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Tire Chains for Silverado 2500 HD

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by darryl g, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461

    This blizzard down south has me thinking that I'm really not as prepared as I should be if we got a really big storm in my neck of the woods. I handled the 20 incher we got back in December with no prolem, but it was a nice light fluffy snow. It was my first big storm with the V plow and it was nice :)

    I think I really should have a set of tire chains just in case, so I read up a bit here and was looking at the chains on tirechains.com. I've been plowing since 1999 and have never found the need for them, but I'd rather be prepared. I don't think I've ever seen anyone here other than guys with 2wd dumps and the municipal trucks running chains. I'm down on the CT shore and a lot of the times the snow changes over to rain and minimizes accumulation or washes it away entirely.

    I'm not a hard core plow guy. I just service about 20 residential accounts, most of whom are lawn care customers, and one industrial parking lot. Not a lot for steep grades. I have a couple with inclines but they're not dangerous or long or anything. I just want to be able to service my lawn care regulars in the case of a blizzard.

    I have an 03 Silverado 2500 HD 4WD running LT 245 75 R16 all terrain tires. Boss Power V XT up front. No sander. I typically run about 500 to 1500 pounds of sand and salt in the bed in bins for ballast, depending on the storm. I have a front end loader and plenty of rocks or sand I could load if I needed to go heavier (my rear acreage was a gravel pit).

    Since I don't expect to use them much, I was thinking of getting a lighter duty set, either the medium duty twisted link steel or the square straight link alloy. I was leaning toward just getting one set of the square link alloys for the rear. They seem to offer the best balance of ride, traction, durabilty and price for the limited use they will see. I was going to go with the string tensioner/adjusters over the rubber ones.

    I really don't want something with a really rough ride because the condtions here vary a lot. US Route 1 and the main roads may be cleared down to pavement while the less traveled roads in the woods where I have a lot of accounts and down on the beach may not have even been serviced at all yet. So I want something that I'll be able to leave on without chattering my teeth out.

    Sorry, I guess this post is getting kind of long. So what do you think guys. One set of medium duty alloy straight link chains good for my situation?

    P.S. - No highway driving. Route is all local within 5 miles of my shop in 3 directions.



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    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
  2. dneiding

    dneiding Member
    Messages: 36

    I have 2 sets of Peerless Auto-Trac tire chains. My neighbor bought them for me as a gift two years ago. I rarely use them but this morning we had 10" and 4' drifts in places. I put them on after plowing 1/2 my gravel driveway and the difference was like night and day.

    The ones that I have take about a minute to put on per tire.

    I plow our church's 1 acre parking lot and there were 4' drifts this morning and with the chains on my truck had no problem and I was able to push more snow then I ever had before.
  3. Dewey

    Dewey Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    I wouldn't be without them I have a set with me all the time . If things get real icey I grab the spare set. They come in handyr if I get stuck You can slip them on and get out alot eiaser.. Some times you can lay them down in front of your tires to get yourself out of a bind....;)
  4. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461

  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Pretty hard to beat the V-bar chains IMO. They will last much longer if you have to drive on bare hot top. And they dig better. That site has a set for $71 with cams to fit your truck.

    And BTW, no chain is going to give a nice ride. It's 25 mph or so MAX with chains on.
  6. plowjeep420

    plowjeep420 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    wesport Chains are awesome, and I always have them, (snow, mud, sand) Like Dewey said often dont even need to put them on to get unstuck. I also always have set of "Z" wire type chains that work awesome, and most of the time only need 1 on at a time. Another advatage to the chains is weight! Huge advantage of "Z" type cable in smother ride, less noise.:D
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What's the deal with the other Chevy there? Use to plow with one just like it ,even the color!
  8. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461

    Manual says chains on rear only

    Thanks for the input guys. I just checked my owner's manual and it says chains on rear wheels only on my vehicle. I find that kind of strange that they'd make a plow truck that you can't put 4 tires chains on. WTF? I don't see anything on the front that would interfere with chains. The brake lines on the back are pretty darn close to the wheel and more scary looking than anything on the front.

    Maybe I'll go witht the V bars instead. I'm just afraid they're a bit agressive and I don't want to be messing up my customer's blacktop. Guess it's just easy does it with chains on anyway. I actually had chains for my 1976 Datsun B-210 back when i was in college. It was amazing where I could go with chains on that baby. I made it to the liquor store and back with no problem during the April blizzard in 1982, lol.

    As far as the old Chevy truck in the pic. It's retired and for sale. I started getting it ready for plowing last season and said to hell with it and bought a plow for my Silverado instead. If anyone is interested in my old one, here's the link. http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=98991
  9. captbo

    captbo Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    darryl g, I am in the thick of the storm you ref: along with it being 22"-28" deep it begain to fall when things were above freezing. so now the bottom 2"-4" is solid ice, the chain do make a night and day difference, I had them on this am and tried to sneak up the road with tem on, 20=25 miles per hr was all I could do I pulled over and took them off seems like a lot of labor to do some but if you were working on driveways in one community it would be a peice of cake,,, my chains are old style, chain , when /if they wear out I would get something the same or that v chain,, But do invest in some

    check www.tirechain.com lots of good info
  10. Dewey

    Dewey Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    A couple of things to remember is to keep them as tight as possible and dont hotdog and do alot of spinning you'll tear them all apart (learned that the hard way)
  11. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Chains on the back, put the weight to it - at least 1,000 - 1,500 lbs - and take it easy.
  12. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461

    Take it easy...no hotdoging......OK, you guys talked me out of chains, rofl.

    Actually I take it pretty easy now that I'm plowing with my Silverado and I'm not overloaded with accounts. But a few years back when I ended up with too many accounts and my old truck was pretty much depreciated yet solid, I'd be hitting it pretty hard and spinning tires, up and over curbs stacking and getting bounced around, plow tripping and banging on hardpack sending my guides flying into snowbanks. Nothing wreckless but certainly pushing it a bit hard. That 85 chevy was one tough truck. My 03 Silverado is still my baby, bought it new and still under 35k miles on it. I hardly had the heart to put a plow on it last season let alone hammer on it.

    Actually I'm considering the european style net reinforced chains now. The chain guide on tirechains.com rates them pretty high in everything:

    -Heavy Duty - excellent for harsh conditions.
    -D Shaped Square Links
    -Reinforced Cross Chains with wear links.
    -Consistent Diamond style cross chains for excellent road handling.
    -Excellent Lateral Stability
    -Excellent Ice Traction
    -Built in tensioning chain and lever - no additional tensioner required.
    -Anti-wear heat treatment
    -Zinc Galvanized
    -All steel construction except for integrated rubber tensioner.
  13. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Whatever you get, let us know how difficult they are to put on.
  14. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461

    Ordered Them

    Well, enough pondering....I just ordered the alloy square chains. I was going to order the net style reinforced but they were out of stock. I'm sure the V-bars are hard core but I'm not really, lol. I'll be sure to come back and critique them after I've given them a try.

  15. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Did you get them with the locking cams?
  16. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461

    Yah, that set comes with cams. I got the spring adjusters too. I watched the demo video on their site. Putting them on seems simple enough.
  17. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461


    Well, it's been a week since I ordered my chains from tirechain.com. I got an automated order confirmation via email shortly after ordering. The following day I checked the UPS status via the link they provide and it said "billing information received". I still have not received any shipping confirmation from tirechain.com and the status of my shipment with UPS has not changed. I've emailed customers service twice and gotten no response at all. Nothing.

    Now I'm sure they're very busy given the recent severe weather and I know shipping has been disrupted as well, but it's been a week now and I do not have my chains, nor do I even know if they've actually been shipped or have any idea of when I might receive them, and apparently I'm not entitled to know. They don't even provide a phone number on their web site. I'm tempted to cancel my order and just buy them locally but since I can't even get a hold of them, that isn't possible. They would probably ship them eventually anyway and I'd end up with 2 sets and woud have to pay shipping and a restocking fee back to tirechain.com to return them. Not a good experience. I see they have a notice on their site now about not being able to guarantee shipment in less than a week and that they've received a lot of emergency orders. There was no such notice when I ordered mine.
  18. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    A word of advise to you on chains would have been to buy the ones made in Austria called Pewag" they will last about 3X longer than the cheapie ones that NAPA and VIP auto stores sell. Alot of the low dollar chains are now made in China and can actually be marketed by an outfit up in Canada so you assume they are a good Canadian chain and that may very well not be the case. I grabed a set of them last year for my JD tractor as I run them on the front wheels I think they were $59 and they are not worth 59 cents they are soft as heck and I only got about 50 miles of running them and the V bars are wore right off them. Chains make more differance than about anything else a guy can do to his truck to increase traction and I have no idea how anyone could do almost any kind of plowing and not need a set???? Good luck with what ever you got.
  19. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461

    Fisher - I'm sure you're right and I had read about Pewag, maybe in one of your other posts on this site. I know this may make me sound stupid, lol, but I'm really not looking for top quality and the price tag associated with it. I just want to have a set in case we get a really nasty storm. I'm down on the CT shoreline and it's pretty flat down here and our snowfall is usually pretty limited because it often changes over to rain. They'll probably get limited if any use, but they're something I want to have in case of emergency. I do fine with a good set of all terrain tires, if that tells you anything. You really don't see people running chains around here, If it turns out that I try them and think they're great and something I'll use often, then I'll invest in a high quality set.

    I know you guys do things a little differently up there. When I was up there in the woods back packing in the 80's, one local told me what 4WD is for. He said it's for when you get stuck in 2WD...so you can turn around and head back, lol. He told me that in some places, if you get stuck, you're essentially gonna freeze to death before anybody finds you. My wife went to Unity College so she lived in Maine for 5 years or so before I met her. It kind of rubbed off on her...bringing home roadkill for dinner and stuff, rofl.
  20. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461

    Got Them

    Well, got an email from Tirechain.com yesterday finially..it appears that they got shipped out quickly but missed their first UPS scan and if that happens apparently they become untrackable. The came today. I tried them out just to make sure I know how to put them on...ran out to my back acreage where there's a little snow and some grades in 2WD. Pretty cool, I was able to climb out of a couple spots where I definitely would have needed 4WD usually. I wasn't offroading or anything, it's somewhere between a real driveway and offroading.

    The only thing is experimenting with which link to hook them on. It seems like what worked best was to put them on so that at first they were too tight to get one of the cams rotated and locked, and then just run it a little bit and then I could get it. If I did it so I could lock all the cams at first, then I'd have to stop and undo them all, move it one link closer and then do all the cams again. As long as they are snug I don't suppose it really matters.

    Well thanks for the help guys...gonna take them out on the highway now and see how they do at 75mph on dry pavement. :laughing:

    Thinking of getting a set for my 4WD JD tractor now. I have a front-end loader and I use it sometimes for doing the tight spots around my place and a neighbor across the street who's place in kind of tight to do with the truck. I was thinking of getting them for the rear wheels only...I've got turf tires and there are times when I really don't have enough traction when doing loader work when the front wheels are practically off the ground ....so putting them on the front only wouldn't do much good. I dunno, fronts are a lot cheaper though. I like the turf tires because I can use it for mulch jobs or dragging brush on nice lawns without doing any damage....anyway...happy plowing guys
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010