In 2016, the U.S. mining industry saw fatal accidents claim the lives of 20 workers, according to this MSHA report. These tragedies highlight the need for mining safety equipment, such as wheel chocks. Wheel chocks are effective safety devices when used properly. However, wheel chocking procedures are not always as straightforward as they may seem. There are several key aspects of proper chocking that may not be obvious to every user. We’ve outlined the most important things to take note of while using our wheel chocks, to ensure maximum safety for both workers and equipment. It is the responsibility of the end user to make the ﬁnal determination about proper chocking of a vehicle under the circumstances presented. You cannot simply test a pair of wheel chocks with a speciﬁc vehicle on a speciﬁed grade and broadly assume that the wheel chocks will hold the same truck every time. Countless combinations of conditions exist and this must be considered when selecting the most appropriate wheel chock for each application. Thorough testing must be completed at each location to ensure that speciﬁc wheel chocks will meet their speciﬁc chocking requirements.
Here are the combinations of conditions must be considered for safe, proper chocking procedures:
- Tire size
- Smaller tires require smaller chocks, while larger tires require larger chocks. To determine which chock your vehicle needs, click here to view our chock reference guide.
- Gross vehicle weight
- Heavier vehicles require larger chocks than lighter vehicles. Gross vehicle weight can be found along the Y-axis of the chock reference guide.
- Level or grade of the ground surface
- Chocks need to be positioned in different ways depending on if the ground is level or not. Ensuring that the chocking configuration is correct based on surface grade is paramount for proper chocking. To view a diagram detailing the different chocking configurations, click here.
- Radial Tires vs. Bias-Ply Tires
- Radial tires by design deflect more than bias-ply tires. While this flexibility allows the vehicle to move more smoothly, it also allows the tire to wrap around the wheel chock, which reduces the chocks effectiveness. To combat this, vehicles with radial tires should be chocked with wheel chocks that are larger than what the reference guide recommends.
- Tire pressure variance due to environment
- It is important to monitor tire pressure, especially in harsh environments. Improperly inflated tires can lead to chocking failures.
- Condition of the ground
- Whether the ground is firm, soft, wet, dry, icy, or frozen is a key determination in the type of chock to use. For frozen or icy terrain, choose a chock with a cleated bottom. For severely wet or muddy terrain, multiple chocks may be necessary to ensure safe chocking.
- Always ensure the chock is centered and squared with the tire.
- Position the chock snuggly against the tire tread.
- Always use wheel chocks in pairs.
- Wheel chocks must be positioned downhill and below the vehicle’s center of gravity.
- On a downhill grade, position the chocks in front of the front wheels.
- On an uphill grade, position the chocks behind the rear wheels.
- On a level grade, position the chocks on the front and back of a single wheel.
For a detailed diagram of how to properly position a chock, click here. In addition to to following proper chocking procedures, it is important to consider the material of the chock. For more information on different chock materials, click here.
Monster Motion Safety offers a wide range of wheel chocks, ranging from small to large models. Whether you drive a pickup truck or a haul truck, proper chocking is important and safety cannot be a compromise. To view our full line of high-quality chocking solutions, click here.
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.
When it was introduced in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act broke ground for civil rights and made America a better place for individuals with disabilities. These days, handicapped parking isn’t something most of us even think about; its presence is a given thanks to the ADA. While most of the regulations in the ADA don’t give business owners much choice in how they display their handicapped parking spots, parking stops are something of a gray area (no pun intended). Here are a few reasons why Monster‘s brightly colored, durable, rubber parking curbs are better options than a traditional, boring, concrete parking block.
Rubber parking curbs withstand harsh weather
Often businesses will indicate handicap parking with markings on the pavement. Perhaps using blue lines to indicate the parking spot, or placing the handicap symbol within the designated parking area. While this may work in a place like Florida, a business owner in Michigan has much more to worry about. Considering the heavy snow fall most northern states face, not to mention the long duration of winter, it can be difficult for patrons to see markings made on the pavement. Monster handicap parking curbs are 4 inches in height, meaning they will stand above snow from all but the fiercest storms.
One major issue with concrete parking blocks is that they are often the same color as the parking lot to upon which they are mounted. This can make them difficult for drivers to see as they pull into parking stops. This issue has only been compounded in recent years by the invention and proliferation of the backup camera. It’s difficult enough to differentiate a gray bump on gray concrete, now drivers have to do it using a grainy camera that would embarrass a cell phone. While parking curbs are designed to withstand impacts from vehicles, over time it will result in wear and tear regardless of the material the product is constructed from. The only options are to choose a high visibility product, such as a Monster parking stop, or to paint a concrete parking stop. Painting, however, produces its own slew of problems…
There is no need to repaint a colored rubber parking block
Whether a business owner opts to paint the parking area in blue, or paint a concrete parking block blue, repainting will be required. Paint will inevitable fade in the sun, and weather will chip it away over time. Re-painting can be costly both in terms of materials and man-hours. With Monster handicap parking stops, the rubber is colored blue so there is no fading, no chipping, no discoloration. Our parking stops are warrantied for up to three years and many last in excess of that time frame. They give parking lots a nice aesthetic while indicating where the handicap parking is located.
Our parking stops bring a little extra flair to parking lots while offering many practical advantages. Extra visibility, superior durability, and overall better aesthetics are just a few of the aspects of the Monster parking block that make it the best way to mark a handicap spot.
Click here to read more about Monster Parking Stops, or click here to read the brochure.
Concrete and rubber are the two most common substances from which parking stops are manufactured, and each presents unique advantages. Here at Monster, we manufacture our parking stops from premium recycled rubber, which creates a better overall product, albeit at a slightly higher cost. The cost aspect is the largest advantage that concrete parking stops offer: they are an extremely bottom line driven solution. However, it is important to keep in mind that in this case, you get what you pay for. Concrete lacks the durability of rubber, particularly in areas that are prone to heavy precipitation and freezing weather. When moisture penetrates tiny cracks in the concrete, it is able to freeze and expand, which causes additional damage and greatly reduces the lifespan of concrete parking curbs.
Concrete parking stops lack aesthetic appeal
However, the problems with concrete products go further than simply a short lifespan. For many business owners, their parking lots are the first areas that customers experience. Because concrete parking stops are prone to cracking and crumbling, this can lead to an extremely unappealing parking lot. Not to mention the color or lack thereof. Even if a business owner paints their parking stops to create a better overall aesthetic for their business, there is still a risk of chipped or faded paint, and the parking curbs will have to be periodically retouched to keep their paint looking attractive and vibrant.
Monster rubber parking curbs are the superior solution
These problems are issues that simply don’t exist with Monster rubber parking stops. Our rubber is premium grade, which means it won’t chip, crack, or crumble like concrete. We’re so confident of their durability that we offer a three-year warranty on the product. We also offer parking stops in several colors, including black (with white or yellow tape), blue, and terracotta, ensuring that you’ll be able to customize your parking lot to match the aesthetic of your business.
Another major advantage of Monster parking curbs is the weight. Rubber typically isn’t thought of as a “light” material but compared to concrete, it is substantially easier to transport. While concrete parking curbs can weigh over 200 lbs., Monster premium rubber parking stops weigh in at just 34 lbs., a fraction of the weight of concrete. This means installation can be a much quicker, and therefore less expensive, process. Should modifications to parking alignments be necessary, Monster parking stops can easily be moved. Additionally, this portability makes them great for temporary usage, at festivals or events for example.
Like all of our products, Monster parking stops are a premium solution. They are a bit more expensive than concrete competitors but offer a wide array of benefits and advantages. For more information about our parking curbs, click here. To view a brochure, click here.
A core part of our company mission statement “A dynamic, global team dedicated to protecting people, assets, and the environment,” is protecting the environment. While many of our products are designed to do exactly this, it’s also a broader company philosophy that we embrace. One example of this is the manufacturing process behind our rubber parking stops. We receive raw, recycled rubber from a variety of sources, including a local Bridgestone Tire factory. Using our proprietary polyurethane binder to hold the mixture together, we then create the premium, high-grade rubber that we mold into our parking stops. Between our two plants, we recycle an average of 1 million pounds of rubber per month. However considering that the average tire weighs between 14 and 16 lbs., and 300 million are scrapped per year, 1 million pounds is only a drop in the bucket.
Recycling tires helps reduce the health and environmental risks they pose
Tires present a unique environmental challenge because they are not biodegradable. In addition taking up large amounts of space in landfills, they also create other unfortunate health risks. It’s a little-known fact that tires can be breeding grounds for mosquitos, especially in tropical climates. Per a special report by the Tire and Rubber Recycling Advisory Council, “Tires are often targeted as the prime candidates for mosquito breeding because it is difficult to remove water from them, and they retain heat, which further exacerbates the conditions that attract mosquitos.” In areas where diseases such as malaria and West Nile Virus are common, scrap tires can be a deadly hazard. Additionally, should a tire scrapyard catch fire, it is impossible to extinguish and will produce acid smoke harmful to both humans and the environment.
Recycled rubber is a great resource for manufacturing quality products
The good news, however, is that tires are 100% recyclable. Per ReRubber.com, “The high quality of steel and rubber found in tires are easily reintegrated into the manufacturing process at very minimal or no change to existing manufacturing processes.” There are many ways to use recycled rubber; it is often found in “rubber mulch,” a product used on playground surfaces, athletic facilities, and gardens. Additionally, recycled rubber can be used for various automotive and infrastructural sealants, and, of course, our premium rubber parking stops.
Utilizing recycled rubber is just one of the many ways we here at Checkers seek to protect the environment. While the issue of scrap tires littering landfills remains a large problem that must be addressed, we are proud to play a small part in the solution. We are also proud to provide high-quality parking stops to the parking and facility maintenance industries.
Our Monster rubber parking stops are designed to protect parking structures, vehicles, and pedestrians. They are manufactured from premium, recycled rubber. Rubber parking stop benefits are plentiful, especially compared with concrete options. Take a look at the top five benefits of rubber parking stops below:
Our parking stops are manufactured from recycled rubber from a variety of sources. When it reaches us, it’s already ground down into its raw form, and we mold it into our Monster parking stops, as well as several other rubber parking lot solutions. We recycle an average of 1 million pounds of rubber each month, which is approximately equal to 45,500 passenger vehicle tires. If you’re like us, and you believe in protecting the environment, purchasing recycled rubber products such as our parking stop is a great way to affirm that commitment.
In the perfect world, all parking lots would be perfectly smooth and flat. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world and often bumps, cracks, and other damage can create uneven surfaces. The great thing about our rubber parking stops is that their flexible rubber construction allows them to contour to the surface on which they are placed. If you are mounting them on a surface that isn’t perfectly level, there is no need to worry, they will still serve their purpose and look great doing it. While concrete parking stops may be less expensive, they are also rigid and have no flex to them, which makes them more difficult to mount and more susceptible to damage.
If you opt for concrete parking stops, the only way to inject any sort of color is to paint them. Not only is this a time-consuming and messy process, but you also need to worry about the paint fading, and matching paint colors if you add more parking stops in the future. Monster parking stops are made with colored rubber, ensuring that they will never fade, and will always make your property look its best. They are currently available in black, blue, and terracotta, with white or yellow tape available.
Our largest parking stop measures six feet in length and weighs a mere 34 lbs. Compared to concrete parking stops, which can weigh hundreds of pounds, our products are easy to position and install, even with just one person. This greatly reduces installation costs, as additional equipment is not necessary, and work crews can be much smaller while still accomplishing the same goal. The portability of our parking stops makes them great for temporary applications as well since they can be quickly deployed and collected after they are no longer necessary.
While concrete parking stops have a tendency to chip and crack, our rubber products will not. Additionally, all of our rubber parking stops feature reflective tape that is actually molded into the product. This prevents the reflective tape from peeling or falling off, a problem seen in some bottom-line driven products. Rubber parking stop benefits also include a resistance to temperature and weather changes that isn’t seen in concrete competitors. Similar to concrete roads, moisture can penetrate into cracks in imperfections in the concrete, and then when temperatures drop below freezing, the water expands and causes further damage to the product. This is avoided when you choose a premium rubber solution, such as a Monster parking stop, as they are great for any climate or weather.
To learn more about these great products, click here. To view a brochure, click here.
Finding the best of anything can be a long and arduous process, full of research and study. Fortunately, sequential lights are a fairly new technology so the market is unsaturated and easy to sort through. Finding the best sequential barricade lights doesn’t need to be a difficult process because we are here to help, with the handy chart seen below, comparing Monster sequential warning signals to two other competitors:
Our new sequential barricade lights feature many exclusive benefits due to their innovative radio linking technology. The sequential barricade light represents a large step forward for safety in traffic checkpoint and road work applications. Here’s why:
5. Different frequencies, different patterns
If you need to run multiple patterns in multiple strings, fear not; sequential barricade lights can operate on different frequencies. This prevents the radio signals from interfering with each other and allows multiple strings of lights to be active and displaying different flash patterns in the same physical area. This is a benefit in situations such as DUI checkpoints where directing traffic into funnels is key. More on that in Benefit No. 2.
4. Remote control capabilities are integrated into sequential warning lights
Monster sequential barricade lights come with a remote control capable of switching flash patterns, powering the lights on and off, and momentarily inhibiting flash, etc. The beauty of this remote control is that you can change the pattern for an entire string of lights with a single button press. Thanks to the innovative radio technology found in each sequential lamp, a command given to one lamp (either via the remote or the interface on the light itself) will transmit down the string and all subsequent lights will follow suit. This means that there is no reason for employees to expose themselves to potential traffic accidents by walking down the string of lights to change the settings of each individual light.
The radio technology doesn’t only allow for mass settings changes; it also increases the battery life of sequential barricade lights. The lights will activate for 1 millisecond out of every second, a duty cycle of 0.1 percent. The LEDs light for 40 to 100 milliseconds, depending on the flash pattern. Even when the device is on, it goes into a “deep sleep” mode, which doesn’t consume any power. The sequential barricade light boasts a battery life up to 9 months on 4 D-cell alkaline batteries thanks to this innovative technology.
2. Create a “Funnel Effect” with sequential traffic signals
With sequential barricade lights, you can create a “funnel” to direct traffic. This effect is possible because of the unique way the flash patterns are programmed. Because of the 1/10th of a second delay between each flash, the eleventh lamp in the string will flash at the same time as the first lamp. To create a funnel, one simply needs to place lamps one through ten on one side of the lane, and lamps eleven through twenty on the other side. They will flash in perfect unison thanks to the hyper-accurate radio technology each barricade light is built with.
1. Sequential barricade lights indicate direction
Traditional barricade lights flash, and not much else. Sequential lights are a step above, as they flash in a pre-programmed pattern to indicate a direction, much like airport runway lights. This is important for indicating lane closures and mergers. Studies have indicated that sequential lights are the most effective solution to communicate such traffic patterns to drivers.
Sequential lights are also frequently used to indicate sharp turns, especially in high-speed areas. These areas can be especially dangerous at night when visibility is reduced, and sequential lights help drivers see the direction of the turn sooner. This, in turn, helps them to adjust their speed accordingly.
You’ll be surprised by how affordable Monster sequential barricade lights are. Click here to see more details.
Click here for the full sequential barricade light brochure.
Radio technology optimizes power usage to extend barricade light battery life
Monster sequential barricade lights are not only a breakthrough in terms of providing safer indication of road hazards, they are also a revelation in terms of extending barricade light battery life. The secret is within the barricade light’s revolutionary radio technology, which will activate for 1 millisecond every second. This is a duty cycle of 0.1 percent. Depending on the selected flash pattern, the LED is lit for 40 to 100 milliseconds. This means that even when the device is turned on, most of the time it is in a “deep sleep,” and is not consuming any power. These innovations allow sequential barricade light battery life to extend to 9 months off of 4 D-cell alkaline batteries, a full month more than our premium, traditional barricade lights.
Sequential warning lights are more effective at communicating directionality
Safe and effective traffic control is vital for the safety of the traveling public as well as to protect construction, maintenance, and utility workers executing road maintenance or repairs. Barrier lighting can be used as part of the warning light traffic control zone measures in traffic transition areas and termination areas to alert drivers to provide adequate warning, delineation, and channelization. When harsh weather conditions can affect driver visibility, the sequential lights are designed to be placed at standard intervals to be able to maintain adequate sight distance for driver recognition and reaction, even on straight highway sections.
The new Monster Safety sequential warning lights are a revolutionary solution for the road construction and traffic safety industries. These innovative signals are designed to flash in a pattern indicating directionality, which makes them much more effective at communicating lane mergers and hazards in the road. The directional indication communicates a clearer message to the driver and creates a reasonable expectation for the driver to comply to.
Barrier lights are manufactured from hardwearing materials to withstand harsh conditions
Like all of our signals, sequential barricade lights are manufactured in close partnership with industry experts from the traffic safety and road construction industries. All Monster Safety warning lights are manufactured with high-quality materials in the United States, ensuring that they can stand up to the harsh conditions seen in road construction and traffic safety. This ensures that these products are optimized for great performance in the field. They have been tested and studied extensively and the results have indicated that sequential lights are the superior choice for road signals. Click here to read about these studies in more detail.
Monster Safety sequential warning lights increase traffic safety while reducing deployment and maintenance time. We all know that road construction projects can be long term commitments, and with the longer lasting battery life of our sequential barricade lights, you’ll save time and money by avoiding frequent battery replacements.
Click here to learn more about Monster sequential barricade lights.
As a manufacturer committed to mine safety, we here at Checkers are delighted to read this report from the National Safety Council reporting that 2015 was the safest year in the history of the mining industry! The fatality rate in 2015 was 0.0096 per 200,000 hours worked, which dropped significantly from the 2014 rate of 0.0144. The “all-injury rate” hit a historic low as well, clocking in at 2.28. Also noted in the article is the fact that safety citations and orders issued decreased by 11 percent. Our wheel chocks no doubt played a part in reducing that statistic, as they are MSHA approved. Designed with heavy duty polyurethane, our chocks combine lightweight portability with rugged high-performance load capacities. Our goal is to see the fatality rate reduced to zero, as even one life lost to poor safety precautions is too many. While there is a room for improvement, we are still very excited to see the establishment of this milestone in mining history. Safety, of course, is always in a state of constant improvement, so we have high hopes to see even lower fatality rates in 2016.
Questions about our products? Contact us:
With every hurricane, storm, and severe weather warning, the best method of risk assessment is to be PREPARED. According to the National Hurricane Center, storm trackers on land cannot predict oncoming storms well enough to warn people and businesses of what may come. Without close caution, the economic expense for businesses and cities become extraordinarily high as more communities deal with clean up and loss of property.
Checkers Industrial Safety Products can help provide an effective approach to securing both personal and commercial assets. In addition, the capability of our heavy duty products can supply communities with the innovative tools before a storm hits and after, assisting in cleanup.
Our ground protection products are comprehensive tools for natural disasters like Hurricane Joaquin:
- Provides stable driving/walking surface
- Allows vehicles to access and navigate muddy, normally undriveable areas
- Minimizes vehicle impact on ground and environment
- Variety of styles and sizes to choose from
- Fast setup and transport
- Durable polyurethane construction
- For pedestrian traffic and work vehicles
- High load-bearing capacity
- Designed for a variety of applications
- Lightweight urethane construction
- Ideal for trucks, trailers, emergency service, and utility vehicles
- Perfect for industrial applications
- Aluminum cleats or rubber pads on bottom
- Ideal for heavy equipment, trucks, and firefighting vehicles
- 30% more light output than competing brands
- Built with heavy duty, UV-stabilized polycarbonate and polypropylene for extreme conditions
- Available in both electrical powered and solar powered models
Checkers is currently giving priority orders servicing relief efforts. Donâ€™t wait until disaster strikes!
For more information, contact us at:
Learn more about Hurricane Joaquin here:
Every year, mining continues to rank among the most dangerous occupations in the world. There are countless hazards employees face each and every day to perform their tasks. One of the biggest dangers is the machinery in which these employees work on and around. Mining equipment is incredibly large, heavy and can move at fast speeds. With a mixture on many sites of autonomous and man-operated machines, it can put the workers on site in great danger of being crushed, pinned or run over by equipment. All of these accidents can be prevented with training and health and safety awareness along with the use of proper safety equipment to ensure accidents do not continue to happen during daily duties and routine maintenance of trucks.
The Department of Labor recently released theâ€œThird Quarter Summary of 2014 Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines with Preventative Recommendationsâ€ report. This states there were 8 devastating deaths that occurred during the 3rd quarter of 2014. Two of these tragic deaths could have been prevented with the use of wheel chocks, preventing machinery from moving uncontrollably. Another death occurred while working under a vehicle that was not cribbed properly, tragically taking a life.
These deaths really hit home with the Checkers team, as our goal is to keep employees safe by providing safety equipment that saves lives and protects assets. Below are some of the safety products we offer that serve the mining industry and continue to eliminate safety hazards like these on the job site.
Here at Checkers, all of our warning whips undergo rigorous whip testing to ensure that only the best products reach the market we serve. For this reason, we did some in-house testing on our All-Purpose Waterproof Warning Whip. Our team of engineers set up a controlled environment in order to conduct Impact Testing at 20 mph on a steel surface & Immersion Testing to simulate rain and other similar weather conditions. Below is the video that we shot so that you can see for yourself the strength and resilience of Checkers‘ new All-Purpose Waterproof Warning Whip. The video also highlights the key features of the All-Purpose whip. Enjoy!
To learn more about the Checkers All Purpose Whips, click here.
Checkers Industrial Safety Products is taking a proactive role in encouraging people to plan ahead to reduce safety risks with safety products for spring activities. Injuries and accidental deaths occur much more frequently as outdoor activities increase so being prepared can make a big difference in enjoying the springtime while reducing hazards.
“Everyone looks forward to this time of year, especially after the long winter we experienced in most of the country,” said Ray Torres, President, and CEO of Checkers. He went on to say, “As families start planning their spring activities, we hope to see them include safety as a top priority on their checklist. At Checkers, we take safety very seriously, and we are pleased to offer such a wide variety of products that bring an added measure of safety and peace of mind to individuals and families.”
When you are using a truck or SUV by itself or pulling something behind it, Checkers suggests having a set of wheel chocks to secure your vehicle when it is parked. Brake failure can quickly create a very dangerous situation. Torres stated, “Placing a set of our Value-Check Rubber Wheel Chocks against the tires will help stabilize your vehicle and keep you and those around you safe. The compact size of these durable chocks makes them very easy to handle and store.”
For many people, warmer weather means venturing off-road into areas that test their trucks and SUVs. Night driving also increases considerably this time of year, and insurance studies show drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident at night. “Whether you are parked along the roadside at night or stranded in a rugged area, a Value-Check LED Beacon is a great way to increase your visibility far beyond the light created by blinking tail lights,” said Ray Torres. These beacons are built with 26 LED bulbs to increase visibility and they easily attach to your vehicle with their powerful magnetic base.
With technology use on the rise, homes and garages have more cords and cables crossing their floors than ever before. With this trend, injuries from trips and falls are growing by disturbing numbers. According to Checkers, one of the easiest ways to prevent cables and cords from becoming trip hazards is to use Value-Check Rubber Cable Protectors. “These cable protectors help eliminate trip hazards while they protect cables and cords from damage,” said Torres. “Whether the use is temporary or permanent, using cable protectors will extend the life of your cables and reduce the risk of a trip and fall accident.”
Ongoing testing and side-by-side comparison demonstrate urethane chocks are more resistant to damage, are easier to carry and deploy and provide greater safety capabilities than similar rubber chocks.
Wheel chocks represent critical safety equipment in industrial, mining and aviation settings. Their proper and sustained use ensures that lives are protected, and such use is required by the DOT, NFPA, SAE and MSHA. There are multiple wheel chocks on the market, including those constructed of aluminum, wood, rubber and urethane. Federal guidelines do not generally specify the type of material that must be utilized for industrial applications; however, rubber and urethane are the two most commonly selected by safety managers.
There are multiple wheel chocks on the market, including those constructed of aluminum, wood, rubber and urethane. Federal guidelines do not generally specify the type of material that must be utilized for industrial applications; however, rubber and urethane are the two most commonly selected by safety managers.
Too often the final decision as to which chock to use is determined by chock cost. Unfortunately, this methodology is short-sighted when a long-term cost analysis is conducted as rubber has been shown to be less resistant to damage or breaking than urethane counterparts, thus requiring more frequent replacement and resulting in a higher cost.
A Comparison of Urethane Chocks versus Rubber Chocks
Checkers Industrial began developing and testing urethane chocks in the late 1980s with a significant investment that required extensive engineering and design. Testing initially included the comparison of the new urethane products against chocks made of various materials, including both metal and wood, as well as the more commonly utilized rubber.
Greater Strength and Flexibility: Initial independent testing showed “and repeated subsequent testing has confirmed” the urethane chocks consistently had a higher load-bearing capacity than their rubber counterparts and were better able to absorb high impacts from heavy machinery. While mimicking the flexibility of rubber, urethane chocks also showed significantly greater strength and resistance to abrasion. Over time, the urethane chocks also proved to better withstand harsh working conditions and extreme weather.
Improved Ease of Use: Because of the risk of human error in the placement of wheel chocks, ease of use was also considered and evaluated by Checkers in multiple testing environments. Urethane chocks have been shown to be 20 to 50 percent lighter in weight than similarly sized rubber chocks, providing ease of carrying and transport. Urethane construction also allowed the molding of ANSI-compliant chocking guidelines into the chocks themselves; an option not available in traditional rubber manufacturing. Molding of built-in carrying handles was also shown to be of benefit to workers in multiple industrial applications.
Superior On-Site Visibility: The use of urethane in chock manufacture has allowed other features to promote safety and protect both lives and assets. One of the most impactful is the ability to produce the chocks in high-visibility safety colors, which further aids in proper chock placement as well as raising awareness for those walking or driving around equipment secured by these components. This is in stark comparison to the rubber chocks, which have not successfully been manufactured to incorporate safety colors.
Checkers Industrial Safety Products announced the immediate availability of their new GORILLA® All Purpose Waterproof Warning Whips with stainless steel components. Featuring a multitude of patent-pending features, the Gorilla whip is built from heavy duty materials that make it ideal for extreme weather conditions such as coastal areas, corrosive environments, salt mines, and areas with high humidity.
“Moisture has always been the most challenging factor in whip light performance,” said Jesica Bailey, Director of Sales and Marketing for Checkers Industrial Safety Products. “Every component of a GORILLA®All Purpose Lighted Whip is built to eliminate the harmful effects of moisture. These whips have been tested repeatedly in extremely challenging weather conditions, and they have consistently performed at a superior level time and time again.”
GORILLA® All Purpose Warning Whips include a two-conductor waterproof hot plug with 12″ pigtail, heavy duty Day Bright fluorescent nylon mesh flag (with or without 3M® Scotchlite® reflective X), a new Rocket II Super Bright Waterproof LED light, and a stainless steel threaded hex base. According to Bailey, “Rocket II Super Bright Lights are up to 10 times brighter than other brands and come standard with 9 changeable light modes, 7 flash patterns, and steady on or off, making them the perfect ‘one light fits all’ solution.”
Additional features of GORILLA® All Purpose Lighted Whips include a new patent-pending waterproof LED light base that replaces the old 1156 bulb and lamp socket, the industry’s strongest fiberglass resin whip, a patent-pending internal ground connection that helps eliminate power failures, and an industrial grade internal wire that meets Military Spec MIL-W-16878. The lights are offered in five different colors, and an optional remote control to change flash patterns is also available.
This wheel chock instructional video is the first of many instructional videos from the long awaited Checkers University Educational Series.
The informative how-to video is focused on; demonstrating proper chocking techniques, in-depth explanation of the wheel chock reference guide, and why safety is an investment, not a cost.
Educating employees on the correct ways to chock any vehicle will save your company millions in litigation of both nonfatal and fatal cases. “There is no monetary value to put on a life”, exclaims Ray Torres, President and, CEO of Checkers Industrial Safety Products. Not only will the lives of your employees be better protected, but so will the equipment they use. Jesica Bailey, Product Manager for Checkers, says “Dedicated to saving lives and protecting assets, is our company motto and the reason why we strive to provide the highest quality product at the best possible price”. These videos were produced to help educate the wide variety of Checkers clients they serve.
About Checkers Industrial Safety Products, LLC
Began in 1987 with a simple vision: to be a dynamic and growing organization dedicated to saving lives and protecting assets by delivering innovative safety products. That vision still drives Checkers today. Product offerings include cable and hose protection systems, wheel chocks, warning whips, warning lights and more.
Wheel chocks are a very important component in aviation safety. When purchasing aviation wheel chocks, two of the material choices available are wood and polyurethane. While wood wheel chocks were the first aviation chocks designed and they are still in use in many locations, upgrading to polyurethane wheel chocks is a smart choice for a number of reasons.
One of the most important reasons for using polyurethane wheel chocks is safety.
Choosing a polyurethane product that is more structurally sound is far more important than saving a little money upfront on lower-priced wood models because it will eventually cost more in the long run. At Checkers Industrial Safety Products, we see safety as an investment and not a cost, which is why we have become one of the largest manufacturers of quality wheel chocks in the world.
The major advantages to choosing polyurethane aviation wheel chocks over those made from wood include:
- Polyurethane wheel chocks outperform and hold up better than wood wheel chocks.
- While their initial cost is higher than wood, polyurethane wheel chocks are a much better value in the long term.
- Polyurethane aviation wheel chocks are tested and approved for military use.
- Unlike wood, polyurethane wheel chocks are resistant to fuels, oils, and lubricants.
- Polyurethane wheel chocks require no maintenance or painting (wood chocks require regular painting).
- Wood wheel chocks can crack, splinter, and rot, which can result in foreign object damage to aircraft and injury to personnel.
- Wood wheel chocks exposed to wet conditions soak up water, which makes them heavy and hard to handle.
- The structural integrity of wood wheel chocks can be compromised as a result of warping, rotting, or cracking. None of these are an issue with polyurethane wheel chocks.
- The rope knot hole, rope exit hole, and horizontal rope slots have a smooth radius edge that improves handling and eliminates sharp edges that could cut the user or abrade the rope.
Case Study: 121st Air Refueling Wing, Ohio National Guard:
Aviation Wheel Chocks: A short and long-term cost comparison
The upfront cost of purchasing polyurethane aviation wheel chocks is approximately 2 to 2.5 times higher than the cost of wood chocks. While this is a sizable difference in the initial expense, wood wheel chocks actually end up costing much more when evaluated over the long term. Evidence of this fact was made apparent by one of our military customers at the Ohio Air National Guard who recently revealed, “We originally projected a 10-year time frame to realize a cost savings. At this time we will realize a cost savings on the initial purchase by the end of the fourth year.”
Costs Associated with Maintaining and Replacing Wood Wheel Chocks Maintaining wood chocks requires sanding and repainting on a regular basis. Costs associated with this maintenance include the purchase of sandpaper, paint, and supplies. In addition, the man-hours required to inspect, maintain, dispose of, and order replacement chocks is significant.
The 121st Air Refueling Wing (ARW) of the Ohio National Guard used both wood and polyurethane aviation wheel chocks side-by-side for ten years. The following statement quantitatively defines the conclusion they reached at the end of their evaluation:
“In summary, the 121st ARW spent a total of $25,715.24 to purchase, replace, and maintain their wood aviation wheel chocks in one decade. 121st ARW could have saved 26.7% or $6,879.05 by purchasing Checkers‘ polyurethane aviation wheel chocks.”
Maintaining Polyurethane Wheel Chocks
When using polyurethane chocks, maintenance costs are virtually eliminated.
- Polyurethane wheel chocks are engineered to stand up to heavy use and extreme weather conditions.
- They are mold-resistant, and will not chip, splinter, or crack.
- Their structural integrity is not affected by aircraft fluids, solvents, and oils.
- Using polyurethane chocks requires no painting – the color is molded directly into the chock.
Performance and Functionality
With military aircraft being mostly kept outside, it is imperative that equipment such as wheel chocks have the durability to hold up under extreme climate and working conditions. Polyurethane aviation wheel chocks are engineered to perform in all conditions – from freezing, sub-zero arctic temperatures to the intense, oppressive heat of the desert.
Wood wheel chocks can easily freeze to ramps, while polyurethane wheel chocks will not freeze or slip. Checkers polyurethane aviation wheel chocks are available with optional anti-slip rubber bases for use on polished hangar floors and other locations where additional traction is needed.
Effects of Water on Wheel Chocks
When exposed to wet conditions, wood wheel chocks will absorb water and get much heavier. In fact, the weight of a waterlogged wheel chock will increase by as much as 70%. This added weight makes them much harder to lift and maneuver into position under a tire. In comparison, polyurethane wheel chocks are water-resistant and maintain their lighter weight and maneuverability in all weather conditions.
MSgt. Aaron Woodring of the Ohio National Guard recently put Checkers polyurethane aviation wheel chocks to the test and reported, “I placed 40 of the wood chocks on the flight line at the same time as the polyurethane chocks. The wood chocks have been replaced twice and are in need of replacement now. The wood chocks become waterlogged and freeze to the ramp during extreme cold weather and are very heavy to move at other times. In the hangar where aircraft are washed, the wood chocks are replaced every six months due to the extreme weight from being waterlogged.”
Checkers polyurethane aviation wheel chocks feature a high-visibility yellow color that is molded directly into the chock and never needs painting. The color can be customized and imprinted with a company logo as well.
The tendency of wood wheel chocks to warp, rot, crack, chip and splinter over time poses a significant safety risk for personnel and equipment. A rotted or cracked wood chock can damage expensive aircraft tires. Additionally, cracks or rot on wood chocks can reduce structural stability and pose a potential hazard to personnel and equipment. Checkers polyurethane aviation wheel chocks are specifically engineered to be highly durable and will not warp, rot, crack, or splinter.
Foreign Object Damage
Wood aviation wheel chocks can easily splinter and crack. When this happens, it not only poses a safety risk to personnel but can also result in foreign object damage (FOD) to expensive aircraft engines. Polyurethane wheel chocks effectively eliminate the risk of foreign object damage because they will not splinter or crack.
Checkers polyurethane aviation wheel chocks have been independently tested and approved by the United States Military for use on military aircraft. Checkers was selected from 34 applicants by the United States Air Force for a two-year Small Business Innovative Research Project (SBIR) to develop, design and manufacture an improved wheel chock to replace the current wood chock.
This work was completed as a joint project with the Air Force Engineering Support Activity (ESA) responsible for the management of aviation wheel chocks, for both aircraft and ground support equipment. Checkers engineers provided the material and design expertise and partnered with Air Force engineers and active duty fight personnel to perform a rigorous array of performance tests. Checkers aviation wheel chocks met all the rigid requirements and were qualified for use by Air Force personnel.
For added safety, ANSI-compliant user guidelines are molded into each chock.
Commercial and Personal Use
Checkers makes polyurethane wheel chocks that are ideal for commercial, cargo, business and private aircraft use. Various sizes are available for use on small, mid-sized, large, and oversized aircraft.
Why Trust Checkers Industrial Safety Products?
Checkers manufactures durable polyurethane wheel chocks that stand up to the harshest conditions on the planet. They are specifically designed to perform in extremely wet, cold, and hot climates, and they offer significant advantages over traditional wood chocks. Not only do they stand up to everyday wear and tear better than wood chocks, they are also less expensive in the long run.
Choosing Checkers polyurethane aviation wheel chocks over wood is a cost-effective solution that should be seen as an investment in safety rather than a cost. While the initial capital outlay will be higher, within a few short years these wheel chocks will end up saving you money. Checkers continually strives to provide the highest quality safety
products to customers throughout the world, making them a trusted and respected leader in the safety industry.
Various combinations of conditions determine how effectively your wheel chocks will perform. Just because you tested your mining vehicle on a certain surface, at a certain grade, under certain weather conditions does not mean your wheel chocks will properly secure that vehicle at a steeper grade, or even in a colder (or warmer) climate. Complete and thorough testing must be done at each location of your job site to ensure that your specific wheel chocks will meet your site’s chocking requirements. Many factors must be evaluated before buying wheel chocks. Here are a few key variables to consider when determining the wheel chock performance required for your needs:
- Gross Vehicle Weight & Tire Diameter (See Checkers Wheel Chock Selection Guide)
- Level or grade of the ground surface
- Radial tires Bias Ply Tires (Radial tires by design deflect more than a bias-ply tire. This flexibility provides a smooth ride but also allows the tire to wrap around the wheel chock, thus reducing the chock’s effectiveness)
- Varying tire pressures that naturally occur with changes in the environment
- Condition of ground surface (i.e. firm, soft, wet, dry, icy, and frozen)
- Safety Bonus: Ongoing Equipment Maintenance:
Fortunately, our wheel chocks require little to no maintenance. However, it is important to visually inspect your chocks for cracking, chipping or other deteriorations on a regular basis. Any sign of deterioration requires immediate replacement.
Whether you have a mining business, a construction company, or other industrial business, you’re probably familiar with workplace wheel chocks and the importance of having them on site. Wheel chocks are designed to prevent stationary vehicles from shifting or moving when they are not in use. They also help prevent accidents on site and help with employee safety.
Wheel chocks must be secured properly to keep trucks and other vehicles from moving, especially on a grade. For vehicles that sit on level ground, the chocks should be placed on both sides of tires. For downhill grades, chocks should be placed on the front sides of the tires and for uphill grades; chocks should be placed outside of the rear wheels.
Types of Wheel Chocks
Checkers provides a variety of wheel chocks for different industries, which include:
Heavy Duty wheel chocks are designed for heavy equipment, haul trucks, cranes, loaders, underground mining vehicles, fire engines as well as large military tactical vehicles. These chocks are durable and lightweight due to their innovative urethane construction.
General Purpose wheel chocks are ideal for over the road trucks, trailers, utility vehicles and pick-ups. They come in a variety of sizes, but they are all industrial grade.
Our aviation wheel chocks won’t splinter or crack, eliminate maintenance cost, and are made of durable urethane, which is lightweight and easy to use. We provide chocks for most sizes and styles of aircraft.
Rubber aviation wheel chocks are durable and made of 100% recycled rubber. Additionally, the design allows for the either side of the chock to be placed against the tire and will fit the needs of a variety of aircraft.
Because we own all of our injection molding equipment and have perfected our practices over the years, we can also make custom made workplace wheel chocks made with your company logo and colors.
Keeping the right Checkers wheel chocks on your job sites will help you maintain a safe workplace and give peace of mind to your employees. To view more industrial safety products and find a distributor in your area, visit our wheel chock products section.