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chains anyone?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by getmydrift, Feb 9, 2013.

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  1. getmydrift

    getmydrift Member
    Messages: 44

    Just curious, been watching with interest the big storm back east, so many of you guys getting stuck. I live in Lake Tahoe where 2 feet or more of snow happens at least 6-10 times a season. Normally I chain my trucks all the way around and I don't think I get stuck once a season. In the pictures and footage I have seen , no one has chains on. Are chains allowed on your roads? I have a couple of skid steers that never get stuck. any way I am a little jealous we haven.t had snow in a month. rock on
  2. scott3430

    scott3430 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,008

    I have not seen one truck around me with chains. Seems like overkill?
  3. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    I think most people fit into two groups...
    1. Where chains are required by law, or it is often impossible to drive without them.
    2. Doesn't understand chains, too cheap, too lazy, or too macho.

    Before I got the plow for my truck I've only needed chains once. With the recent addition of the plow and my steep driveway I found that I would probably need them often so I bought two pairs. I'm so glad I did, I can't imagine the struggle and/or failure I would have experienced with 3 feet of snow and no chains. My only regrets are that I didn't chain all 4 from the start, I didn't buy tensioners/enough straps, and that I only got V-bars for one pair (the other pair being light-duty low-clearance diamond chains).
  4. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Interestingly enough I used to live in Stateline. Seeing plow trucks with all four wheels chained was no big deal. I kept my chains when I moved here. You can use them in an emergency or if you think safety is an issue. I used them once here when it was dumping more than we could handle on top of an ice layer. We were having trouble pushing because of traction issues under the snow so we chained up. Got some looks for sure, but it got the job done. The problem here the salt usage. You can be on a road that is wet and clear 40MPH and turn off to a road that has 12" on it. You are not doing 40 with chains on. My experience in the basin was that because of the snow practices there was always a nice snow layer to drive on. Made chain driving more friendly. I have been seeing a decent amount of stud tires though recently.
  5. Shade Tree NJ

    Shade Tree NJ Senior Member
    Messages: 202

    Have been thinking of getting set of chains and leaving inf truck for emergency and stumbled across this thread. Would they really make that big of a difference in a 2wd mason dump?
  6. getmydrift

    getmydrift Member
    Messages: 44

    With all the hills and steep driveways, chains are a life saver. under a foot of snow, we usually only chain the rears. All trucks 4x4. kind of scarey when in the Bobcat trying to blow a driveway and you start sliding backwards. when snowing u cant even get to tahoe w/o chains or 4x4, In my real job, i'm a firefighter, we sometime chain all 4's on the fire engine, leave them on for several days after the storm. too often sliding results in damage or expense. A good set of hardened square link chains with cam locks are a good investment.
  7. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    Studs help when there's hard, smooth ice on the road, but otherwise their use doesn't overlap with what chains do. They certainly don't help with deep snow or even a half inch of hardpack.

    I'm sure glad I have them when I do find that ice though.

    I never used chains when I had my dually dump but I have to believe they'd work just as well as they do on a pickup. It's a night-and-day difference, like driving on dry warm pavement.
  8. getmydrift

    getmydrift Member
    Messages: 44

    The problem with studs,is they wear down after a season or 2

    IMGP0102 (800x600).jpg
  9. geer hed

    geer hed Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    The only problems with chains is
    A- they can be a pain and time consuming to put on and take off.
    B- The biggest problem is going from a snow covered road to bare or almost bare road. If you get on a road that doesn't have an inch or more of snow on it, the chains will chew your tires APART. I've seen several people destroy a good set of tires this way, and most guys don't have time to be installing and removing chains all day.

    Now Chians on a 2 wheel drive sure, my cousin got stuck one year and instead of weighting untill we got there to pull him out he bored and bored to get out on his own, in the prosess he snaped a front axel shaft. We took the truck back to his shop, pulled both front shafts, put weight on the back ,a set of chians and he was back in action. He pushed just as much snow just as easily with 2wd and chains as he did w/o chains and 4wd.

    Now and especially for (getmydrift) look into onspot automatic chains we have them on all our fire trucks and ambulances.
  10. nnusskern

    nnusskern Member
    Messages: 42

    My department has them on our rigs too but they are very expensive compared to chains. However they are very convinent and work well.
  11. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Auto chains are sweet, just not sure worth the price for most guys. Sure makes life easy if nothing else.
  12. South Seneca

    South Seneca Senior Member
    Messages: 474

    Most of us don't get big snow often enough to have a set of chains. That said, I live in the middle of the Finger Lakes region of New York State where lake access roads are very steep and narrow, with gulley along one side. The guys who plow them often run chains.

    I do have chains on bar tread tires on my JD 325 garden tractor. I use it to clear paths around the house. The problem is with chains on the rear the tractor always wanted to go straight. I stopped that by putting Carlisle snow blower tires on the front.
  13. getmydrift

    getmydrift Member
    Messages: 44

    We have on spots on engines and rescues, but good for just a few inches, up to about 6. within our district we have subdivisions on mountian sides where chains,or cables are used. The new rescues we have, can't use on-spots, tear things up.
  14. CDOTS

    CDOTS Junior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 2

    had all four loders chained up and ready for te pickups .on the loaders they make a world of difference .
  15. Landcare - Mont

    Landcare - Mont Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    We find that 99 percent of the time, our loaded 6-wheelers have sufficient traction to get the job done. Putting a set of chains on dual wheels in case they might be needed once a season is a bit of overkill, especially on the plowtrucks that do the highway run from our shop to the suburbs we plow each time it snows. We've never put chains on a 4WD loader - but we have found that putting the proper snow tread tires on them makes a huge difference. When we used to run our Cat120 grader clearing roads with a 12-foot side wing, we did run chains on it sometimes but, then again, it should have had better tires and never ran at "speed" on bare roads.
  16. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    We just don't get crazy snow enough for most guys to chain up. That said, there are town trucks that chain up every storm. And I think they are 4wd. I had vbar chains on my old truck. They are awesome when all 4 are on. Driving on clean roads are a pain though. I've got some v bar chains from my old 96 f250. 16" tires. Don't think they'll fit my 18" tires now.
  17. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,082

    I have a a full set of chains for all my trucks, don't needed them that often but when you do they make a world of difference. If I had to deal with a 24-36" storm I'd chain up without giving it a second thought.
  18. quigleysiding

    quigleysiding PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    Wish I had a set today when we were doing the road to the camp i do. Its a mile long dirtl road. We plowed it once then all the trees fell. Got back there today. We had to cut our way in.. He was real happy to see us come rolling down the hill.
  19. gafred

    gafred Member
    from Boone
    Messages: 36

    getmydrift, on your 97 F350 what size tires are on it? and how much lift?
  20. 2ExploreSnow

    2ExploreSnow Member
    Messages: 64

    So what's the deal with studded tires in NJ?

    I've been told that they are illegal ( although I understand that chains are allowed, under certain conditions, in all of USA). I know they aren't preferred on higher speed roads, but at least they can keep up... just need to be careful as handling has changed and doesn't grip as well on concrete.

    But hey, I'm not sliding around when conditions get icey/snowy. The car does quite well up to 8-10 inches of snow.
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