Wheel Chock Buying Guide and Reviews
- 1 What Tire Chocks Should You Use?
What Tire Chocks Should You Use?
Did you know that one of the most crucial products to have in your garage is actually omitted by many people all over the world? These are items that add to the safety of your experience in your garage. You should have a set of these regardless of what you plan to do with your vehicle. If you haven’t guessed what these are, they are the wheel chocks. Chocks are the devices that stop your car from rolling downhill or off your car ramp when you park it up there.
Even if you do have your vehicle’s emergency brake on, or have it in gear, there is always the chance that something will go wrong and a catastrophe will happen. A wheel chock is your failsafe to prevent something like this from happening. It is the equivalent of a jack stand that is used to hold a vehicle up even if the jack used to lift it should fail. The best part is that chocks are quite affordable and are incredibly durable too!
So why don’t more people use chocks in their garages? Well, people tend to take these devices for granted. The reason for this is that the device exists to prevent an accident. It serves no other purpose in the garage other than this. People who buy themselves fancy cars with awesome braking technology think that a separate chock is simply unnecessary. Others resort to using blocks of stone, brick or even wooden wedges to hold the tires of the car in place.
The problem here is that you aren’t even saving that much money by doing this! After all, a chock will only set you back about $10 or $20 based on the brand and type. Do you really want to put your safety and your life at risk for this meager amount? Think of chocks as being the cheapest form of insurance for your vehicle.
When considering what wheel chocks to purchase for your vehicle, you have to think about certain factors. These are important even if this isn’t your first time buying a set of chocks – replacing an old set needs the same amount of consideration too:
This is one of the most important factors to consider when picking out a wheel chock for your car. If you choose a chock that is a size too small, your tire is going to have little difficulty in rolling over the chock in its entirety. After all, tires are designed to roll over smaller obstacles on the roads.
To make sure that your vehicle doesn’t just ignore the existence of the chock, consider its height and compare it to that of your tire. A good rule of thumb is to buy a chock that is a quarter the height of the tire diameter. For example, if your car has 20” tires, you should get a 5” chock or greater for the most safety during your work.
The materials used in building a wheel chock vary widely based on the cost and the brand. Some of the most common materials in use today are wood, plastic, and rubber. Metal isn’t usually used for wheel chocks because of their cost to manufacture. Whatever the material is, the function is the same for the chock – it holds the car in place. However, you can’t just pick any material for any garage.
Consider the floor material of your garage and its texture, then choose a chock based on this. Most plastic units have low friction, which means that if you place a plastic chock on pavement or tarmac, the chance of the chock slipping is a little higher than with other materials. Rubber has the highest friction with tarmac and pavement, so using rubber wheel chocks is ideal for people working in garages made of this or on the streets. Most rubber chocks have treads at the bottom for additional grip against smoother surfaces.
NOTE: Always use your chocks as a set, and not as a single individual unit. These items are usually sold in pairs, not separately, and are sometimes connected using rope to maximize their ease of use. If the chock you are looking at doesn’t come as a pair, buy another one to complete the set!
Garage or Floor Surface
Your chock is only as safe as the surface it is used on. This safety is directly related to the level of your surface. Most garage surfaces are flat, horizontal and quite even. You will typically be hoisting your vehicle using a floor jack or parking it on a horizontal ramp. This is relatively safe. The real issue is when your car is tilted, such as when only the front or rear of the car is lifted up by a jack or when it is being worked on while parked on a sloped driveway.
The pressure placed by the weight of the car on the check is increased significantly in this type of situation. The chances of the chock being overwhelmed increase as well. In order to prevent this from happening, always buy chocks with your surface level in mind. Larger chocks work better for inclines and ramps.
Placement of Chocks is Important
It doesn’t matter what lifting technology you are using on your car whether it is a ramp or a set of jack stands with a floor jack. Chocking your wheels is still critical regardless of how you have lifted your car. Remember that you have to chock those wheels that are in contact with the floor. This is especially important if you are lifting the rear end of your car. In most vehicles, the e-brake works only on the rear wheels, which means that the front wheels are free to rotate if they’re the only ones touching the ground. Always chock your front and rear wheels!
Too many people find it easy to overlook just how major a role chocks play in your safety. By purchasing chocks that are of the right size and placing them in the right positions, you ensure that your car is safe from rolling when you are working on repairing or maintaining it. This isn’t just a worthless buy. You are investing in the security and safety of yourself and anyone around you. The best part is that this investment will keep paying off for years to come!
In the opinion of professionals in car maintenance and servicing, the best type of chock to purchase is one made of rubber. These are by far the most resistant to slipping because of the high coefficient of friction with almost any surface they are used on. In fact, here are two of our favorite wheel chocks in terms of affordability and functionality:
Ernst Manufacturing 980
– Set of 2 wheel chocks that aren’t expensive and work well for most cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Race Ramps RR-WC
Heavy duty double-pair (four wheel chocks). Great for mid-sized SUVs and pickup trucks.
RV, Camper, and Trailer Wheel Chocks
When choosing wheel chocks that work with bigger vehicles like RVs or camper trucks, you won’t need to diverge far from the formula for other cars and trucks. The only difference between chocks in these vehicles and the average car is the size. They are typically taller and are able to withstand far higher pressures, due to the higher weight of an RV when compared to a normal vehicle. There are special “X-type” chocks that have been designed especially for RVs. These can be used to improve the stability of the camper truck when in use as well. Stabilizers and chocks working together in one hybrid device increase your quality of life and your safety.
A great recommendation for chocks for your RV would be the X-shock Stabilizers, which you can find out more about right here:
Motorcycle Wheel Chocks
When used for motorbikes, the wheel chocks have a slightly different function. While safety is still one of the biggest benefits of the chock, stability during transport is emphasized on. Rolling isn’t prioritized nearly as much as locking the bike in a good vertical position during transport. As such, wheel chocks for bikers usually have a different design that allows the bike to be mounted within the chock in such a way that it cannot fall over. Different bike types will require different sizes of chock based on the wheel width, so make sure you make the right measurement before picking out a chock for your bike.
PSTK 6400 by Condor
Overall, we’d say that one of the best chocks for bikes that are applauded by enthusiasts all over the world is the PSTK 6400 by Condor. It isn’t the cheapest chock in the world, but it is definitely one of the best buys to be had for that price.
If you’re on a budget but you still want the best quality, the MaxxHaul 70075 is an option that won’t set you back by too much. Find out more about this awesome, affordable alternative right here.
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