What Does Wheel Chock Mean?
A wheel chock is a wedge of sturdy, durable material that is used to prevent the accidental movement of a vehicle.
Commonly attached to vehicles docked at loading bays, they are placed snugly against the wheels of the vehicle, thin-edge forward, in order to block the vehicle from moving in the direction of the chock.
Safeopedia Explains Wheel Chock
Wheel chocks are most often placed against the rear side of the vehicle’s wheels to prevent accidental backward movement but may also be used to block forward movement. They are a supplementary hazard control used in addition to the vehicle’s normal braking system, which may be insufficient to completely halt the movement of large vehicles. The side of the chock that faces the wheel has a convex or similar shape designed to increase the force necessary for the vehicle to run over it.
Wheel chocks are an important and mandatory hazard control in many industries in which wheeled vehicles are present. They are deployed in any situation where a vehicle is subjected to a large enough degree of force to cause the vehicle to shift.
Chocks are used to provide a “backup” in case a vehicle’s braking system fails or is insufficient to overcome the forces exerted upon it. This is a particularly significant concern when dealing with extremely large vehicles such as airplanes or mega-trucks that would bear a massive amount of weight if subjected to sufficient force to cause movement.
The risk that a chock will be necessary to halt the movement of a vehicle is increased if the vehicle is on an inclined surface, such as on a construction site. In the United States, the manner in which wheel chocks must be used in the workplace varies depending on the department that governs a particular industry. These departments include OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and the Federal Motor Carriers Administration (FMCA).