Those wedge-shaped objects that you put in front or behind the tires are called the wheel chocks. These are specially designed to keep vehicles from accidentally moving or rolling, keeping the vehicle safe and steady. A wheel chock should be used whenever one part of the vehicle is lifted for maintenance checks, inspections, and repairs. A complete set will keep you from harm's way, making sure that the vehicle won't move all of a sudden. Wheel chocks also come handy when vehicles are parked on an incline plane or when loading or unloading stuff while the vehicle is parked on a hill. These objects probably look the same for others, but they actually come in different designs and sizes. You can't just grab any piece of wheel chock; this should match your vehicle's specs and needs.
Here are some tips to help you find the right wheel chocks to buy and use:
To find the right size, you'll have to consider the tire's height. Basically, you have to get wheel chocks that are about a quarter of the tire's height. For a 30-inch tire, for instance, you should be looking for chocks that are about 7.5 inches high. These wedge-shaped objects should be fit snugly when placed beneath the tire.
Another important consideration is the grade or angle of the ground. Look for chocks that are big enough to support the vehicle while it's set in neutral. You'll at least need two chocks. You may use the owner's manual as a guide when looking for right-sized chocks for your vehicle, especially if you're driving an RV or a tractor-trailer.
The wheel chock comes in various shapes. Differently shaped chocks are used on different types of vehicle.
Triangular wheel chocks, which resemble a pyramid, are recommended for use on larger trucks and commercial vehicles. These chocks can be positioned behind the tires or can go between the tires for vehicles with dual axle. For passenger vehicles, curved types are commonly used. Meanwhile, one-sided curve chocks are also available. These are designed to have a curve on one side to fit the contours of the tire. Motorcycles and bicycles also have their own specially designed chocks that can fit around their wheels snugly and can fully support the bike.
Material and design
The wheel chock is typically manufactured using different materials such as metal, plastic, or rubber.
Aluminum types are known for their spiked surface on the bottom. This design lets the chocks cut into the ground to have a firm hold or grip and keep the vehicle from rolling. These may also be designed with a rubber tread bottom that keeps them from slipping. Some neat features that you may want to look into are easy to fold chocks for quick storage, as well as eyebolts on chocks where ropes can be attached so that you can easily pull out the chocks from underneath.
For large trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, the steel wheel chock variety is highly recommended. For lightweight cars, off-road vehicles, and ATVs, molded heavy-duty plastic types are typically used. The bottom part of these chocks is coated with rubber. When weight is placed against them, a downward pressure is created because of their shape, which helps secure the tires in place. These chocks can withstand exposure to sun and can resist oil and gasoline.
Rubber is a common material used in wheel chocks because of the good friction it can provide between the rubber and the ground. Rubber chocks can have smooth, stair-stepped, or ribbed sides. The material can also be nylon reinforced, solid molded, rubber extruded, or laminated.
Tips when using wheel chocks
- For your safety, emergency brakes should be on.
- Make sure that the chocks are properly positioned (behind, front, or on both sides), depending on your safety needs.
- Use a wheel chock set that is specially designed for the weight of the vehicle.