Chocking your vehicle’s tires is one of the most basic and critical safety procedures you can follow before changing a tire, winching, or working underneath it. Yet how many of us ever use anything but nearby rocks or logs to do so? Not only are you at the mercy of what’s available (Will this work, or do I need that bigger one over there?), but if you happen to be leading a trip or are otherwise in a position of some assumed authority, it lends a rookie taint to your otherwise faultless command presence to be seen looking around for rocks.
I thought about this recently while looking around for rocks.
To make matters worse, I had a good set of chocks with me—the clever folding units made by Land Rover—but they were inconveniently stashed in a compartment under the rear jump seat of the Tacoma, which itself was under several layers of Pelican cases. So I took the lazy route.
Lessons learned: a) Have stuff like this easily accessible, and if it isn’t, b) Follow Graham Jackson’s First Rule of What to Do When There’s Trouble, which is, Slow down and brew a cup of tea, and then Jonathan Hanson’s First Rule of What to Do When There’s Trouble, which is Use the right tools. Sorry Graham. And me.
As much as I like the Land Rover chocks, their lightweight, folding construction pretty much relegated them to tire-changing and working-under duties. Thanks to the fertile mind of Richard Bogert of Bogert Manufacturing, I now have a set of heavy-duty, winching-compatible chocks.
Constructed of 3/16ths-inch steel and heavily powder-coated, the Bogert chocks take up virtually no more room than the folding ones if you stand them on edge in the corner of a cargo box. A set of them comprises not two but, properly, four, so you can anchor two wheels on both sides, or four wheels on one side if you’re on a hill. Additionally, a set of holes and slots in each chock allows you to chain two together on either end of the wheel to prevent shifting if the truck jerks back and forth under a load—nice. Each set of chocks comes with four chains, so you can anchor each pair of chocks on the inside and outside of the wheel if needed. The result is one solidly immobile truck.
The set is now stored in the “Camper Setup” Wolf Pack box that rides just inside the door of the JATAC's Four Wheel Camper. So accessing proper chocks will be as easy as picking up a rock, and my faultless command presence can remain intact.
From now until the end of June, Bogert is offering a 15 percent discount on all their superb recovery tools and accessories. Please use code K7E. Bogert Manufacturing is here.