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Tire Chains


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Dealing with more snowfall for the season and it has served as a reminder to check the condition of your tires.  The winter season is here and having the most traction possible for snow and ice covered roads is very important for safety.  For those weather situations that tires alone do not suffice one of the best ways to gain additional traction on slippery roads is the use of tire chains.

Tire chains or cables are selected based on the tire size of the vehicle and the amount of wheel clearance available on the vehicle.  The tire chain manufacturer/retailer will have information on the correct size of tire chain while the vehicle manufacturer will have information on the clearance usually in the vehicles owner’s manual.  When first purchased all tire chains need to be properly fit to your tires for best performance.  They need to be as tight as possible by hand and then re-adjusted after driving a short distance.  If needed, rubber or spring chain adjusters can be used.

Helpful Hints:

  • The maximum driving speed with tire chains is 30 mph
  • It’s much easier to install tire chains before losing traction vs. after your stuck
  • Do not deflate tires to install tire chains
  • Extra links can be cut off or secured to the side chain
  • Mount so the cut ends of the cross chain hooks are away from the tire
  • Avoid twists and kinks in the side and cross chains
  • If a cross chain should break, immediately repair or remove

Various states have different statutes regarding tire chains so it is best to check with your state’s Department of Transportation or towing association.  In general, most states either allow the use of tire chains outright, within certain calendar dates or permit them during hazardous weather or related incidents as long as they do not damage the highway surface.


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