Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Are Chinese Tire Chalks A Safety Hazard to the Moving Industry

April 5, 2012

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Recently in the moving industry, a parked moving truck got away and rolled down the hill into a house.  Fortunately no one was hurt, but it was close!

The newspaper article said the moving workers said the truck was chalked, but the tire chalk “broke.”  This sounds suspicious except that I’ve seen tire chalks that are supposed to be rated for a box-style moving truck, but seem to bend under the weight of the truck.

The picture above is the type most commonly used on 20′ to 26′ moving trucks (trucks having a “gross vehicle weight” of under 26,000 lbs)  I’ve used this type of chalk for 19 years without incident, but 19 years ago they were usually American-made.  And now they are all Chinese-made. A  few months ago, we were trying to park the truck on a relatively sharp street in the the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur, GA.  The worker placed the chalk in front of the back tire, and the truck SMASHED THE CHALK FLAT, and rolled over it.  I was in the driver’s seat at the time, so I just stepped on the brakes.  The worker had to scramble to find a big enough rock nearby to do the job the chalk was supposed to do.

On Sunday we were unloading at a house in Alpharetta, GA.  The driveway had an incline, but less than the street in Oakhurst.  The picture below is of the the chalk on the tire in that driveway.  It held, but it seemed to “bend” the chalk (we also used a big rock on the other back tire)  With previous chalks of this type, the black rubber triangle would keep its shape and hold solid.

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Are the Chinese practicing “Value Engineering” in the manufacture of these tire chalks?  That is, are they “engineering out” value, or this case the density in the rubber–Less dense rubber chalk equals less cost.

The owner of the Moving Supply warehouse where we buy these chalks is checking into it.  I wonder if we will have to go to using the heavy metal tire chalks like the Fire Departments use below?

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