A wheel chock is a safety device that is intended to prevent a truck or other vehicle from accidental movement. If you’re wondering what can happen to make a truck move, just ask the person who was run over by a runaway rolling auto or truck. It probably wasn’t chocked. You can see a wheel chock in all sorts of environments including residential, construction, utility, industrial, mining and even aviation. We’re just going to address the uses in residential/utility and industrial settings.
Potential for an Accident
There are all kinds of accidents that can make a truck move accidentally, some at the fault of human error and some because of the force of gravity. Some of the causes of accidental movement of a truck include:
• A truck parked on an incline with either no parking brake or a worn out or broken parking brake.
• An over loaded vehicle may not be able to bear the weight if parked on an incline and can begin to roll without a chock.
• A large shift in the weight of truck when an item is removed or added can promote movement.
• When no parking brake is put into place, especially when the auto or truck is parked on an incline.
• When a truck or car not placed in “Park” when it is stopped.
Make it a Standard Procedure
The bottom line is that when you know to put down the chock and it’s a regular procedure for you, done by rote, you are not as much at risk. The best thing to do as an individual, if you have recently signed on with an independent company, utility or phone company, or are starting a business where a wheel chock is a good idea to follow on a regular basis, get in the rhythm and remind yourself to do it. Write down the steps and put them on your dash, and if it helps, in your employee bathroom mirror for consistent reminders:
• Put truck or vehicle in Park.
• Put on the Parking brake.
• Place wheel chocks on each side of tire – and both tires if you’re on a grade.
That is the basics of remembering to put a wheel chock in place, so when you’re in the business of delivery or maintenance and you must stop your truck frequently, put on the chocks!