How Important are Wheel Chocks for the Mining Industry?

How Important are Wheel Chocks for the Mining Industry?

Mining activities take place on every continent in the world, even in areas with temperatures as low as 41 degrees fahrenheit or as high as 122 degrees fahrenheit.  

Extreme temperatures, cave-ins, explosions and poisonous gas pose serious dangers to the lives of underground miners. With heavy machines, drillers, high-voltage cables and debris flying from blasting. The working conditions can be just as hazardous for workers on the surface.  

Such extreme conditions make working in this industry one of the riskiest occupations. However, the risks can be significantly mitigated with the proper safety measures and the right equipment in place. 

How Can Wheel Chocks Reduce Mining Accidents? 

One of the most common accidents on mining sites involves powerful haulage vehicles. Even if the brakes are applied, haul or service trucks sometimes tend to roll away, causing damage to other heavy equipment and posing a serious risk to workers. Safety standards can be significantly improved by ensuring the powered haulage equipment is secured in place with heavy-duty wheel chocks.

What Are Wheel Chocks? 

Wheel chocks are heavy-duty wedges placed closely against a stationary vehicle’s wheels to avoid accidental movement. Chocks are placed under haul trucks, cranes, front loaders and service trucks for greater safety than applying the brakes alone.  

In the mining industry, wheel chocks are widely used to protect trucks and heavy vehicles from slipping away when parked. Wheel chocks are built with high-end and extremely robust plastic. 

Known for their supreme durability, polyethylene moulded and polyurethane injected chocks are one of the most preferred options. These chocks are corrosion-resistant and offer longevity, making them suitable for harsh working conditions on mining sites.

Why is Having Polyethylene Plastic Wheel Chocks so Crucial? 

  • Polyethylene wheel chocks are ideal for the highly demanding mining industry as they are sturdy and long-lasting. 
  • Being lightweight and easy to use, these chocks are resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations and abrasive chemicals. 
  • Polyethylene chocks are impermeable to abrasive oils and solvents, and come with extended warranties. 
  • These chocks are long-lasting and can endure wear and tear for years, resulting in substantial savings on annual maintenance costs. 
  • In addition, chocks are engineered to mitigate damage to the wheels. 
  • Available in numerous safety colours, these chocks offer high visibility even when the light is low.
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How to Choose the Right Wheel Chocks?

As wheel chocks are so crucial to the well-being and safety of workers on mining sites, it is essential to choose the right ones for your environment.. There are multiple products available, so it can be helpful to consider the following factors before making a decision: 

Diameter of the Tyres

The tyre’s diameter differs from vehicle to vehicle. A haul truck will have large tyres, and so require chocks at least 26cm high. Similarly, a small dump vehicle will need smaller chocks to secure the wheels. Experts in this sector recommend that chocks should be one-fourth the diameter of the tyres. 

Know the Surface 

Make sure you choose the chocks that suit the unique terrain and surface of the mining site. Analyse the surface to check whether it’s flat or steep, smooth or rough and gravelly. Various types of chocks are used on different surfaces to stabilise the vehicle. 

Gross Weight of the Vehicle 

For a heavier vehicle, you will need heavy-duty, sturdy and shock-absorbent chocks. When you are looking for a wheel chock, make sure you take the gross operating weight of the vehicle into consideration. Gross vehicle weight consists of the sum of the weight of an empty vehicle, plus the driver and cargo. For example, an empty service truck will require different chocks  compared to a 100-ton haul truck with rocks and minerals in the back. 

If you have any queries about wheel chocks or would like an obligation-free quote, feel free to contact us on 832 808 5251.