1. #1
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    Default Ok, step chock specs & plans!

    This weekends project: I'm building step chocks.

    Anybody got some good plans/designs?

    How long should the base be?

    Offset back of each step?

    How high overall?

    Any advantage to cutting a "wedge" angle at the end of the base section, so they could do a better job if needed as a chock?

    My initial thought, just winging stuff from memory, is 2' for the base, 4" set backs, so we end up with 5 steps 8", 12", 16", 20", and 24" in length. Using just a good straight pine 2x4.

    Figuring woodglue between the layers, and self-sinking deck screws to secure the pieces together.

    Nylon straps I'll chisel in a grove for them to lay flat, and use a couple screws & washers
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    What you've got in mind sounds about like ours, except ours are made from 2 x 8 for the base and 2 x 6 for the steps- larger bearing surface that way. You also may want to double up the base piece- hardly ever need to crib something 1.5 inches off the ground (even if you do, a plain 2x will work, you don't need a step chock.)

    You also might want to make up some smaller ones for use on smaller cars. After you support them on the first or second step, who needs 18 inches of extra step chock sticking out creating a trip hazard?

    Also, size them so they'll fit into the compartment space you have for them. We swear every time we put them away. They all fit, but only if you put them back the same way every time- and NOBODY ever gets it on the first try!
    TW
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.
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    Good pointers so far...

    Been planning so they could "nest" in a compartment, grab the outside and upside down ones routinely, the inside ones if needed...of course that would mean I have to plan so the nested size fits the shelf!

    Doubling the base is a good idea. I think the 4" will be sufficient -- we have regular dunnage that can be used to provide a broader base if needed.
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    Here is a design we came up with. If nothing else, it will give you something to think about.



    Hope this helps.

    Good luck.
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    Nice graphic!

    I'd also recommend the wider base on the bottom course.
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    The ones in the picture are similar to ours. Make sure you don't forget the wedges!!! A lot of times those wedges are all you need to boost the steps to give you a little more stability. On the back of the steps, we put the nylon handles like you mentioned , and they work great.

    Bikefire, nice graphic!

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    Dal.

    DO NOT USE GLUE.

    Just use screws offset for each layer, most standard wood glues are water soluble over time and will break down. Epoxy glues are too rigid and do not have enough flex, this can cause chocks to fail on rough ground.

    Why use Nylon straps. Cut up old seat belts from the wrecks and use that, damn site easier.

    And yes the wedges under the chocks provide that extra secure feeling. Although I am confused as to why you would make 2" and 4" thick wedges, they are all 0" thick at the sharp end, so just stick with the 4".

    Tip for training, when watching newbies use a wedge under the chock, watch how many of them KICK it into place instead of lifting the chock and PUSHING the wedge in. Remind them about the poor patient in the car with the neck brace on they just shook the hell out of with a size 12 boot.
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    Wink

    Although I am confused as to why you would make 2" and 4" thick wedges, they are all 0" thick at the sharp end, so just stick with the 4".
    Well yea, and as I said in my post...
    We are working on the wedges yet".
    We haven't decided on which size to use. We have wedges, I just think we can improve on them. Those are two of three options we come up with.
    firenresq77 Bikefire, nice graphic! ...and...
    Resq14 Nice graphic!
    Thank You. Done with Microsoft Paint, comes with all Microsoft Operating systems. I've been known to play too much on my computer. I put that together in about 20 minutes for that reply.
    Last edited by Bikefire; 02-10-2004 at 06:23 PM.
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    While we are on the subject of wedges and step chocks, what is everyone's opinion about using them together?

    We use ours in tandem all the time. Step chock on the ground, wedge on top. Works great. I like to have the cribbing and vehicle snug (but not tight as when you pound it into place). It is nice to see all four tires deflated and see zero movement on the vehicle.

    At Auto Ex last year, some departments were putting their wedges under the step chocks. However, the width of the wedge wasn't as wide as the step chock going on to of it (which I didn't like). I always figured that I would want to go from narrow to wider at the bottom (or stay the same width all the way down to the wider bottom).
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    I always put the weges on the bottom........

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    I wedge at the top. Like having that solid footing from the whole step being flat on ground.

    I have also seen a lot of departments put their stepchocks upside down. That way, they don't need any extra wedges. How much difference is there with a wedge below the chock giving minimal ground contact and the whole chock upside down with limited ground contact?
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    Dal,I'd use a 2x6 0r 2x8 for the bottom plate and build from there.Your basic designs the same we've used successfully for years.Cordless drill,power miter saw,and a bunch of drywall screws and you can have chockus maximus in a realitively short time.T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 02-11-2004 at 10:57 AM.

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    I have also seen a lot of departments put their stepchocks upside down. That way, they don't need any extra wedges. How much difference is there with a wedge below the chock giving minimal ground contact and the whole chock upside down with limited ground contact?
    I've always felt that if you're going to turn the step chock upside down, you should use a flat between it and the ground to provide enough bearing surface.

    There's also no reason that you can't make wedges as wide as the step chock. Just because we're all used to seeing wedges made from 4x4's doesn't mean they all have to be that size.
    TW
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    I have also seen a lot of departments put their stepchocks upside down. That way, they don't need any extra wedges. How much difference is there with a wedge below the chock giving minimal ground contact and the whole chock upside down with limited ground contact?
    Yeah, we seen this at Auto Ex a few years back. It looked interesting, but I was also concerned with the amount of contact it had with the ground. I personally like having as much "solidness" between the ground and the car that I just don't like seeing all those gaps (from the staggered steps), when it could be a nice, solid, flat base.

    Dal, one other thing you might consider doing. We went down to "the pit" were most of our jaws practice takes place and cut the seat belts out of a few vehicles. We cut them into lengths, then screwed them into each side of the step chock. These handles make it the chocks a little easier to carry (one firefighter can carry easily carry 4 step chocks). And they work good for when the extrication is over and you have to pull them out. (I was going to make up a nice picture in paint as well, but I figured I would just take a picture when I go down to the station tonight or tomorrow night and then post it)

    One thing I have been playing around with in my head, is that we have to grab the step chock and a box of cribbing (which has the wedges in it). Since the ol' step-chock-with-a-wedge trick works well for most easy crib scenarios, I have been thinking of coming up with a way to a sheath or something on the side of the step chock to hold a wedge. If the wedge is needed, poof, you have one and don't have to bring a box of cribbing with you, run back to the truck to get one, or borrow it from someone else's box. If you don't need it, it isn't in the way that much. (we have a sheath on the side of our sawzall that has a few extra blades in it. Sorta the same principle.)

    If a firefighter can carry 4 step chocks, with 4 wedges with them, he/she should be able to crib a vehicle on its wheels solo in a matter of seconds (and seconds always count in our game)!

    Anyone else seen this, or tried something similar?
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    Try this little trick. Cut wide bands out of a truck tube or regular car tire tube, just like the helmet bands. Now "marry" your two step chocks to each other by placing one upside down on top of the other one. Stand them on end and slide one of your jumbo rubber bands over the end about 8 inchs, turn it over and slide one on the other end. This will securely bond the two together for storage and carrying. Get to the car and simply pull them off and your ready to go. If they get lost its no big deal, just cut another one when you get back. You also just made that storage place for that wedge you want to carry along. Works for us.
    Zmag

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