Ultimate guide to road plates

Need road plates to cover up a temporary excavation, bore hole or trench? Oxford Plastics have you covered. But before you purchase, you might want to understand more about road plates. That’s why we put together this guide on road plates – including how much weight they can hold, whether you should choose steel road plates or plastic road plates, and the different types of road plates you can use.

What are road plates used for?

Road plates are designed to provide a temporary solution for ground excavations or broken road areas where pedestrians, traffic or machinery would need access. They are used in a variety of situations, such as pavement areas as well as carriageways – as heavy-duty road plates also have the ability to take on the weight of a 44-tonne vehicle. Road plates are available to purchase treated with a skid-resistant surface, as well as untreated – depending on the situation that they are required for.

Road plate weight

Our composite road plates from Oxford Plastics can take the weight of a 44-tonne vehicle. However, regarding the weight of the plate itself, typically, this depends on the nominal size thickness of the plate required to cover the excavation whilst maintaining a safe load bearing capacity. However, it’s worth noting that composite road plates are considerably lighter than steel road plates – meaning that they can be manually installed unlike steel plates which require a HIAB or heavy-lifting machinery.

Steel road plates vs plastic road plates

Often when deciding which road plates to use, the question arises whether steel road plates or composite road plates are better. Typically, composite road plates offer many benefits that steel road plates cannot offer – such as stability and even surfaces, less noise pollution than steel road plates and they’re much easier to move due to plastic road plates light weight. Steel plates also tend to bend and warp over time – whereas plastic road plates offer a solution which is much more durable.

For more information, view our guide on steel road plates vs plastic road plates.

Different types of road plates

Here at Oxford Plastics, we offer a variety of road plates to cover temporary excavations. Choose from either our LowPro 15/05 Road plate – a modular road plate for a 700mm trench – or our LowPro 23/05 Road Plate – the same modular road plate but built for a 1200mm trench instead.

For more information on buying road plates and trench covers, get in touch with a member of our expert team.