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What are Wheel Chocks?

Sandpaper can be used to cover chocks, providing them with more friction.
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  • Written By: S. Mithra
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
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Wheel chocks are wedges that slide beneath the wheels of various stationery vehicles to keep them from shifting or rolling away. Boats, trailers, cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and motorcycles all benefit from this basic accessory while you are loading, unloading, performing routine maintenance, and parking. Wheel chocks are lightweight, sized to carry in your vehicle, and very simple to use and remove.

Wheel chocks resemble miniature skateboarding ramps with a concave, triangular shape, often of heavy plastic. Most are brightly colored yellow and orange, so they are highly visible. Their surface may be textured with rubber, so that the ribbed or waffle pattern sticks to both pavement and tires. The high-friction chocks won't slip, even when keeping a huge truck in place. Some are outfitted with a nylon cord that you can pull to release the chocks from the wheels.

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 changing 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.

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There are some variations on the standard wedge wheel chocks. For vehicles with double wheels, the chock can fit inbetween the tires, rather than against the ground and wheel. These tandem wheel chocks look like squared off crescents, curved to match the diameter of the wheel, with a winding mechanism in the center that collapses and expands like a jack. Rather than rubber, these are usually made of steel or aluminum.

You can even make your own chocks by cutting up 2x4s. Saw each chunk of wood diagonally to create a wedge. All surfaces should be covered with heavy sandpaper for more friction. This would be an inexpensive, even impromptu, method of increasing safety while you work on your vehicle.

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