How not to use chains

by Tire groups lobby for reserve pressure capacity requirement for tires

Long haulers who work the mountains already know that tire chains are their best cold-weather friends. If they’re used correctly, that is. If you have trucks headed for the hills this winter, arm them adequately. Standard issue is four triples sets of chains. Triples cover both tires on a dual assembly. And get your people to practise putting the chains on their rigs before they head for the hills.

Remember: There are no shortcuts when working with chains. They must be mounted properly to function effectively, and if they break, the flailing links can do serious damage.

Here are some common mistakes made by drivers, mostly because they are just in too much of a hurry.
? Foregoing chains because you think you can make the hill without them. Driving past an open “Chains Required” sign in B.C. is a violation of section 125 of the Motor Vehicle Act that could result in a fine and two demerit points.

Mounting only two triples rather than all four after you’ve spun out. You’ll likely tear them to shreds trying to lift off.

? Lifting off too quickly on a steep grade. This can also tear four triples to shreds. The trick is to not spin your tires with the chains mounted. Try rolling back a bit into a jackknife before you lift off, starting out sideways across the road rather than straight up the hill.

Driving too fast or too far. Snow chains are not designed for highway speed or to be run on dry pavement. If you can see space between the crosslinks and the tire tread because centrifugal force is flailing the chains away from your tires, you’re going too fast. Remove the chains as soon as it is safe to do so.

? Not getting the chains tight enough or relying on bungee cords to make them look tight, rather than doing it right in the first place. This is definitely the most common mistake drivers make.

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