The finished rubber kerb protector.

Kerb Protector – No More Scuffed Alloy Wheels

Reading Time: ~ 3 minutes

Is this a project or a life hack? I don’t know. Either way, if you’re in a situation where you regularly have to get as close to a high kerb as possible you’ll know the pain of scuffing a wheel. In which case, you really need this kerb protector, put together from some rubber trim intended for boats and a few masonry screws. There are actual products out there for this (though not many) but they’re all either plastic you stick to your wheels (and look awful) or they’re huge bulky foam bars with yellow stripes on them. This is a bit subtler looking.

My wife (who’s Canadian) informs me this project isn’t going to translate to my North American readers. The kerbs there are far more sensible and have a slope on them; so I guess this one is for us Brits.

WARNING
I posted this on Reddit and the same question was asked over and over; “Won’t you be fined by the local authority?”. I own this kerb outside my house, it’s an unadopted street which means I don’t need permission to modify the kerb as long as it’s safe. If you live on a publically maintained road, do not do this or you will be in trouble.

What you’ll need

The main ingredient here is the kerb protector itself. As I said, it’s actually rubbing strake designed for the sides of boats and yachts . It’s far more understated than the few products out there designed specifically for this purpose and around the same cost. I’d also say this is going to be more durable as it’s made from solid rubber. At £8 a meter it’s pretty reasonable too.

Step-by-step

Time needed: 1 hour.

  1. Roll out the entire length

    Make sure you roll out the whole length you’re planning to use so it’s positioned correctly. You may also need to trim it using a utility knife.

  2. Mark your first fixing point

    Use one hand to hold the trim firmly in position and then drill through the centre using a 5mm masonry bit. It should go straight through the rubber and then mark the kerb, stop once it’s lightly marked.

    Drilling through rubber trim into kerb.

  3. Drill the pilot hole

    Move the rubber trim out of the way so you don’t damage it. Using a decent power drill with a hammer setting carefully drill a 40mm deep pilot hole in the place where you have just marked the kerb.

    Using a 5mm SDS bit to create pilot holes.

  4. Fix in place

    Using 40mm x 6mm concrete screws and an appropriate bit drive through the rubber trim and into the pilot hole you just made. Be careful not to overdrive the screw or you risk splitting the rubber.

    Using the rubber trim to hold the screw.

  5. Mark out the rest of the fixing points

    Using a ruler or tape measure mark on the kerb every 150mm. These will be your fixing points so be careful not to place any too near to the end of a kerb stone. Drilling too close to one end increases the chances of blowing out the face of the kerb. If one of your pilot holes falls near (within 40mm) of an end then just move it in a bit and carry on spacing from there.

    Spacing the fixing screws.

  6. Repeat steps 2-4 until you finish

    Take care as you go along to always flex the trim out of the way of the drill bit and chuck so you don’t damage it when drilling.

    Taking care not to damage the rubber trim while drilling.

  7. Admire your work

    Et voila! No more scuffed alloy wheels, no matter how close you have to park to the kerb.

    The finished rubber kerb protector.

Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure to always remove the dust that piles up on the back of the trim when you’re drilling. It’ll stop the kerb protector sitting flush if you don’t.
  • Go easy with the drilling, it may take a little longer but it’s better than breaking a piece out of your kerb.
  • Use the pilot hole in the rubber trim to hold your screw for you.
  • If you anticipate bumping into it often, decrease the distance between your fixing points for extra durability.

In pictures…

Here’s the whole gallery of images if you’re not into reading.

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