Rubber Wheel Chocks vs. Urethane Wheel Chocks

Wheel chocks are a lightweight, durable, and fairly inexpensive way to avoid silly accidents from causing major damage to your vehicles.

What they are, how they’re different, and where to buy the best ones.

Rubber and urethane wheel chocks are both a lightweight, durable, and fairly inexpensive way to avoid silly accidents from causing major damage to your vehicles – whether it’s trucks, trailers, recreational vehicles, or any other vehicle that could potentially roll away on you.

using and choosing wheel chocks

In short, the main purpose of wheel chocks is to keep vehicles from rolling away.

We have many different wheel chock styles to choose from in order to match your needs and your vehicle’s needs. Determining whether you need rubber or urethane wheel chocks mainly depends on the environment that the chocks will be used in.

Styles of Rubber Wheel Chocks

Rubber wheel chocks are commonly used in the commercial transportation industry and while wheel chocks are not technically required for commercial motor vehicles, they’re always good to have on hand when loading, unloading, or when you’re parked on any type of incline or decline.

Most people only use rubber wheel chocks in enclosed areas like warehouses or garages since they’re not very resistant to outdoor elements.

Wedge-Style Wide Rubber Wheel Chocks

Heavy-duty rubber and a grooved design come together to create a secure grip against tires. Metal handles make these chocks easy to carry or secure when not in use.

Wedge-Style Solid Rubber Wheel Chocks

A stronger, more solid rubber and full grip bottom provide a safe and secure hold on your vehicle’s tires. Built-in slots on the back make them easy to carry or secure with a chain or strap.

Double-Sided Rubber Wheel Chocks

double-sided-pyramid-style-wheel-chocks
Double-Sided Rubber Wheel Chocks

These popular pyramid-style wheel chocks come in two sizes to match your tire size: 9-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ x 7-1/4″ and a slightly larger 10″ x 6″ x8″. This style can be used on either side and come with a built-in eye bolt for secure storage.

Styles of Urethane Wheel Chocks

If you’re going to be using your chocks mainly outdoors, urethane wheel chocks are able to better resist weather and abrasions. Urethane wheel chocks are also more resistant to oils, fuels, and lubricants.

Our urethane wheel chocks are orange due to customer demand. The bright color makes it harder to misplace or forget them. To learn more about the benefits of the orange color see our post: Why Should I Buy Bright Wheel Chocks?

Orange Wedge-Style Wheel Chocks

These long and bright wheel chocks have a curved surface that contours to fit tires and features a raised diamond plate pattern. Instead of a eye bolt, it has a mold-in hole for chain or strap securement.

Orange Double-Sided Wheel Chocks

Similar to the rubber double-sided chocks, these urethane chocks are more lightweight and resistant to fuels and solvents. They provide excellent stability to vehicles and can be used on either side.

Choosing the Right Wheel Chocks

Both double-sided and wedge-style wheel chocks serve the same purpose and choosing which one to use is mostly a personal choice. Double-sided chocks are the most versatile as they can be used on either side, while wedge wheel chocks are able to cradle tires more.

The most important aspect in choosing the right wheel chocks is getting a size that’s right for your tires.

For standard truck and trailer size wheels, you should choose a wheel chock with a height that’s about 1/4 the height of the tire. For example, a 22.5″ tire requires a wheel chock that’s about 6″ high. Along with the tire height, you also need to choose a chock that is wider than your tire’s diameter to ensure a secure hold.

Using Wheel Chocks on Motorcycles

Although some people use the above styles of wheel chocks as a makeshift wheel chock when hauling motorcycles on a truck bed or trailer, they’re really not designed for motorcycles.

Instead, get a wheel chock that’s specifically designed for motorcycles. This TrakStar motorcycle chock comes with durable aluminum L-track for simple installation and a strong hold time after time.

To see a video on how to properly install this popular motorcycle wheel chock, see our post on how to get your trailer motorcycle ready.

Wire Rope Basics

Understand the differences among different types of wire rope so you can buy with confidence.

Differences in Size, Construction, Lay, Core, Grade, Finish

Understanding the basics of wire rope will help guide you on how to choose the right wire rope for your job. Application, required strength, and environmental conditions all play a factor in determining the type of wire rope that is best for you.

wire rope basics

But when it comes to buying wire rope, the various numbers and abbreviations that describe the different types of wire rope can be confusing. EIPS wire rope, 6X19 IWRC wire rope, and lang lay wire rope are just some of the many variations available. But what does it all mean?

These wire rope basics will help you understand the differences among types of wire so you can buy with confidence.

1. Size

Displayed as inch or fractional inch measurements, the size indicates the diameter of the rope. Industry standards measure the rope at its widest point. A wide range of sizes are available from 1/8” wire rope to 2-1/2” wire rope. Thicker sized wire rope has a higher break strength. For example, our 3/8” 6X19 IWRC Galvanized Wire Rope has a 15,100 lb. break strength while our 1-1/2” 6X19 IWRC Galvanized Wire Rope has a 228,000 lb. break strength. 

2. Construction

Wire rope is composed of individual wires that are twisted to form strands. The strands are then twisted to form a rope construction.

7/16" stainless steel wire rope: 6 x 19 construction
7/16″ stainless steel wire rope: 6 x 19 construction


The numbers indicate its construction. For example: in 6X19 wire rope, as shown at left, the first number is the number of strands (6);  the second number is how many wires make up one strand (19).

Numbers may also be followed by a letter combination such as FW or WS which indicates how the outside layer is constructed.

FW= filler wire (same sizes throughout)

WS= Warrington Seale (combination of large and small)

3. Lay

Refers to the direction the wires and strands are twisted during the construction of the rope.

Regular lay 

When it comes to wire rope, regular lay is also referred to as right lay or ordinary lay. This indicates that the strands pass from left to right across the rope and the wires in the rope are laid in opposite direction to the lay of the strands. This type of construction is the most common and offers the widest range of applications for the rope.

Lang lay

This term indicates that the wires are twisted in the same direction as the strands. These ropes are generally more flexible and have increased wearing surface per wire than right lay ropes. Because the outside wires lie at an angle to the rope’s axis, internal stress is reduced making it more resistant to fatigue from bending. This type of rope is often used in construction, excavating, and mining applications.

4. Core

Refers to what makes up the center of the wire rope.

FC= fiber core

Fiber cores are made of vegetable (sisal, etc.) or synthetic (polypropylene, etc.) fiber and offer more elasticity.

IWRC= independent wire rope core

Independent wire rope cores offer more support to the outer strands and have a higher resistance to crushing and heat. Independent wire rope core also has less stretch and more strength.

5. Grade  

Refers to the grade of steel used. Classifications include:

IPS= improved plowed steel.

EIPS = extra improved plowed steel (approximately 10% stronger than IPS).

EEIPS= extra extra improved plowed steel (approximately 10% stronger than the EIPS).

GIPS= galvanized improved plowed steel; galvanized wires add corrosion resistance.

DGEIP= drawn galvanized improved plow steel; galvanized for corrosion resistance. Drawn wires generally have a higher break load than GIPS.

6 x 37 EIPS IWRC 3/8" galvanized wire rope
6 x 37 EIPS IWRC 3/8″ galvanized wire rope

6. Finish

This last tip on wire rope basics refers to the protective coating on the wire rope.

Bright

Made with uncoated wires manufactured from high carbon steel.

Galvanized

Provides extra corrosion resistance.

Stainless Steel

Highly resistant to corrosion and is commonly used in marine applications.

8 x 19 EIPS IWRC bright 3/4" wire rope
3/4″ bright wire rope: 8 x 19 EIPS IWRC

Many of our customers use our wire rope and our wire rope clips to create wire rope assemblies. Check out of video blog on How to Safely Apply Wire Rope Clips to Wire Rope Assemblies to learn more.

10 Types of Material Handling Equipment You Never Knew We Sold

The product selection at USCC is much more diverse than just roadway cargo control equipment.

From pallet lifters to personnel baskets, we have the industrial material handling equipment you need.

Even though we’re best known for our high-quality ratchet straps, the product selection at USCC is much more diverse than just roadway cargo control equipment.

We have an entire selection of rigging and lifting equipment that includes everything from Crosby shackles to Pewag chain slings.

And if you’ve read our blog articles before, you know all about how to use our plate clamps plus the main benefits of buying a manual chain hoist over an electric chain hoist.

But, did you know we also sell a large selection of industrial material handling equipment from Machining & Welding (M&W), a material handling solutions provider out of Cokato, Minnesota?

Here’s a look at the 10 types of material handling equipment you probably never knew we sold, plus what it’s used for.

1. Bottle Lifters

propane tank or gas mover for forklift lifting

This one needs little explanation. It’s specifically designed to lift heavy bottles of compressed gas and other types of cylinders that need to be elevated on a job site or in a warehouse.

We sell two sizes of bottle lifters: a 2-tank lifter with 750 lb. WLL and a 4-tank with 1,500 lb. WLL. Both types have adjustable straps to hold different sized tanks and lockable doors for extra security.

2. Concrete Barrier Lifting Clamp

concrete block lifting device grabber

Concrete barriers are used for all sorts of things, but most commonly you see them on highways being used as traffic barriers. No matter where they are, those concrete barriers are heavy and this is the piece of equipment needed to move them.

This concrete barrier lifting clamp has a large eye for a crane hook to slide into and can handle barriers with a top width of between 6 and 12 inches.

3. Forklift Lifting Beams

forklift lifting beam

Unlike our other lifting beam and spreader bars that are designed for use with a crane, these compact but powerful forklift lifting beams are made specifically for a forklift.

You just slide the beam on the forks, tighten it up, and then secure a shackle and hook (or whatever lifting hardware you’re using) through the eye in the middle of the beam. It essentially turns your forklift into a mini-crane that can safely lift up to 10,000 lbs.

4. Crane Pallet Lifters

manual pallet lifting bar for crane or hoist

Just like how the forklift lifting beam turns a forklift into a crane, this adjustable pallet lifter essentially turns a crane into a forklift with its parallel forks and precise pallet grabbing ability.

This pallet lifter is designed to efficiently move pallets, skids, and crates up to 4,000 lbs. and can be used with either a crane or overhead hoist. The fact that it’s adjustable means you can ensure the load stays level while in motion.

5. Plate Lifting Hook

steel plate lifting hook for chain slings

These massive hooks are specifically designed for lifting steel plate and come with a safety shackle for quick connection. It’s recommended that they only are used with three and four-leg chain slings and the plates should always be at a horizontal 45-degree angle.

The working load limit on these made in the USA plate lifting hooks ranges from 4,300 lbs. up to 15,000 lbs and the powder-coated finish helps ensure they’re a long-lasting hook.

6. Container Lifting Lugs

lifting lugs for lugger container

These strong lifting lugs are able to handle various types of large metal containers but are primarily designed for lugger containers and other material containers with bottom lifting slots.

We have both lefthand and righthand lifting lugs, as well as straight lugs that are typically used with a spreader or lifting beam. These container lifting lugs have a 19,000-lb. working load limit.

7. Bar Tong Lifters

pipe lifting equipment for hoist

This interesting piece of industrial material handling equipment is specifically designed to lift and move round bars and pipe and can be used with either a hoist or a crane. It fits pipes and other cylindrical objects as wide as 4 inches, has a built-in lifting shackle for quick connection, and a 1,000-lb. working load limit.

This bar tong lifter is powder coated yellow for increased visibility.

8. Reel Lifters

reel turner material handling equipment

These reel lifters (or reel turners) allow you to flip reels, such as reels of cable, from rolling to non-rolling position quickly and easily. They have a durable carrying handle and wide eye for a fast connection.

We sell reel lifters with a 3,000-lb. WLL and ones with a 4,5000-lb. WLL.

9. Material Baskets & Personnel Baskets

lugger basket for material
personnel basket for job site transport

Whether you need to safely lower scrap materials from an elevated job site, or get the crew safely up to the job site, we have you covered with a wide variety of material baskets and personnel baskets.

The material baskets offer a variety of high-strength anchor points and lifting versatility, and there are convenient features on the personnel baskets like removable roofs and non-slip steel floors.

10. Forklift Pocket Lifters

pocket lifter for forklift material handling

This last type of material handling equipment is another versatile way to turn your forklift into a convenient lifting device. You can attach these lifters to those awkward objects that have no pockets for the forks to slide into.

We have forklift pocket lifters in a variety of widths (4 inches to 7 inches) and working load limits (3,000 lbs. to 5,000 lbs.). They’re durable and great to use on the job site or in the warehouse.

CVSA Roadcheck 2019 is Right Around the Corner

If you haven’t already, here’s how to prepare yourself and your commercial vehicle for a North American Standard Level I Inspection.

Steering and suspension systems will be top of mind for inspectors

If you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare yourself and your commercial vehicle for a North American Standard Level I Inspection.

From Tuesday, June 4th through Thursday, June 6th the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place throughout North America. Over that 72-hour period, CVSA inspectors will be out in droves to verify your operating requirements and examine your vehicle’s mechanical fitness.

CVSA inspection officer directing traffic to side of road

Why focus on steering and suspension?

Just like how the 2018 International Roadcheck focused on hours-of-service compliance, this year’s emphasis will be on checking steering components and suspension systems which are vital to maintaining a safe roadway.

In a recent American Trucker magazine article, CVSA president and Arkansas Highway Police Chief, Jay Thompson, stated “Not only do they [steering and suspension] support heavy loads carried by trucks and buses, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling.”

But steering and suspension checks are just one aspect of the 37-step procedure you can expect from inspectors during the 2019 Roadcheck.

truck driver operating requirements for 2019 roadcheck

Driver operating requirements for 2019 CVSA Roadcheck

Here’s what you as a commercial driver need to ensure you have ready when it comes to the 2019 CVSA Roadcheck:

  • Driver’s license (showing operating credentials)
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (if applicable)
  • Your record of duty status and vehicle inspection reports (if applicable)

Inspectors will also be checking you for:

  • Seat belt usage
  • Sickness or fatigue
  • Apparent alcohol or drug impairment
cargo securement on flatbed truck for 2019 CVSA roadcheck

Vehicle inspection checklist for 2019 CVSA Roadcheck

Other than the obvious check on the state of your steering and suspension systems, inspectors will be examining the following parts of your rig:

  • Brake systems
  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling device
  • Driveline/driveshaft
  • Driver’s seat
  • Exhaust system
  • Frame
  • Fuel System
  • Lighting Devices (headlights, taillights, stop lights, turn signals, and lights/flags for oversize loads)
  • Steering mechanism
  • Tires
  • Van and flatbed trailer bodies
  • Wheels, rims, and hubs
  • Windshield wipers

CVSA stickers

If there are no critical violations found, you’ll get a CVSA decal that shows you successfully passed the 2019 Roadcheck (for whichever inspection level was performed). This sticker will keep you from having to go through that same level inspection during the June 4th to June 6th, 2019 time period.

Stay safe out there!