Steel rail boards are designed for moving products into or out of railcars. Moving products and supplies by rail is the most cost effective of available overland transportation methods other than cargo containers, which incidentally also ships by rail. It is usually large heavy bulk loads that realize the most cost benefit. Industries such as lumber and paper & others typically move large unit loads by rail. Some loads are palletized while others require special attachments to the forklift trucks like roll clamps for paper rolls.
Like other dock boards or portable loading ramps, a steel rail board is designed to be specific to one loading dock or a single loading position and to be used with a specific piece of equipment. For instance the under-clearance of a electric forklift truck or stand-up rider truck is less than that of a propane truck. Therefore the length of the rail board is engineered so that any angle caused by height difference clears the under-structure of the equipment. Width of the rail board is set by equipment footprint and load width and turning radius. The depth of the loading dock is a consideration to the shape and width of the rail board.
Steel rail board features include drop-through lift loops or lift chains for easily moving and positioning the board. Heavy duty box under structure provides extra strength and support and also fills the gap between dock and railcar. Locking rings drop into position to keep rail board from moving forward and backward as the equipment moves into and out of the railcar.
Rail boards are available in rectangular or flare designs. Flair designs work best for docks that demand a tight turn onto the board. If there is adequate space directly in front of the railcar position a square or rectangular rail board is a good fit. The steel rail boards built by Brazos Manufacturing range in capacities from 15,000 lb to 100,000 lb.
Custom Designed for Specific Position
Rail boards dimensions and other specifications are specific to each application. A survey is required prior to manufacturing to ensure the proper size, capacity and shape board is manufactured correctly for your application. This requires an on-site set of measurements be made of the exact loading position and railcar type expected to be used. The survey also includes the exact forklift specifications including any attachments. Please contact our customer service group to help guide you through the survey and to answer any questions. A copy of the rail board worksheet is available here.