Wheel chocks, also known as wheel immobilizers, are wedges made from sturdy materials that can be placed against a car tyre in order to prevent it from rolling. This can help to prevent accidental, unwanted movement and they come in extremely handy when performing maintenance or even just when parking.
Cars have a tendency to roll away, and this can lead to significant property damage and serious risks for obvious reasons. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at when to use wheel chocks, and how to choose the best ones for your vehicle.
When to Use Wheel Chocks
During regular car maintenance, you may often be required to lie underneath the vehicle or to squat very close to the tyre. In some cases, this will also require the use of a jack which will elevate one corner of the vehicle off the ground in order to make it more accessible.
In these scenarios, you might use the parking brakes. This can help to prevent rolling to a certain degree. However, if the brakes are what you are working on, then they may not provide sufficient safety. Likewise, the brakes won’t be as effective when only a few of the wheels are on the ground. Seeing as you may be very close to the vehicle, you need assurance that the vehicle isn’t going to roll. For that reason, you should consider wheel chocks.
There are other scenarios where wheel chocks can be useful too! For example, if there is a lot of ice in your driveway during the winter months, then using wheel chocks can help to prevent your vehicle from sliding away. In this scenario, the wheels don’t need to turn for your car to move and a slight incline generally won’t be enough to carry your vehicle up and over the chocks.
Likewise, you can use wheel chocks if you have an extremely steep drive or need to park somewhere very steep. While this sort of product shouldn’t be relied on 100%, but if you are concerned then they can add an extra layer of safety.
Finally, wheel chocks can be useful if you are experiencing brake difficulties and you can’t rely on them to keep your vehicle in place.
Even if none of these scenarios apply to you, keeping wheel chocks in your trunk can be a useful way to prepare yourself for the unexpected.
How to Choose Wheel Chocks
Wheel chocks are relatively simple items, which makes them straightforward to choose. With that said, they also do require a little thought and attention in order to ensure you get them right for your vehicle.
When buying wheel chocks it is extremely important to choose the right size. Depending on the size of your car tyres, you will need larger or smaller chocks. The best way to determine this, is to look at the size of the tyre and measure it, and then measure the wheel chock to be around a quarter of the tyre’s height. So, for example, if your tyres are around ~65-75cm tall (the approximate size of a standard tyre), then you will need wheel chocks that are around 15-25cm tall. This ensures that the chock will fit snuggly on the tyre, while also providing enough of a ramp to stop movement.
Another consideration is the terrain the vehicle will be placed on. This is often referred to as the “grade,” which in turn describes the angle. The steeper the decline, the more chocks (or chocks of greater weight/resistance) you may need in order to keep your vehicle secure.
If you’re unsure, you will often find some guidance regarding the best wheel chocks in your car owner’s manual or feel free to reach out to our friendly sales staff using the “Contact Us” option on the menu above.