Use standards to your advantage

Sometimes I buy something that is a replacement for something I have owned for a time and have either lost or just worn out. Often I am disappointed that the replacement is not of the same quality as the original. What has happened is that the marketplace has been at work while I was doing other things. Competition, the development of new technology or the dreaded “globalization” has caused the rules to change.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that all product change is negative. Often times the “new one” is more functional, has more features or in some other way is a better value. Also, as a culture we have buy-in to the “throw it away and get another” mentality. Actually, that works to our favor in areas of rapidly changing technology. The computer of 5 years ago is not quite up to speed and you find the new polymer replaces the metal on your car without any loss in durability.

What happens when the true value of a product demands a minimum level that cannot be seen and its failure might result in very negative consequences. Enter….stage left…..STANDARDS. Standards are the metrics that allows the public to compare prior to purchase. Many manufacturers have turned to standards to combat cheap and poorly made products. Read the following from Bluff Manufacturing’s reasoning behind development of the new ANSI standard for dockboards and dockplates.

…….“The products of the loading dock industry were historically pretty much the same. The steel or aluminum historically has come from the same domestic sources. Manufacturing techniques and processes were very similar. A lot has changed in recent years in the availability of plate materials. No longer do we have US Steel, Inland Steel, and Lukens as suppliers of heavy steel floor plate. No longer do we have Reynolds and Kaiser as aluminum plate sources. Alcoa has its hands full supplying the aircraft industry. In their place, foreign sources have filled our needs with a variety of aluminum alloys.

It is important therefore to devise standards by which manufacturers can test their products to guarantee that they are as safe as ever……..” Read the full text.

When we buy or sell, standards are important. Remember, sometimes it is OK to sell a cheap product (toy plastic soldiers)…..sometimes its not (bridge carrying a person driving a $30,000 piece of equipment).


About is a place for the discussion of applications, problems and solutions surrounding use of dock loading products or other areas where an industrial dock board, loading ramp, forktruck ramp or dock plate may be the solution. Hopefully, there will be information made available here that will help you in determining a safe cost effective solution to the problem that is next on your list.

The immediate customer is most often the “dealer” who adds value to these transactions by becoming and being an expert on things related to the dock.  A large part of the purpose for these pages is to help dealers train new employees and bring existing employees current. Many of the posts here will be specifically pointed at the training initiative.

The most current product listing will be at Products include dock boards, dock plates, edge of dock leveler, loading ramps of all types … yard ramps (mobile loading ramps) and truck wheel risers.  These products are offered in steel and aluminum except for the yard ramps and edge of dock levelers and they are available in steel only. Other products include our Crash Guard line of protective railing (inplant safety rail) steel work platforms (portable docks) and in 2009 …dock bumpers, wheel chocks, curb ramps…a new mini yard ramp…a steel dockboard designed specifically for loading and unloading containers on the ground (our container ramp).  In Feb of 2009 we will announce the Bluff Jack…a 5,500# capacity pallet jack.







Andrea Curreri, current Director of Sales and Marketing
Operations Manager John Key Past Operations Manager for Bluff Manufacturing.
Clark Smith Clark Smith Currently the CEO for Bluff Manufacturing.
Business Development Manager & Manager of National Accounts 

Ron Gilleland




Harry Davidson Currently a Business Development Manager and the Manager of National Accounts for Bluff Manufacturing.     






Ron Gilleland, past National Sales Manager