If you need a loading ramp for your facility’s shipping operations, it is important to ensure that the ramp you use is safe for forklifts to drive on and can effectively boost efficiency for all of your truck loading and unloading tasks. There are many different ways to build high-quality loading docks and one of the features that plays a role in the overall safety and usability of a ramp is the system used to span the gap between the ramp and the truck. At Dura-Ramp, all of the loading ramps that we manufacture include either dock levelers or transition plates that are designed to handle the extreme weight of a fully laden forklift or any other vehicle.
Finding the perfect loading ramp can be difficult when you do not know what features to look for. One of the details that can make a difference in the performance of your loading ramp is whether it has a dock leveler or transition plates. Either system offers a safe method of driving a forklift between the ramp and a truck, but there are a few differences that are worth noting.
Transition plates are a great way to create a crossing point between a loading dock and a truck. While many ramps come with a simple strip of metal that can be positioned over the back of a truck, a transition plate offers a longer, stabler system for connecting a ramp to the bed of a truck. Transition plates operate on a hinge so they can be raised and lowered manually. Since these plates are essentially just heavy-duty sheets of metal attached to the loading dock by a hinge, they are best to use when the vehicles being loaded are all of a uniform height or when the platform height of the loading dock is adjustable.
A dock leveler is the best system for transitioning between a truck and a loading ramp. Unlike transition plates, dock levelers create a nearly perfect level crossing point for forklifts and other tools and vehicles. This can be particularly useful if pallet jacks are being used to move cargo. Dock levelers are operated mechanically, and they rest below the edge of the loading dock platform when not in use, making them a much more convenient and efficient option than transition plates. They are also a great option when the vehicles being loaded are of varying heights.
If you would like to learn more about dock levelers vs transition plates, or to find out more about the ramps we manufacture here at Dura-Ramp, please contact our team so that we can answer your questions.