Wheel chocks are an excellent piece of kit to keep on hand in your vehicle or garage.
The right chocks, applied correctly, can offer an extra measure of safety and stability for a car, particularly when using a jack to elevate a wheel.
Don’t go rushing out to your local store, however, wooden wheel chocks are simple and inexpensive to make.
This article is “your guide to making homemade wheel chocks”.
What is a Wheel Chock?
A wheel chock is anything used to wedge against a tire or wheel to physically prevent it from rotating.
Chocks are suitable for use with a variety of different vehicles from RV’s, trucks, trailers, and aircraft, however, this article will focus on wheel chocks for cars.
Car chocks are essential when the rear axle of the vehicle is elevated by a jack.
As the parking brake is normally only found in the rear wheels, the car is susceptible to rolling forwards creating a potential hazard.
Types of chocks
With so many different vehicles making use of chocks, it’s no wonder that there are many different designs.
Some are a simple wedge shape, made from heavy duty rubber, metal or wood and sit just behind the wheel on one side.
All things considered, car chocks only require a simple design to work effectively and this guide details how to make wooden wheel chocks that get the job done safely and easily.
The Right Design
Durability and frequency of use are worth considering when deciding if wood is the right material.
If you are planning on using the chocks frequently in many different weather conditions and with a variety of vehicles, maybe a heavy-duty rubber or metal chock is more appropriate.
Wheel chocks can also be tricky to move once the job is done.
Fixing a rope or handle to the chock can make life a lot easier and stop you reaching for the crow bar for assistance.
Either way, wedge-shaped, wooden chocks are usually the best way to go so here’s “your guide to making homemade wheel chocks”
How to Make Wooden Chocks
Start with solid piece of 4x4 inch treated wood, around 12 inches in length.
You can usually source this easily enough from building sites or scrap yards without having to visit the store.
The idea is to mark a 45-degree wedge angle to work on a standard 15-inch tire.
If you want to be exact, you can mark the angle of your individual tires on a piece of cardboard and transfer this recorded angle onto the wood.
Using a handsaw or electric saw, cut along the angle line that you’ve drawn, and then you should have a nice wedge-shaped chock.
Additionally, you can attach a rope by screwing a small metal loop into the back of the chock for easy extraction.
Or simply attach piece of rope by stapling each end to each side of the chock, the loop facing backwards.
Using a staple gun can be an effective method of attachment.
There you have it, a home-made wooden chock, fit for purpose and ready for use.
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Alternative Design – The C Shaped Chock
This is another approach to making homemade wheel chocks, and this method can be equally as effective.
The C shaped design is also quite versatile and is often used to secure RV’s and trailers as well.
To make this chock, cut a 4x4 piece of solid timber into two equal pieces measuring 18 inches in length.
18 inches is the recommended length as it can fit around larger tires found on other vehicles, as well as the standard 15-inch tire of the common automobile.
Position the two equal pieces of timber around one of the tires that you will be most commonly using the chock for, one in front of the tire and one behind.
By recording the distance between the outside edges of the blocks you will be able to ascertain the width of the chock.
Now, cut a smaller 1x4 inch piece of timber to fit the length of the chock.
Secure the two 4x4 pieces of timber to the ends of the 1x4 with nails. Your C-Shaped wooden chock is complete.
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Some Safety tips
Where and how you choose to your chocks can affect their performance, so it’s worth considering these factors and how they can impact on the use.
The slope or gradient of the road surface can alter the effectiveness of your chocks.
Be aware that parking your vehicle on an angle exceeding 10 degrees can elevate the risk of the car rolling straight over the top of the chock.
It’s always advisable to seek the most level surface possible before you decide to deploy your wooden chocks.
The wheel height in relation to the size of the chock must be carefully considered as larger than normal vehicles, RV’s for example, may move excessively with the wind compared to a standard automobile.
Bear in mind that the friction of the road surface may cause the wooden wheel chock to slide downhill.
Surfaces that are excessively oily, wet or icy can create a problem when using wooden chocks.
Hopefully “your guide to making homemade wheel chocks” has given you some ideas of the types of wheels chocks you can use to secure your car, and given you a practical guide on how to make homemade wheel chocks.
By following these easy instructions, you end up with a chock fit for use.
Why hand over your hard-earned money to purchase a pair of chocks when with a few simple materials and a bit of enthusiasm, you can create a pair of ready to use, totally safe, wheel chocks.
Just make sure to make safety your top priority so that your DIY-chock does the job adequately without you running the risk of injury or damage to your beloved vehicle.
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