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As a significant contributor to a nation’s economy, the mining industry not only brings billions of dollars to the national treasury but also generates employment opportunities. With this great potential also comes significant responsibility. Working conditions on mines have the potential to be hazardous. Personnel safety is a pressing concern within the mining industry. Records of these accidents have been well documented.

Some of the Common Mining Site Accidents Are:

Mining is a high-risk activity that can cause severe casualties and cost millions. Some of the most common mining site accidents include:

  • Trips and falls
  • Powered haulage – vehicle roll-overs
  • Injury from flying debris and rocks
  • Electrocution
  • Burns

Power Haulage Safety – How Are Personnel at Risk of Injuries?

Accidents involving powered haulage such as light vehicles, locomotives or trucks are common on mining sites. In a recent accident, a runaway light vehicle struck and injured a worker. This raises serious concerns about the uncontrolled movement of powered haulage.

Mining surfaces are usually rough and uneven. It can be challenging to prevent the vehicle wheels from rolling, even when brakes are applied. Even more than road accidents, powered haulage accidents on mining sites can often cascade into uncontrolled events resulting in dire consequences.

Therefore, having suitable safety equipment is essential to prevent the accidental rolling over of trucks or other light vehicles.

Wheel Chocks – An Effective Step To Prevent Powered Haulage Accidents

While a powerful and glitch-free braking system is crucial in preventing accidental roll-over of vehicles or mobile machinery, placing wheel chocks can also help to avoid unintended movement of vehicles.

What are Wheel Chocks?

Wheel chocks are wedge-shaped blocks that can be placed near the front and rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from accidentally rolling away when parked on a rough surface.

These chocks create a physical barrier and prevent the vehicles from rolling away. When placed correctly and strategically, these chocks allow you to prevent haulage collisions with people or other objects in the vicinity.

Whether you need to secure a fully-loaded 500-ton haul truck or a medium-sized trailer, there are different types of chocks available to meet the safety compliance you require.

What Are The Different Types Of Wheel Chocks In The Market?

Technology is continually evolving. With innovations making their way into the manufacturing sector, there are a plethora of options available in the market for wheel chocks. When searching for the best option, it’s essential to consider the material and construction of the wheel chocks to ensure you find the right one for your specific need.

Some standard wheel chock materials are rubber, aluminium, steel and urethane. Here’s a detailed break down of the wheel chock material:

  1. Urethane Wheel Chocks

Though urethane is a lightweight material, it is exceptionally durable with unparalleled load-bearing capacity. Additionally, urethane is light, making it easy to stack and transport, reducing shipping costs. As urethane wheel chocks are easy to manoeuvre, they can be placed correctly, reducing the possibilities of failures. Since this material is weather-resistant, there are lower chances of these chocks forming cracks in extreme conditions like high temperatures or moisture. While the price point may be higher than for other materials, urethane wheel chocks have a longer lifespan making them an excellent one-time investment.

  1. Rubber Wheel Chocks

Rubber wheel chocks offer an excellent option for someone who is looking for an economical alternative. Rubber has a better natural grip that protects the tyres and pavement, making them relatively easy to install. Just like urethane, this material is durable and weather-resistant; however, they need to be replaced more frequently.

  1. Aluminium and Steel Wheel Chocks

One of the significant issues with a metal wheel chock is that they have sharp edges, which can damage the tyres or cause injury to the employees. Though metal wheel chocks are relatively light, they are less durable and have a shorter lifespan than urethane. Additionally, metals are susceptible to corrosion when exposed to extreme temperatures or humidity. As metals are conductive, the chocks aren’t the right choice for transmission projects.

Rubber or Plastic – Which Material is Best For Wheel Chocks?

Wheel chocks are critical to ensure haulage and personnel safety in mining environments. While there are multiple options for wheel chock material, rubber and urethane plastic chocks are the most popular choices.

Here we will compare the benefits of rubber and plastic chocks based on their salient features and functionality:

  1. Strength and Flexibility

  • Plastic Wheel Chocks
    • Plastic has a better load-bearing capacity than rubber and quickly absorbs the high impact from heavy trucks or mobile machinery.
    • Mimicking the flexibility of rubber, urethane wheel chocks have greater strength and resistance to abrasion and extreme weather conditions.
    • Plastic doesn’t form cracks or rot even when exposed to heat, cold or humidity.
    • Plastic has better longevity than rubber and is great value for money.
  1. Ease of Use

  • Rubber Wheel Chocks
    • Provides better grip than plastic and reduces human error when installing the chock for enhanced safety.
    • Rubber chocks are hollowed out at the bottom and thus are lightweight, making them easier to stack and transport than plastic.
  1. Lightweight

  • Plastic Wheel Chocks
    • Plastic is relatively lighter in weight than rubber making them easy to carry.
    • The rotational moulding technique of plastic allows for better customisation than rubber.
  1. Enhanced Visibility

  • Plastic Wheel Chocks
    • Available in a range of high visibility safety colours, this ensures the chocks are more visible and makes them easier to install.

Factors To Consider While Selecting The Right Wheel-Chock Size And Type

1. Size – The wheel chocks must match the size of the tyres, so they can seamlessly fit in and effectively secure the vehicle in  place.

2. Weight –  A lightweight chock is perfect for a small trailer, but it may not work well for a 500- tonner. Chock weight prevents the vehicle from pushing it out of the way.

3. Vehicle Weight – It is crucial that the wheel chocks can stand up to the vehicle’s weight. A small wheel chock may not be suitable to secure a large truck. Similarly, placing a large chock against an SUV won’t work.

4. Size of the Tyre – When selecting a wheel chock, you must consider the type of vehicle and the size of its tyre. Heavy, off-road tyres of earthmovers require a different chock than a mid-size trailer.

5. Material of Chocks – Chocks are available in plastic, rubber, and metal. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, knowing everything about the material is vital to picking the best option.

6. Design – Wheel chocks come in a variety of designs. Certain chocks are designed with curves that clamp the tyre’s shape seamlessly. At the same time, others are just simple pyramids that wedge firmly between the tight spaces where the tyre’s rubber leaves the road.

If you are looking for plastic wheel chocks, contact FSP Oz Products

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