Unloading Boxcars: FAQs

Q:  How can we bridge the loading area between our rail docks and boxcars?

A:  Heavy duty Railboards or Dockboards combine the structure to handle heavy forklift loads and bridge the gap between the building floor and boxcar.  To ensure your Railboard will stand up to the rigors of forklift traffic, look for a design with 4-inch high run off guards so forklifts don’t tip or fall into the gap.


Q:  How do Railboards handle the variation in boxcar widths?

A:  Railboards are customized to accommodate the varying options and capacity by industry.  


Q:  How do I minimize damage to my costly forklift tires when loading and unloading boxcars?

A:  Unfortunately, most dock boards or rail boards lack engineering and design to combat common boxcar loading issues.  However, Dockzilla Railboards are built with recessed side curbs to allow for 90-degree turning into the boxcar and they have machine chamfered edges for a smoother transition for forklifts.


Q:  How do we ensure the safety of our forklift operators when loading boxcars?  

A:  Our railboards incorporate automatically placed D-Rings to fill the gap between the boxcar and the building floor to safely hold the plate in place.


Q:  How can I guard the 4 ft. drop-off next to an indoor rail dock or indoor flatbed dock?

A:  There are many offerings on the market that claim to safeguard rail loading docks, such as yellow caution paint, floor guards, and mesh railing.  Dockshield Removable Forklift Barriers is a rail dock barrier system that provides relentless forklift and personnel safety.


Q:  Will the structural design of Dockshield minimizes the force going into the floor?

A:  An embedded sleeve that is installed flush to the floor to create solid ground support by transferring load impact forces to the concrete.


Q:  How do barriers help safety managers comply with OSHA pedestrian fall protection standards?

A:  When it comes to employee fall protection, OSHA requirements and codes can be vague. Dockshield heavy-duty steel forklift impact barriers feature three guardrails that exceeds OSHA code, and are easily removable, movable, and stackable by a forklift.  They fend off forklift and pedestrian falls, and feature a patented lifting mechanism that keeps forklift operators on their equipment during barrier removal.


Q:  Won’t these barriers take up valuable aisle space?

A:  For rail docks, Dockshield Removable Forklift Barriers are designed for installation 16” from the rail dock edge, maintaining precious floor space within the aisle.


Q:   How or where are the barriers stored?

A:  The barriers are completely stackable, so forklifts can easily lift them and adhere barriers to a Dockshield barrier installed to the floor.


Q:  Are there portable loading docks for unloading boxcars at rail sidings?  

A:  Mobile yard ramps can be positioned at the side of boxcars for outdoor unloading.  

Dockzilla Rail Yard Ramps are specially-designed freight loading ramps that accommodates the wider side access of boxcars with Built-in self-supporting legs, wheel chocks, and safety chains enable forklift drivers to focus on traversing the ramp with their heavy loads.


For more information on Dockshield Removable Forklift Barriers and Railboards, download our case study.


Additional information on Dockshield can be found here.


Already have Railboards? Learn how to inspect them here.