, or that they will function correctly.
Dock boards provide the perfect solution to this problem. Dock boards are a portable “bridge” which crosses the gap both for height and for the gap between the truck and the building. Dock boards also have T-bar legs which extend into the gap between the dock board and the truck. These boards will always have lips or rails on the sides to prevent forklifts from driving or sliding off. Dock boards are also highly maneuverable, and can be moved between warehouse doors by lifting the board by chains. Diamond plate steel is used as the board’s surface to help forklift wheels gain traction during loading and offloading.
Dock boards come in an array of lengths, widths, and load capacities-some up to 30,000 lbs., so you are always sure that your load, equipment, and employees are safe. OSHA guidelines require that the dock boards have sufficient overlay on both the warehouse floor and the truck in order to prevent rocking. Jumping off the dock boards is strictly forbidden. Check with your local OSHA office for specific regulations.
When searching for a dock board, always consider the heights you’ll need to span, as the higher incline a forklift has to travel, the more difficult it is for the forklift to climb it.
Since the dock board is completely portable, it can be safely stored inside during inclement weather, protected from the elements, or stowed at night to protect from theft.