Wheel chocks are an important piece of equipment for anyone who works with heavy vehicles. Safely chocking parked trucks, equipment, and trailers can prevent thousands of dollars in damages, injuries, and fatalities from occurring. Once you have selected the right type of wheel chock for your vehicle, it is important to know how to correctly place the chocks; this will depend on the vehicle you want to secure, and where it is parked. Here are a few examples:
- Facing downward on a slope: There are several ways to secure vehicles that are parked on a downhill grade:
For payloads over 240-tons, four chocks are required—one for the face of each outer wheel on the downslope side.
For payloads up to 240-tons, only two chocks are required, placed on the downhill faces of the two front tires.
For articulated vehicles, two chocks should be placed on the downhill face of each tire on the central axle.
For lower payload vehicles, two chocks on the downhill faces of the front tires will be sufficient.
- Facing upward on a slope: When vehicles are parked on an uphill grade, the placement of chocks differs, while the number of chocks used tends to stay the same:
For payloads exceeding 240-tons, a chock should be placed on all of the rear tires, which generally amounts to four chocks.
For payloads up to 240-tons, chocks should be applied to the outermost rear tires—this generally only requires two chocks.
For articulated vehicles, two chocks should be applied to the rearmost axle’s tires.
For lower payload vehicles, a chock for each of the rear tires should be sufficient to keep the vehicle in place and secure.
- Parked on level ground: When parked on level ground, it generally only takes two chocks to secure a vehicle, regardless of size. The chocks should be placed on both sides of the driver’s side wheel to prevent any rocking motion that might send the vehicle in one direction or another.
- Chocking a trailer: Trailers require a slightly different chocking outline as compared to vehicles, since the axle structure of trailers is a bit different. For most trailers, two chocks should be sufficient on a flat surface, one facing inwards on the passenger tire and the other applied on the outer face of the driver’s side tire. For trailers on slopes, chocking should occur on all four of the wheels.
Now, aside from just knowing where to place wheel chocks, it’s also important to understand how they’re placed:
- Chocks should always be placed in the very center of the wheel, so as to proportion weight appropriately and stop a vehicle from moving.
- Any wheel chocks that are damaged or not rated for the application shouldn’t be utilized.
- Chocks should be placed without any gaps between the chock and the tire, so as not to give the vehicle any room for momentum.
- Finally, chocks should always be placed on solid ground, so that they cannot be compromised by the surface under them.
Now that you understand how to safely use wheel chocks, it’s important to put this knowledge into practice on the jobsite. Find chocks that meet your needs at Discount Ramps today and make sure that your vehicles and the personnel utilizing them remain safe on the jobsite at all times!
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Instructional images background used under Creative Commons license. Photo by Flickr user Tim Evanson.