Wheel Chocks are wedges of sturdy material placed behind a vehicle’s wheels to prevent accidental movement. Chocks are placed for safety in addition to setting the brakes. The bottom surface is sometimes coated in rubber to enhance grip with the ground. For ease of removal, a rope or chain may be tied to the chock or a set of two chocks. One edge of the wedge has a concave profile to contour to the wheel and increase the force necessary to overrun the chock.
The majority of Wheel Chocks are brightly colored yellow and orange, so they are highly visible. Wheel chocks come with many different surfaces and patterns. There are Rubber Wheel Chocks, Urethane Wheel Chocks, Oversized Wheel Chocks, All-Terrain Wheel Chocks, Motorcycle Wheel Chocks and many more to fit your specific needs. There are lots of opportunities to increase your safety and well-being by utilizing wheel chocks. For example, if you are changing a flat tire, checking your suspension, or even checking your oil. Wheel chocks will give you back-up assurance that your vehicle won’t move while you’re underneath it. If you are loading up a trailer or hitching a boat or other attachment to a vehicle, wheel chocks will hold both things steady. Some people parking on steep hills nudge wheel chocks under the back tires just in case their emergency brake fails.
Wheel Chocks and Dock Compliance
Wheel chocks are required by OSHA, and in order to be in compliance you will have to insure that every truck that comes into the dock area is chocked during the unloading or loading process. If you are relying on the honor system after having posted signage and providing chocks, you are taking a serious risk. Not all operators are equally conscientious, and a few bad apples will take advantage of reduced visibility in the dock area to avoid the additional hassle of placing the chocks. Doing so puts your company at risk, and you will need to take additional measures to enforce compliance with OSHA regulations.
Strategically placed cameras are an excellent incentive for an operator to comply, but many companies are unwilling to invest in expensive camera systems. Fortunately, a strategically placed security mirror and an observant dockworker can get the same job done as a camera. No matter which solution is best for you, compliance is the key to avoiding liability.
How to use Wheel Chocks
To properly use wheel chocks, it’s important to remember a few basic guidelines:
1.Always use chocks in pairs, especially if you are unsure of the slope of a roadway, parking area, or other terrain. It’s often a good idea to purchase chocks that are connected one to another.
2.Always place the chocks snugly against the tires, and beware wet surfaces that can allow chocks to slip under the wrong conditions.
3.If you are parked on an oily surface, move the vehicle to a safer spot, if possible.
4.Never drive over chocks, or try to apply chocks if the parking brake has not been applied.
5.Remember that improper use of chocks can void warranties, insurance, and compliance to safety regulations.