Dock boards and dock plates are similar looking and have very similar applications but, there is still a subtle difference that is good to be aware of. A dock board has curbs whereas the dock plate does not. Both items close gaps and ridges that could be potential safety concerns. Also both provide easier transition of items.
Unlike a dock plate, dock boards have curbs. The curbs are used to catch any runoff. Dock boards are oftentimes used for the heavier items or when forklift application is involved. The curb provides ease of material when a forklift is being used. When using a forklift you would want your items to remain stable which is why the curb on a dock board acts as a support for your item being transferred. A curbed plate is good to hold regular sized objects in place.
If you are not working with heavy loading and unloading, then a standard dock plate is a good option. Dock plates do not have curbs so it wouldn’t catch runoff, but if there is no runoff then it does not matter. Sometimes dock board curbs can get in the way whether there are irregular and sharp turns or if the load on the plate is oddly shaped. A dock plate is better with holding an oddly shaped item whereas a dock plate may not be able to do so as well.