How Wheel Chocks Work

Published On: March 24, 20220 Comments on How Wheel Chocks WorkLast Updated: February 1, 20243.9 min read

Have you ever seen those little wedges that you can use to keep your car from rolling away down the street? These are wheel chocks, they can easily save your life in some situations. They are a kind of precautionary measure that is not all that glorified but is definitely worth paying attention to. You only realise just how fabulous they are when your car rolls away and goes off on an adventure of its own. They might seem pretty dull, something a mechanic only really needs to pay attention to, but they are actually a very important aspect of motoring lifestyles, and they represent a large foundation behind the science of how the universe works.

How Wheel Chocks Work

Want to learn even more about applying wheel chocks? Look here: Otherwise, keep on reading to understand more about wheel chocks, how they work, and how you use them.

Understanding Wheel Chocks

Wheel chocks are technically just a wedge or ramp, it’s just a solid surface on an inclined plane. You can use this type of thing for anything, as a bike map or even an axe. However, in this instance an incline plane is used as a wheel chock. All it really does is stop your car from rolling away. Cars are excellent at moving, but if you live on a slope, and your handbrake suddenly goes bust, what can you do to stop it rolling away? Sure, you can apply pressure to the break, but a wheel chock is best if you aren’t on the go.

Friction created by gravity keeps everything on the planet held down, and it keeps your wheels against the ground. Wheel chocks just work against gravity, if the car wants to keep rolling, it needs to go up the chock to do so. Doing so would be against physics, unless of course, you live on a massive hill, in which case… get big wheel chocks. Wheel chocks basically just work with gravity to stop your car going where you do not want it to.

How Do They Work?

The most simple way to say what a wheel chock does is that it prevents unintentional or accidental movement. It is a safety feature in the addition of breaks (or absence of in some cases)

Do They Really Work All That Well?

They do work, they provide a mini hill your tires need to overcome in order for it to work. Consider, without your foot on the gas, your car would never go up a hill, even a small one. This is why a wheel chock works. They are an ideal investment for you to keep in the trunk of your car at all times to keep you, your car, and passers-by, safe.

How Wheel Chocks Work - truck wheel chock

How To Use Them

So, how do you properly use and position wheel chocks? Firstly, you should always be certain that the whole chock is centralized and squared up in line with your car’s tire for it to work properly. Then you should position the chock, so it is cozy up against the head of the tire. There should be no room for movement. Do not forget to always use chocks in pairs of two for it to really be effective. Whenever you use these, remember that they must be positioned downhill below the center of gravity. Never place them uphill because if your car is going to roll off it won’t be doing so uphill, it will go downhill.

When To Use Them

Wheel chocks are used for safety, and are a form of accident prevention. Chocking your wheels, or otherwise known as blocking your wheels, is done in order to prevent cars, trucks, trailers, and otherwise from moving off unintentionally. A vehicle like such may otherwise roll off, or even overturn without chocks in place. This is ideal for large vehicles, and should be used when workers are unloading, loading, unhitching, hitching, or even just servicing a vehicle.

Choosing Your Chocks

The second most common material for a wheel chock is polyurethane plastic. They are the best materials for protecting against wind, water, and blunt damage, and are cut resistant, more so than rubber. They are also lighter than aluminum chocks. However, they are not as strong as steel alloy or aluminum, so it is up to you which material you want. When you choose you could go for a chock that is a quarter the height of the wheel, so if your tires are 36” you should get a 9” tall chock, this will allow the chock a perfect fit.

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