Tire Chains - Snow Tire Chains

There are certain geographic regions, as well as stretches of roadway that demand the use of tire chains in the winter. Anyone who loves sports that take place in the snow is probably quite familiar with tire chains. However, for those who are new to the concept and are hoping to get a set of chains on their tires, consider some information about tire chains, as well as tires that work best with the chains.

What are Tire Chains?

Just as the name suggests, tire chains are a system of chained, metal links that are used to cover a tire for driving through thick snow, and on ice. Tire chains come in a variety of sizes, as well as styles, offering capabilities that are as unique as the demands of the driver. Tire chains are manufactured to fit nearly every passenger vehicle, from compacts to mid-sized to light trucks, SUVs and even diesel trucks and trailers. Ultimately, they offer more traction than any tire possibly could in heavy snow.

Tire chains are also excellent for use on frozen roadways, offering stability to a vehicle that would otherwise slide while maneuvering or fail to stop. Many states require the use of tire chains on certain roadways during the winter seasons. This is especially true in heavily trafficked areas with high altitudes that boast tourism hot-spots, such as winter lodges and ski resorts.

Tire chains are not to be driven for long periods on cleared roadways, and when required, there will be signs and stopping areas that are designated, allowing for drivers to pull over, quickly mount the chains on the tires, and then proceed back onto the roadway. The fines vary by state for individuals who do not properly obey tire chain laws. The safety risk is also steep for those who choose to ignore applicable laws. In short, for passage in heavily snow-covered areas, it is worth investing in tire chains in areas that allow them.

How Tire Chains Work

Tire chains are quite easy to install, and after a couple practice installations, the process can be done quickly. For most chains, they are simply dressed across the top of the tire, and then locked into place with tensioners. However, there are brands such as Thule, which offer a style known as K-Summit Tire Chains that require no clearance between the tire and the wheel well. This means they mount to the outside of the wheel, and cling tightly to the tire. Such tire chains are more expensive when compared to most other styles available.

Each set of tire chains will come with instructions. Simply follow the guidelines and installation should take just a few minutes.

Best Tires for Tire Chains

Are there tires that work better with tire chains? Yes. Check with your tire and vehicle manufacturer to find the best chains suitable for your vehicle. It is recommended to implement winter tires for areas that experience considerable amounts of frozen precipitation and season-long freezing temperatures. The softer rubber compound used in winter tires also allow for more flex and give so that tire chains can be most effective.


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