STEP 1:  DETERMINE THE LENGTH.
Measure the height difference between the truck floor and the dock if the truck is onsite. Otherwise, measure the height of the dock making sure the approach to the dock is fairly level. Base the maximum height difference on the fact that most trucks are no more than 53″ to 54″ high. Always order long enough to handle the maximum height difference. Use the following diagrams to determine the height difference:

STEP 2:  DETERMINE THE WIDTH.
The width should be a minimum of 12″ wider than the equipment being taken over the plate/board.General width recommendations for :

Hand
Trucks
2
Wheels
 36″
Platform
Trucks

4 Wheels
 48″
Pallet
Trucks

N/A
 48″
Forklift
Trucks

N/A
 60″

STEP 3:  DETERMINE THE AXLE LOAD & TYPE OF EQUIPMENT.
Lastly, determine the maximum axle load based on the type of equipment being used. Apply the following rules to determine the axle load:

2-wheel hand truck - 100% Gross Weight
4-wheel platform truck – 50% Gross Weight
Non-powered pallet trucks - 60% Gross Weight
Electric pallet trucks - 80% Gross Weight
Counter- balanced forklift trucks - 90% Gross Weight (ie. truck + load)

NOTE: We recommend dockboards for all forklift applications and most electric pallet truck usage