Knowledge Centre

Applications matrices – Roadplates

These tools help you find the right road plate for the job, and tell you what options are available. For more help, just give us a bell!
plate features matrix
application matrix

application matrix key

Questions and Answers

What is non mechanical plant?

Plant such as such excavators, dumpers, saws and generators are by their nature, mechanically driven and essentially active when in use, and can be referred to as ‘mechanical plant’. Conversely, non-mechanical plant (or non-mech’), such as roadplates, site stores and fencing for instance are ‘passive’ when in use and have no, or few mechanical elements. Some exceptions to this are items such as mobile welfares (c/w generators) and trailers.

What does SALLY stand for?

S.A.L.L.Y stands for ‘Swivel Action Lock and Lift Yolk‘.

What is Ti-Carb?

Ti Carb is an abbreviation of Titanium Carbide, a coating used on road plates specifically on the air-side range.

What is Resin-agg?

Resin-Ag is an abbreviation of ‘Resin Encapsulated Aggregate’, which is a type of anti skid coating used on roadplates, primarily for highway and street works.

What size road plate do I need?

There are number of factors to consider when selecting a road plate size, including;

  • The total mass passing over it
  • The wheel size/type passing over it.
  • Whether there will be high point loadings.
  • The speed of the loads/traffic passing over it.
  • The size of the void where applicable.
  • The nature and consistency of the surrounding terrain
  • Handling facilities on site.
  • Is there a requirement to move them regularly?

The ‘Application Matrix’ elsewhere on this site can help, but armed with all or most of the above, our team of experts will happily guide you.

What does BAA stand for?

B.A.A are the often used initials used as an abbreviation of British Airports Authority. They were instrumental in approving our roadplates for safe airside use.

What is a ‘Groundhog’ unit?

Strictly speaking, Groundhog is a marketing name of GenQuip. It is sometimes used as a generic name for a towable Mobile Welfare Unit.

What is anti-skid or anti-slip coating?

As a term used in relation to roadplates it is a texture or surface treatment, which by its nature increases the friction coefficient (SCRIM ratio), with the intention of making either vehicle or personnel less likely to skid or slip. Some generally applied versions of this include:

  • A texture, impression or patternation formed through manipulation of the parent surface such as welded spots, durbar/checker plate or machined grooves/chevrons.
  • A material applied to an especially prepared surface (shot blasted?) classed as ‘anti-skid’. Our most common example of this is a 2 pack epoxy resin system that is adhered to the surface, encapsulates a specifically tough, hard wearing aggregate, and forms forms a permanent and chemically and mechanically resistant coating.
  • A process that involves the application of dissimilar metals using high temperatures and pressures to form a bond that is both chemical and mechanical. Our best example is the Ti-Carb coating we use for the airside range.

What does ‘SCRIM ratio’ mean?

The SCRIM test rig (Sideway-Force Coefficient Routine Investigation Machine ) was originally developed by TRRL and is basically a tanker truck with a water supply with an independant tyre or wheel assembly mounted at an angle to the direction of travel.. In short, water is supplied to the road deck in front of the rotating tyre and readings relating to the loadings on the wheel and the position of the road are made. Surveys of the road network were made to determine the surface conditions across the country. The higher the SCRIM ratio, the greater the potential for grip and conversely the reduction of the risk of skidding.

What’s the difference between a road plate, a trench plate and a crossing plate?

Fundamentally, not a great deal. However a ‘roadplate’ is increasingly understood to be for roadway or street use and this means that it must have a corresponding and functioning anti-skid property. A trench plate or crossing plate implies site use, often in pipeline installs. The inherent larger trench widths can possibly imply a heavier gauge material.

However buyers/hirers are encouraged not to assume any of the above, but to get a good set of data or understanding of the working environment before choosing any equipment.

How much does a road plate weigh?

Further interrogation of this website will reveal that roadplates come in a huge range of sizes and thicknesses that relate directly their weight/mass. However, we at RoadPlateHire fully appreciate that this can sometimes be the most important factor when selecting equipment. Check out the Application Matrices and speak to our team with your problems for a range of options and solutions.

What does ISO mean ?

In our industry we talk about ISO Shipping Containers, that is to say ‘standard’ and therefore uniform in size, construction and operation.

Commonly thought to stand for International Organisation for Standardisation, ISO is actually derived from the Greek word “isos” meaning equal..

The name “International Organisation for Standardisation” would have had differing acronyms in different languages (for example IOS in English). So at its inception it was decided to give it one short internationally recognisable name.

What is a ‘minimum hire period’?

A minimum hire period is the minimum time that a hired item will be charged for. It can be collected from site before then, but the hire charge for the period will stand. It represents the minimum amount that can be charged to cover the owning, maintenance, management, utilisation ratio, depreciation, storage and handling of an item and to justify it commercially.

Important notes:

  • Our standard minimum hire period is 2 weeks (10 week days – as weekends are not charged)
  • Specific hires can have a variation on the above. For instance in order to secure a low hire rate, a minimum hire period of months or years can be agreed.
  • Once the minimum hire period has expired, the charge will revert to normal, per week day, charging
  • It is ALWAYS the hirers responsibility to formally notify the us of the OFF HIRE. Charges will will accrue until that is the case.

What is a Proforma invoice?

In many respects it acts as both a quotation and a formal acceptance of an offer. What happens to the status of this document varies depending on how an organisations accounts are run.

With us, the following is the case:

  • A PROFORMA invoice is raised, effectively to confirm the hire contract, and to give us and the client a record. The amount shown will have been agreed and will normally be the equipment hire charge for the minimum hire period , plus any card fees, transport and VAT at the current rate. They are not, however, an INVOICE for tax purposes and will ultimately be replaced by the monthly invoices cited below
  • The client will pay the amount shown, usually by bank transfer or card. This will sit as a CREDIT on the account. Importantly, this is no guarantee of either continuing terms of credit, or a limitation of the hire. The hirer/client is still responsible to instruct the OFF HIRE.
  • From the start of the hire until it is completed, the actual invoices for ongoing accounts and tax purposes are generated at each month’s end. These are the proper record of charges and tax. The original Proforma invoice is therefore effectively dissolved.


On the Monday 26th June, Bert orders 10 roadplates at £10.00 per week each and £100.00 transport each way. So for the 2 week minimum the charge is £400.00 being 10 plates at £10.00 per week for the 2 week minimum plus transport, plus VAT = £480.00

RoadPlateHire raise a PROFORMA invoice for the same on that date which Bert pays by BACS. Berts account will show a credit of £480.00. RoadPlateHire deliver the plates and the hire begins.

On Friday the 30th June RoadPlateHire do the monthly invoice run. Bert will receive a monthly invoice dated 30th June for £200.00 plus VAT = £240.00, being for the weeks hire that falls in June, plus the delivery. If Bert had a STATEMENT, it would actually show a CREDIT of £240.00. But, importantly, the minimum hire period has not been completed.

So then if Bert off hires the plates and everything is completed on or before Friday 7th July, being the end of minimum hire period, at the months end Bert will receive his final invoice dated 31st July for £240.00 for the remaining hire plus collection.

His balance will then be zero. If of course then hire continues, so will the charges. In any case, and most importantly, the original Proforma invoice has been superseded by the proper monthly tax invoices and should therefore be discarded.

Can I buy instead of hire?

Yes, everything we carry in the hire range can also be purchased when stocks allow.

See Equipment Sales

Can you do a ‘buy back’ scheme?

Very often yes. The conditions and costs involved will vary subject to the contract details and equipment required. Speak to the team with your specific requirements.

Can I get a road plate that weighs less than 25 kgs that a man can lift safely?

Yes, subject to the jobsite specifics and the loadings required. Some examples are:

But, at the time of print, the performance of quality steel road plates, with their inherent mass, cannot be beaten in 99% of trench crossing applications.

Can I get a road plate with countersunk bolt holes?

When holes in road plates are referred to as ‘counter-sunk’ what they invariably mean is ‘counterbored’. Counterbores being the most effective way of making a decent sized hex headed fixing down bolt. Our recommendation is M18 ANKERBOLTS. Most of the range in thickness’s of 25 mm or more are available with counter-bored holes. See SALLY lifters.

How can I secure my roadplate to the road deck?

We offer a range of solutions to hold a road plate securely. See the section on this website dealing with your options.