When shopping for wheel chocks, material construction the most important factor to consider. Several common chock materials include wood, rubber, aluminum, steel, and urethane. Each option has benefits and costs. Here at Checkers, we believe that polyurethane offers the most benefits at the fewest costs, which is why we manufacture our chocks from high-grade polyurethane. Wood, rubber, and aluminum are more bottom-line driven solutions, while steel and urethane are more expensive. Let’s break down each wheel chock material option:
The ideal wheel chock material, urethane isn’t heavy, but still boasts more strength than the other chock material options. Since urethane is so light, shipping costs are much less than other options. Urethane chocks are also easier to position correctly, reducing the chances of chocking failures. Urethane is also much more weather resistant than other materials, as it will not rot, rust, or crack in the presence of heat, cold, or moisture. The price point for urethane chocks is typically higher than other materials, but with a much longer lifespan, urethane chocks create savings over long periods of time.
Aluminum and Steel
The primary issue with metal 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.
Wood chocks are often used for aviation applications. However, urethane 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.
While rubber is one of more cost-effective options, it’s durability pales in comparison to other wheel chock material options. Weather, either extreme heat or cold, can lead to the degradation of rubber. The heat can cause rubber to become brittle while freezing conditions can break and crack rubber. Another issue with rubber chocks is their weight. Rubber is a heavy material, raising shipping costs and making rubber chocks more difficult to transport and position correctly. Despite its weight, rubber is not particularly strong, in comparison with other options. Rubber can also be damaged by fuels, oils, and lubricants, making it a poor choice for mechanic and repair shops.