When shopping for wheel chocks, material construction is the most important factor to consider. Common wheel chock materials include wood, rubber, aluminum, steel and urethane. Each option has its benefits. Wood, rubber and aluminum are more economical solutions, while steel and urethane are more costly. Let’s break down each wheel chock material option:
Urethane Wheel Chocks
Urethane isn’t heavy, but it boasts more strength than the other chock material options. Checkers Safety conducted several tests, and urethane proves the most durable with the highest load-bearing capacity. But since urethane is so light, these wheel chocks are easy to transport and cost less to ship. Urethane wheel chocks are easier to position correctly, reducing the chances of chocking failures. This material is also much more weather-resistant than many others and will not rot, rust or crack in the presence of heat, cold or moisture. In addition, urethane wheel chocks are available in high visibility colors, unlike their counterparts. The price point for urethane chocks is typically higher, but with a much longer lifespan, urethane wheel chocks create savings over long periods of time.
Rubber Wheel Chocks
For those who are looking for a more economical option or who may not need to use a wheel chock daily, rubber wheel chocks are a great option. Rubber has a natural grip that helps protect the tire and pavement, and because they can be placed with either side against the tire, rubber wheel chocks are relatively easy to install. Like urethane, they are durable and weather-resistant, but may need to be replaced more frequently. Rubber wheel chocks are the most popular in the world, so finding parts or accessories for your rubber wheel chock will be a breeze.
Aluminum and Steel Wheel Chocks
The primary issue with metal wheel chocks is that when damaged, they can develop sharp edges, potentially damaging tires or injuring employees. This problem is found with both aluminum and steel chocks. Aluminum chocks are lighter than steel options; however, they are less durable. Another problem is the scrap value of the material. Aluminum and steel chocks are both susceptible to theft as they can be scrapped, a problem that isn’t present with rubber, wood or urethane. Metal is also conductive, making metal chocks a poor choice for transmission projects. They are also prone to rusting when exposed to wet conditions.
Wood Wheel Chocks
Wood wheel chocks are often used for aviation applications. However, urethane or rubber is much better option for this industry. Wood will quickly become waterlogged, which drastically increases its weight and makes it much more difficult to handle. Wood also rots in the presence of water, which greatly reduces its lifespan. Another problem with wood chocks, particularly in the aviation industry, is the presence of foreign object damage. When wood chocks splinter and break apart, as the inevitably do, they can cause costly FOD to aircraft. Painting and repainting is required with wood as well.