What are Wheel Chocks?
Wheel chocks are critical safety devices used in various sectors to prevent vehicles and heavy equipment from unintentional movement during loading, unloading, or when parked on an incline. Constructed from robust materials, these tools are placed snugly against a vehicle's wheels, creating a physical barrier that aids in stabilizing the vehicle and ensuring a secure working environment. These heavy duty wheel chocks play a significant role in safeguarding both personnel and equipment, making them an indispensable component in adhering to safety protocols and procedures.
What is the Purpose of a Wheel Chock?
As noted earlier, the primary purpose of wheel chocks is to enhance safety by immobilizing vehicles, preventing rollaway incidents, and ensuring stability during operations. Wheel chocks are essential in various industrial settings, particularly when heavy machinery and vehicles are involved, providing an additional layer of security and peace of mind. They are not just a safety measure but a necessary investment in creating a safe and efficient working environment, demonstrating a company’s commitment to upholding the highest safety standards.
How to Use Wheel Chocks
- Select the Appropriate Chock: Ensure that the wheel chock you are using is suitable for the vehicle’s size and weight.
- Inspect the Chock: Before use, inspect the wheel chock for any signs of damage or wear that could compromise its effectiveness.
- Position the Vehicle: Park the vehicle on a level surface, and apply the parking brake.
- Place the Chock: Position the wheel chock snugly against the tire’s tread, ensuring that it is centered and making full contact with the ground.
- Double-Check: Before anything else, double-check that the chock is securely in place and that the vehicle is stable.
Does OSHA Require Wheel Chocks?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates the use of wheel chocks for trucks, trailers, and rail cars, particularly when they are being loaded or unloaded with powered industrial forklifts. The relevant OSHA standards can be found in sections 1910.178(k)(1) and (2) and 1910.178(m)(7).
Vehicles Regulated: The regulation primarily applies to trucks, trailers, and railroad cars.
When to Use Chocks:
- Drivers must set the brakes.
- Workers must chock the rear tires of trucks before loading or unloading.
- If a trailer is detached from a truck, it must be stabilized with jacks, and the rear wheels must be chocked.
- Railroad cars must be stabilized using wheel stops or other recognized methods.
- If a truck or trailer is secured to a loading dock with a positive mechanical system that prevents movement, chocking is not required.
- The system must be properly maintained and installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Damaged equipment or components must be immediately retired from service.
Best Wheel Chocks
Here are our top 6 picks for the best wheel chocks in 2023:
1. CHECKERS Safety: General-Purpose Rubber Wheel Chocks with Cored Bottom, Chained Pair
The CHECKERS Safety General-Purpose Rubber Wheel Chocks stand out in the industry for their robust and durable rubber construction, tailored specifically for "over the road" trucks, trailers, and loading dock facilities. Their unique ribbed pyramid design not only ensures a firm grip between the tire and the road, preventing any tire or pavement damage but also allows for versatility in application as either side can be positioned against the tire.
- Highly durable and resistant to UV, moisture, salt, and oils, ensuring longevity in industrial applications.
- Compact design paired with an eyebolt for ropes and chains makes for easy storage and handling.
- May be more suitable for general purposes and not specialized applications.
2. RACERAMPS: Rubber Wheel Chocks with Extra Grip
RACERAMPS Rubber Wheel Chocks are a reliable solution for securing vehicles, ranging from sports cars with low clearance to heavy-duty vehicles. The extra-grip bottom ensures that these chocks won’t slip on any floor surface, even when wet, providing added security whether your car is elevated on Race Ramps or parked on a flat surface.
- Lightweight and strong, made from hollowed 100% recycled rubber, weighing only 1.5 pounds each for easy maneuverability.
- Saw-tooth bottom design ensures an extra-strong grip on various surfaces.
- The lightweight design, while beneficial for positioning, may not be as effective for extremely heavy-duty applications.
3. ELASCO Products: 6" Wheel Chocks for Trucks
ELASCO’s 6" Wheel Chocks for Trucks are crafted from solid-cast polyurethane, providing a durable and reliable solution for ensuring the safety of parked vehicles, ranging from over-the-road trucks and trailers to pickups and utility vehicles. The curved traction surface maximizes tire grip, while the included rope facilitates easy handling.
- Stronger than typical injection-molded polymers due to the hot-cast process, enhancing the durability.
- Connected with a 44" rope for quick and easy placement and removal.
- Specific to small to medium size vehicles, may not be suitable for larger, heavier vehicles.
- The polyurethane material, while durable, may not have the same weight and stability as rubber wheel chocks.
4. Global Industrial: Global Industrial™ Rubber Wheel and Tire Chock
Global Industrial’s Rubber Wheel and Tire Chock is meticulously designed to prevent accidents, featuring built-in traction grippers to create maximum friction and stability. This chock is versatile, and recommended for a wide range of vehicles - can be used as RV wheel chocks and wheel chocks for trucks, cars, heavy construction equipment, and aircraft.
- Meets OSHA Requirement 1910.178(k)(1), ensuring compliance with safety standards.
- Impressive weight capacity of 32,000 lbs, suitable for heavily loaded vehicles.
- The specific dimensions, although versatile, may not be suitable for all tire sizes.
5. HAUL-MASTER: Solid Rubber Wheel Chocks
HAUL-MASTER’s Solid Rubber Wheel Chock is a dependable tool for preventing vehicle movement during maintenance or storage. Its all-weather construction ensures reliable performance in any climate, while the nonslip surface provides superior traction. Versatile and can be used as RV wheel chocks, and wheel chocks for other vehicles.
- Lightweight design with a molded grab handle for easy positioning.
- Oil-resistant material ensures durability even in challenging conditions.
- May be more suitable for lighter vehicles and not as effective for heavy-duty applications.
6. Guardian: Heavy-Duty Industrial Wheel Chock
Guardian’s Heavy-Duty Industrial Wheel Chock is engineered for large, commercial vehicles, boasting a robust thermoplastic rubber construction that is resistant to oils, fuel, and solvents. Its ridged, anti-slip surface ensures traction, while the built-in handle and bottom void enhance usability and effectiveness on gravel surfaces.
- Impressive 80,000 lb. weight capacity, ideal for heavy-duty commercial vehicles.
- Meets OSHA safety regulations, requiring at least two wheel chocks to prevent vehicle rolling.
- The size and weight of the chock may make it less convenient for smaller vehicles or lighter applications.
- The thermoplastic rubber, while durable, may not provide the same level of grip as other rubber wheel chocks in extreme conditions.
Wheel Chocks for Trucks Buying Considerations
The wheel chocks in our list are champions in their own right. While each may have pros and cons, the best wheel chocks for you will always be the ones that meet your specific needs. When buying wheel chocks for trucks or RV wheel chocks, consider the following:
- Material: Opt for heavy duty wheel chocks made of materials such as rubber or polyurethane, which offer durability and excellent grip.
- Size and Weight: Ensure the chock is appropriately sized for the vehicle it is intended to secure, with sufficient weight to provide stability.
- Traction: Look for wheel chocks with a design that provides excellent traction on various surfaces to prevent slippage.
- Visibility: Choose a wheel chock with bright colors or reflective elements to ensure it is easily visible, even in low-light conditions.
How safe are wheel chocks?
Wheel chocks are designed to be a reliable safety measure when used correctly. They are constructed from durable materials and are intended to prevent unintentional vehicle movement. However, their effectiveness depends on proper selection, placement, and usage.
What size wheel chock do I need?
The size of the wheel chock you need depends on the size and weight of the vehicle. It's essential to consult the manufacturer's guidelines or a safety professional to determine the appropriate size.
How much weight can a wheel chock hold?
The weight a wheel chock can hold varies based on its design and material. Heavy duty wheel chocks can typically hold larger and heavier vehicles, such as trucks or trailers. Always refer to the manufacturer's specifications to determine the maximum weight capacity.
What height should a wheel chock be?
The height of a wheel chock should be roughly one-quarter to one-third the height of the tire it's intended to secure. This ensures optimal performance and safety.
How much does a wheel chock cost?
The cost of a wheel chock can vary widely based on its material, size, and brand. Basic rubber wheel chocks might cost as little as $10 to $20, while heavy-duty or specialized chocks can range from $50 to several hundred dollars.
How many wheel chocks do I need?
At a minimum, two wheel chocks should be used, one for each side of the tire to prevent both forward and backward movement. For larger vehicles or those on an incline, additional chocks may be necessary.
Where to place wheel chocks on a trailer?
Wheel chocks should be placed snugly against both sides of the tire tread of the trailer's rear wheels. Ensure they are centered and making full contact with the ground. If the trailer is on an incline, chocks should be placed on the downhill side of the tires.