Wheel Chock Safety Tips for Trailer Owners
If you have a trailer, you have probably used a wheel chock at one time or another. After all, you don’t want your trailer rolling away while it’s parked around Michigan. However, using your wheel chock incorrectly can lead to damage, not only your trailer but also other property. Here are some basic safety tips to be sure you’re following the next time you park your trailer.
Wheel Chock Basics
Let’s start with some basic of the wheel chock. These are designed to keep your wheels from moving while the device is in place. While they may be light, they are physically designed to prevent wheels from easily rolling over them.
When placing your chocks, you want to ensure you have a snug fit to your trailer’s tires. Generally, chocks are placed on the rear of the tire. However, if you have any concern about it possibly rolling forward, put a set on the front side as well.
Plan to keep a set of chocks on your trailer when you’re hauling things around Michigan. This ensures that you have what you need whenever you want to park your rig. Be sure there’s a dedicated place in your trailer to store them so that they don’t bounce around on the road, damaging your cargo.
Getting The Right Equipment
Along with using your wheel chock correctly, it’s important to have the right equipment. Some people use makeshift chocks when they forget to pack their own, including rocks, lumber, bricks, and many other things.
The problem with all of these is that they do not provide the same resistance to rolling that manufactured chocks give. They may slide on the ground surface, allow the tire to roll over it, or even damage your tire.
The best practice is to get a set of chocks specifically designed for your application. Be sure to match both your trailer type and the tire size. Trying to use a small passenger vehicle chock on a semi truck won’t do much to stop the trailer.
Free Standing Trailer
When you’re setting wheel chocks on a freestanding trailer, chock both the left and right rear axle wheels. Plan to chock both the front and back of the tire to keep it in place. If you have a larger trailer, consider placing chocks at all axles for extra safety.
If you happen to be putting your trailer up to a loading dock, there’s some special precautions, especially if you’re going to be using mechanical loading equipment. Back your trailer as close to the dock as possible. Place chocks on both the left and right tire closest to the dock. Never try to use loading equipment like a hand dolly or forklift without first chocking your wheels. This can cause movement in the trailer while loading or unloading, leading to equipment damage or personal injury.