What Are Wheel Chocks? (+ Other Common FAQs)

Most people will likely see a wheel chock more often than they know in their everyday routine, when running errands or driving through their local community.

However, if you don’t know what a wheel chock is or when and how to use one correctly, you may be curious as to what they’re meant for. If you’d like to find out, keep reading for more information on this subject!

What Are Wheel Chocks?

Wheel chocks are a block placed behind or in front of a tire to prevent vehicles from rolling away. For example, Wheel chocks are used when working under a vehicle in order to add additional safety to the brake system. Trailers, aircraft, and vehicles without transmissions might require a wheel chock to remain stationary. 

If you’d like to learn more about what wheel chocks are, when wheel chocks should be used, if wheel chocks really work and more, keep reading for more useful information!

When Should Wheel Chocks Be Used?

Wheel chocks are required for a number of reasons, such as if your vehicle doesn’t have a drivetrain connected, disabling the vehicle from being put into park.

In addition to regular cars, other vehicles that don’t have drivetrains such as a boat or vehicle trailer, an RV trailer, an aircraft, or anything that is heavy enough to roll on its own (usually motorbikes and ATVs are excluded) require a wheel chock.

When using a wheel chock, it’s important to always chock up both wheels of a combined axle, because even if you have one wheel chocked up,  there is still a possibility that the other wheel will start to roll.

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Do Wheel Chocks Really Work?

Do Wheel Chocks Really Work?

Wheel chocks work very well when they are properly equipped to a vehicle, and are used worldwide when securing the location of a vehicle.

For example, if your vehicle’s transmission is preventing you from putting your car into park, having a wheel chock on hand will enable you to secure your vehicle safely and prevent the car from rolling away and causing an accident.

Overall, wheel chocks are a great source of safety and are recommended to be kept where your spare tire and jack are stored for emergencies.

Are Rubber Wheel Chocks Better Than Plastic?

Polyurethane plastic is one of the most common wheel chocks that drivers buy, as they’re lightweight and hold up in varied weather conditions quite well.

While there is nothing wrong with using a rubber wheel chock, there is a risk of the chock being damaged and showing wear much easier than plastic chocks.

As well, aluminum or steel wheel chocks are available, though they are quite heavy and therefore not recommended for vehicles that can’t handle a lot of weight or that will cause unnecessary inconvenience when faced with an emergency.

How Many Wheel Chocks Should I Use?

According to a variety of experts, it’s recommended that you use one wheel chock for each wheel on your vehicle, adding up to four chocks in total.

However, while it’s recommended, you are not required to chock every wheel unless you’re parked on a very steep incline, which is generally an unsafe place to rest any possible roll-away objects.

However, when placing chocks at your vehicle, it’s generally recommended to stabilize the front wheels first, as depending on how you’re parked, these are the wheels that can cause your vehicle to roll unprompted.

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What Can I Use Instead Of A Wheel Chock?

What Can I Use Instead Of A Wheel Chock?

If you don’t have a wheel chock on-hand, any thick, resilient material that you have nearby will generally serve the same purpose as a wheel chock.

For example, a brick or a piece of chopped wood could work if the vehicle only needs to be stabilized for a short period of time, such as performing a quick fix under the vehicle.

However, when using an object other than a wheel chock, it’s important to make sure that when you chock the wheel, your substitute wheel chocks are wider than the tire, and at least a quarter as tall as your tires.

Finally, once finding the right object, it’s important to wedge it underneath and in front of the tire in order to properly secure the vehicle and prevent it from rolling away.

Who Is Responsible For Chocking Wheels?

The driver should always be responsible for chocking the wheels of a vehicle, as they are responsible for preventing obstruction on the road.

Of course, drivers can ask for the assistance of their passengers when securing the wheels, as long as the person assisting is aware of how to properly secure a chock.

However, drivers should always be diligent when chocking their wheels and ensure everyone assisting is doing so properly, in order to prevent an accident from occurring.

What is a Parking Space Chock?

Parking space chocks are stationary chocks made of plastic or concrete, and are provided for parking spaces to prevent vehicles from taking up unnecessary space from another vehicle parked nearby.

Parking space chocks are also used to make sure you don’t block sidewalks when parking and to prevent you hitting the side of a building.

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However, if you have issues with depth perception, you should note that hitting a parking space chock can cause damage to your vehicle.

Therefore, it’s recommended to carefully and slowly pull up to a parking chock to prevent any unnecessary damage to your vehicle.

When Should You Chock Your Wheels?

When Should You Chock Your Wheels?

According to OSHA law, drivers are required to chock their wheels whenever they are unloading or loading a vehicle.

However, if you don’t chock your wheels when loading or unloading your vehicle, there is a possibility that you may be ticketed, depending on how seriously this issue is regarded in your local community.

Therefore, you’re recommended to always check if your wheels are properly chocked and secure when loading or unloading your vehicle.

If you want to know more, you can also see our posts on what are wheel hubs, what are wheel bearings, and what are wheel studs.

Conclusion

A wheel chock is a device used to prevent vehicles from rolling away when they are unable to be put in park. The most common wheel chocks are made out of hard plastic, and are required to be used when loading or unloading a vehicle.

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